Home staging can maximise the price and minimise the time your home is on the market. Here’s everything you need to know about why home staging has become such a popular real estate strategy
Most home buyers will spend hours cruising property listings on the internet before they even set foot in an open home. As a result the need to create a memorable first online impression has never been more important when selling your home.
Many buyers are heavily influenced by online marketing. Homes need the instant appeal to snare that first click through to the listing, then quality visuals and videos that will deliver a result and encourage a physical visit to check out the property.
Once there, many people need to be given solid cues as to how the property will suit their lifestyle. Relying on people’s imaginations to fill in the blanks when it comes to tired, cluttered décor is not going to get the cut through you need to get a top price in a soft market.
All these factors point to why home staging is becoming an increasingly vital part of a vendor’s marketing strategy. Some people will have picture perfect homes with the latest in interior colours, finishes and furniture but most of us could do with a bit of a nudge when it comes to presenting our homes in their best light.
Home staging companies offer a variety of different services, from partial staging, to an interior consultation to advise what floor plan tweaks or minor jobs could be done to make a big difference, through to fully staging your home.
Effective home staging is not just about bringing in some on-trend furniture and accessories. A good team will work on important variables such as improving flow from one area to another, creating a unified design aesthetic, maximising light, de-cluttering and de-personalising rooms, and ensuring that furnishings are the appropriate size to enhance a feeling of space
Do your research
In city centres there are many home staging companies that offer a variety of options at a range of prices. It is worth doing some thorough research before choosing who will stage your home. It is an investment in marketing and will have an impact on the success of your sales process. Most will have a comprehensive website that shows examples of their work and give costs for various options.
Take note of how online presence compares between different companies – if the site is attractive, user-friendly, informative, with lots of portfolio examples it is an indication that they understand how to communicate effectively and will help you to do the same with potential buyers.
Find out how long they have been in business, length of experience of their consultants and if members of their team have recognised interior design qualifications. Ask what percentage of recent properties they have staged have sold within 4-6 weeks.
Some things to be aware of
Ask to see an extensive portfolio of homes they have staged, and different levels of staging. This will give you a good idea of their ability to highlight a home’s best features and the quality of their design advice, the standard of their inventory and what you get for various package options.
This can be a biggie. Some of the cheaper home staging companies will have a range of pretty standard furnishings and accessories. Others will have collections of furnishings, artworks, rugs, etc, which can give the wow factor.
This can account for the difference in prices for staging and hiring as some companies will have invested in high-quality designer pieces. You will need to check out the examples of the inventory each company offers and assess what is necessary to make the most of your property and what will give you the most cut through.
A designer will visit your home and spent a minimum of an hour assessing your property and give recommendations on presentation and the sort of staging packages they have to offer, and prices. Establish how long the consultation will be and what they charge for this service.
This presale advice should also include simple things you can do yourself to improve presentation such as de-cluttering spaces, storing away knick-knacks and personal items such as photographs, fridge magnets, etc.
Pick the right package
Once you have decided on a company and had a consultation make sure that you are presented with written package options. Most companies will have, for example, partial, standard, and full staging packages.
For partial, you can generally live in the home, some of your furniture will be used and items such as artworks, rugs and signature pieces of furniture will be used to dress your home.
Standard and full staging involves a lot more work, each room is usually covered and you will need to store your furniture.
For full staging areas such as bathrooms will be fully dressed, and everything from linens, soft furnishings, ceramics and accessories to books and magazines will be supplied to give a complete makeover. Some companies will even offer extra services such as having fresh flowers delivered and arranged every week.
Whatever package you decide on you will need documentation of everything that is being provided.
- List of rooms are being dressed (don’t forget to consider areas such as entranceways, offices and laundries)
- Inventory of everything that is being hired, total cost of hireage and extent of hireage time covered by the cost
- Ensure that extras such as freight, dressing, insurance, maintenance and removal are all covered in the fee. If your home site has difficult access make sure this has been taken into account.
If you are having full staging you will need to cover off costs for removal and storage of your furniture – some companies also offer this service so it is worth discussing these costs as part of your package.
Words by: Sarah Beresford. Photography: Helen Bankers, Daniel Allen, Helen Bankers, Helen Bankers, Rachel Dobbs, The Virtue, Helen Bankers.