What is Home Staging?
Home staging is an emerging real-estate marketing niche service. Home Staging companies dress up homes up for the market in order to increase the perceived value of the property. It’s a lot more strategic than simply renting furniture to fill up the place. Contrary to what some might think, staging can be a strong tool for a wide range of homes, not just high end properties.
A study by realtor.org has found that 32% of buyers’ agents believe staged homes increase the dollar value of a property’s offers by 1-5%.
In Australia, it may cost you about $5000 dollars to get your whole house furnished for up to 8 weeks. Of course this can vary wildly, depending on the individual size, style, features and target market of the home. To put this into perspective, in one instance a single-bedroom apartment with a study sold for $35,000 beyond the expected price, attributed to clever home staging. That sale was achieved by furnishing and marketing the apartment as two-bedroom, by adding a queen bed and a wardrobe to the study, along with other furnishings.
While that might be a higher return than some other properties will see from using a home staging service, the added sale price isn’t the only benefit. The longer your property is on the market, the harder a sale can be. Home staging naturally gives homes a faster turnover, catching buyers’ eyes online and fostering an emotional attachment. Faster sales mean lower costs, so there’s a lot of value in these temporary fittings.
Tips for Home Staging
Other than changing the furniture or adding furniture (if the previous residents have already moved out) here’s a few tips that can help.
- Remove family photos and personal mementos. Home buyers want to imagine themselves in this house, not the current occupants. The current owners’ personal things are a distraction and may also make the place feel more cluttered. However walls can be adorned with generic art where necessary.
- Keep closets and storage spaces half empty. Whilst this keeps the lived-in feel, it also gives the illusion of more storage space, which can add value to the home. Things to remove include out-of-season clothes, unnecessary linen and towels, and expired or unattractively packaged food.
- Rent storage space to hide junk. Home staging is all about setting a tone; cosy country home, growing family in-betweener, bachelor-pad or otherwise. Getting rid of anything that doesn’t fit (such as whatever was removed from your storage spaces) will also declutter the home and make it look more spacious. As the home-owner is moving out soon, they can get started packing early. Placing their extra possessions in a storage unit will cost a fraction of the value this could potentially add to the sale price.
- Hire a professional cleaner. Get the carpets, walls, floors and everything else looking as clean as possible prior to the first showing.
- Replace permanently damaged carpets. Bad carpet is very noticeable, and good flooring can sometimes be a deal-breaker. Get it looking the best you can before you show anyone.
- Replace any failed light bulbs. Proper illumination is key to creating an inviting space. Working lights will also prove that the fittings are functional.
- Eliminate any bad smells. Ensure the residents don’t cook anything too fragrant when a showing time is approaching, especially fish! You might even like add a voucher to a local restaurant to their service package, just to get them out of the house the night before the showing. Additionally, the residents have indoor pets or smoke indoors, these will often need to be addressed. Baking soda and other pet cleaning products might help on the floors and couches, but a professional cleaner is a safer bet. You might like to use some ambient fragrances to help develop buyers’ emotional attachments. Just don’t overdo it!
- Clear bench space. Remove large coffee makers, mixers, toasters and any other sizeable appliances to keep kitchen benches looking as big and spacious as possible.