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The Art of Home Staging (and a free gift for you)

Are you selling or renting a house? Why home staging could be the key to your success.

What on earth is home staging, I hear you ask? Well, home staging is the art of making properties look their absolute best, ready for sale or rental. Home staging is all about marketing and presentation. It’s about how a property looks, and most importantly in the current world how it photographs and how it looks online. And of course, home staging is not just about residential property, it is just as important if not more so for Airbnb and holiday lets.

It is true that at the time of writing there is a hold on selling or exchanging contracts, and the holiday let market is also at a standstill due to current restrictions. However, all the signs suggest that when restrictions are lifted, the pent-up demand in the system will kick right back in. This means that now is the perfect opportunity to get your house “sale ready”.

Even if there is a fall in house prices, there will always be people who want or need to move to a new house. Estate agents are already reporting an increase in traffic to online portals like Rightmove. Lots of property companies are now offering virtual tours as standard. In fact, a good friend of mine just bought a house in Australia without ever seeing it in real life – all her viewings had been conducted via Zoom!

And when restrictions start to be lifted people will still want to go on holiday – in fact, it’s possible that staycations or holidays in the UK will become even more important, either just as a matter of preference or because foreign travel will continue to be restricted. So, if you own a holiday let this is a great opportunity to restyle and refresh it ready for the 2020/21 season.

So it looks like home staging will become even more important in selling or renting properties, because in a buyers’ market it will be more of a challenge to make your property stand out from all the others. If your property looks tired and cluttered, if the purpose of rooms is not clear, if it does not have “kerb appeal” from the outside then it simply will be that much harder to sell or rent.

The thing is that home staging is much more than just giving a place a spruce up and keeping it tidy for viewings. Essentially what we are doing when we stage a house is creating a vision. It’s not just about the house, it’s about the lifestyle. And that lifestyle is aspirational – so when you see the house you see yourself in it living the life you would really like to have!

Think about how property developers use show homes to sell their houses – an empty box, no matter how lovely, will not sell as well as a stylish, beautifully presented home. Notice how they use little touches like accessories or a carefully arranged coffee table, to make you think hmm, what a lovely place to sit and drink coffee, or have your friends round for a BBQ, or enjoy a glass of wine in the evening. It’s all about capturing the viewers imagination. (It doesn’t matter if that’s not actually how you normally live day to day!)

So what does home staging entail? The first step in home staging is to do a walk through the entire house, starting outside, coming in through the front door and then literally through every room in turn. When we look at a house in this way we are seeing it for the first time, with totally fresh eyes. So we will notice all the little things that you may not notice just because you live in it all the time.

We can see what needs decluttering, what needs rearranging, what could be disguised and what could be emphasised. We look at each room in turn, does it have a clear purpose, is it appealing, could it be better presented. You would be amazed what can be achieved for very little cost. Although sometimes we might suggest a coat of paint or a new carpet, often it’s easy to make a room look totally different just by rearranging the furniture, perhaps repurposing items from other rooms, changing the accessories around, and so on.

We have had some great results. One client said:

“Sue and Claire…were a great help in getting me to focus on what to keep and what to throw, how to store stuff I did want to keep and what to do with things surplus to requirements. They also helped me present the house in its best possible light, so the photographs in the house sale brochure showed it off at its best”

In fact, the estate agents photographer told us how much easier it was for him to take great publicity shots because we had already got the house looking so photogenic – all clutter out of sight, accessories carefully organised.

At the end of the day if you are trying to sell (or rent) a property you want to achieve that quickly and for the best possible return. The longer a house stays on the market, the harder it will be to sell due to “viewing fatigue”. When there are 100’s of holiday cottages to choose from across the Cotswolds, achieving that “wow factor” could be the difference between full occupancy and a diary full of empty weeks. So, home staging is a small investment now to help you make more profit in the future.

So, having explained what home staging is and how it works, we would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a great special offer we have available.

Since we cannot currently visit you in person, we are offering a limited number of virtual home staging consultations for just £50 each.

Each consultation starts with a Zoom or Skype call for you to tell us all about your property and what you hope to achieve. You can take us on a virtual tour using your mobile phone just as if we were there in person. You can also send us photos and floor plans, even videos if you like.

Following the consultation, we will send you a detailed report outlining all our key recommendations, room by room, so that you have an action plan to work to.

We think this gives you a great way for you to get a head start on your home sale or property renovation project. You can get your property listed online now so that when the market opens you are already ahead of the game and looking fabulous.

If you are interested in taking us up on this offer, why not give us a call or message us on social media so we can set something up. We look forward to hearing from you!

In the meantime, remember that free gift we mentioned? Just use this link to sign up for your FREE Home Staging Checklist to get you started on your own home staging project.

Best Wishes

Claire & Sue

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