A few years ago, all people did before getting the estate agent in and putting up the “For Sale” sign was to clean the lino and weed the front garden. However, more recently, the home stager has made some serious moves (and made some moves happen) in the UK property market. Like any service or feature that offers users an advantage, it’s hard to stop it spreading and before we know it, house staging will be part and parcel of putting a house on the market, just like weeding the garden.
What do home stagers actually do?
They work in a similar way to interior decorators, but they aim to make a place that’ll sell, rather than one that’ll be your home. They don’t focus on your tastes, but rather on a blank canvas that’ll appeal to the broadest audience.
This involves you removing most of your kitchen appliances, your clothes, your shampoos and your childrens’ toys. Everything that’s “you” has to go into hiding for a while.
The stager will take an objective look at your home and feed back to you with what you need to do to sell as quickly as possible. He or she will seek to bring out your home’s best features and either deal with its flaws or draw attention away from them. Tricks include replacing curtains with blinds if a room has an amazing view. They can also put you in touch with carpenters and painters, for example, and supervise their work.
Stagers will also help you to decide which items of furniture need to go into storage and which can stay. You may be encouraged to hire some furniture as well, if you’ve already moved, or if your existing pieces are looking a bit tired. Professional stagers have warehouses full of potted plants, matching bed linen sets, curtains and so on to give your house a new look.
Staging does have huge benefits
Hiring a stager works well in both fast and slow markets. In slow markets, buyers call the shots and in hot markets they can cluster around the very best houses – which should include yours. Staged homes stand out from the crowds and often sell for above the asking price.
Can you do it yourself?
If you have a show home style house already, then this will help, especially as some stagers will reduce their fees if they use your own pieces. However, there’s always more to be done – somewhere will need painting, contractors will have to be found and negotiated with, you’ll need to pick up seasonal table decorations and so on. This takes time and effort. Also, most stager fees add up to just one per cent of the eventual sale price, and if you’re attracting high offers because of the stager…well, do the maths.
By now you’ll have decided to go ahead with a stager! Make sure you select a well-recommended professional with a decent portfolio and a well-stocked warehouse of soft furnishings.
A collaborative post.