We get the lowdown on property staging by investor and staging expert, Natasha Collier, owner of Dressing Rooms Home Staging.
Property staging is one of the best ways to make the most out of your home. At first glance it actually seems quite simple – furnish and accessorise a house to effectively create a showhome look and feel. Basically inject the extra WOW factor that gets it turning heads.
But don’t be fooled. Property staging is more complex than you think. It comes in various types…
- Physical property staging is the classic service which involves fully furnishing a vacant home, usually for sale.
- Occupied property staging is a service which improves the overall look of a home that’s currently occupied. This could be changing the layout, artwork, adding certain pieces or removing clutter. Basically getting the house looking its best while the owner still lives there.
- Virtual property staging is a new innovation, which involves digitally furnishing and accessorising photos. The photos of the empty room are altered and virtual furniture is added to give it that show-home look. Although it’s easy to be sceptical at first, the results are extremely realistic!
The reason staging a property is such a popular choice for sellers, is because of its potential to add HUGE value to a home. For instance, over in the States, a lot of realtors there won’t even consider selling a house that hasn’t been properly staged. Although in the UK, it’s still very much a growing trend that’s at the moment, on the rise. Definitely one to watch out for in 2021!
Ask Natasha and the main benefit of property staging is that it helps to immediately catch a buyer’s attention: “Great photos, a gorgeous design and bright colours draw the eye” she says, “and remember, buying is an emotional decision. People are going to have stronger feelings towards a beautiful showhome than an empty grey box. Why do you think all newbuilds are staged?”
“Not only does property staging make your home stand out from the crowd, but it also helps viewers imagine the space properly. No criticism to viewers but they’re not great at visualising an end product. They need to see it, touch it, feel it and recognise the space for what it is.”
If you want to sell your property for the best possible price, you must first entice buyers through the door and then be able to captivate them once inside. A technique property staging will help you do. Here’s 5 key elements for you to focus on:
Staging The Key Rooms
By far the most important rooms in the house are the kitchen and bathroom. They sell the house and that’s where buyers will make their decision, so it makes sense that you prioritise these rooms. Adding some accessories in the kitchen and towels in the bathroom can make a real difference.
Colourful Property Staging
One thing to remember is to keep the colours in your house fairly neutral, otherwise you risk it being too niche and putting some buyers off. Adding pops of colour with accessories is a much safer way for you to do so. You’re best picking one or two colours and sticking with them throughout the entire house to create a sense of continuity.
Teal cushions on crisp white sheets work really well in a bedroom, especially if you tie it in with splashes of blue or maybe a few teal vases. Don’t overdo it of course, minimalism is key here, but make sure there’s enough for it to stand out. Do it correctly and the more viewers you should attract online and in person, which hopefully leads to those higher offers!
Plants are the perfect property staging accessory! They add colour, texture and arguably make a room feel more calming. Foliage is used best on coffee tables, windowsills, bedside tables and on landings, because there’s that many plants out there, that it’s usually pretty easy to find one that doesn’t take up too much room. Just one word of warning. If you’re going to use real plants, make sure someone will be around to care for them. Better no plants at all than a dead one!
Property Staging Needs Good Photography
Once you’ve staged your home, ideally you want to use a professional photographer. That way you can capture your fully staged property at its best. Natasha would recommend using a pro 100% of the time.
As she says “I’ll never understand why some developers spend so much on a refurb but then skimp out on the cost of photography! You might have the most appealing house in the area, but if your pictures don’t say that, then few people will ever view it. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.”
If going pro isn’t an option though, then make sure there’s plenty of light. If not, get a couple of standing lights to illuminate each room. Use wide angle lenses so you capture every last bit of your property staging.
TIP: Keep the camera horizontal and don’t take from a low or high angle. Chest height usually does the trick.
Be Sure To Set Aside A Property Staging Budget
Property staging is the icing on the cake. It’s the secret ingredient to accentuating every inch of a great refurb. Yes, you could do it yourself, but then you have to of course factor in logistics like the cost of storing and transporting the furniture, as well as buying it in the first place. And by going without it, you could be throwing money away.
Having an on trend house simply isn’t enough these days. If no one can imagine where the furniture will go or how they could live there, it’s likely that its potential won’t be reached on the open market. Often houses that have not opted for property staging find themselves being reduced, due to a lack of interest. If you want to get the absolute best out of your property, investing in a property staging team can be a great idea.
If from what you’ve read, property staging sounds appealing, but you don’t want the hassle of sourcing, storing and setting up the furniture, get in touch with a professional staging company like Natasha’s. Most will install the furniture, leave it with you for 6-8 weeks and then take it away once you’ve sold. A great options for homeowners and investors alike.
Myles is a first class ‘word nerd’ currently working at the heart of the property industry. He’s particularly passionate about all-things property, interiors and D.I.Y.
Be sure to connect with him via LinkedIn.