Staging a property for sale….is it really worth it?

I’m often asked by sellers: is it worth getting my property staged ahead of putting it on the market?

Staging (or styling) can take the form of partial or full staging, depending on what is required. Some companies will be happy to add some touches to an environment to freshen it up – be it some articles of furniture and some ornaments, and work with what you have already (eg. keep your couch but add the throw cushions, or use your beds with their bed linen and lamps) – which can often be sufficient to give the property the desired effect. The other option is to kit out the whole house (happens when a property is empty/vacated), bringing everything to fully furnish a property including dining settings, rugs, outdoor furniture and artwork. Some companies offer a virtual service, that is, superimpose images of furniture/items into an empty dwelling to give the buyer a sense of where furniture could go. Pricing for a physical staging a property is generally done on a 4-week minimum basis plus insurance, with discounts offered where the property sells in less than this initial period.

4 main things to consider when you’re at this step in the marketing of your property:

  • Photos attract buyers – if `love at first sight’ exists in the property world, it is often because of the photos on the web. A lovely pik encouraging feelings of comfort or a lifestyle image is enough to pack the tribe into the car and schlep across town to check out a home open between soccer and ballet, whether house hunting or not;
  • Clutter is a killer – if prospective buyers can’t envisage themselves (or their own clutter) in a place, it makes it very difficult to seriously consider buying it. Important to remember, when people are looking at a property to purchase it is generally because something needs to change in their current lifestyle, and generally that `something’ is space related. A minimalist, well-arranged environment brings a promise of an uncomplicated and organised future;
  • De-personalising a space is another lure for universal attraction – a gorgeous candle or vase of flowers can make it much easier to identify with a space than school photos of the owners’ 11 grand kids or dusty autographed Eagles premiership picture;
  • Playing to the property’s existing décor is a skill, and an objective professional (with a warehouse of on-trend furniture and objet d’art) is in a far better position to assess whether Aunt Betty’s old couch and a Lonely Planet Guide for every country you’ve ever been to, really screams “BUY ME!” to those scrolling through the property listings. So if you do decide to engage someone for advice, you need to trust that they know best.

So does staging a home increase the sale price? It’s tricky to put a statistic on it, but the empirical evidence suggests that presenting your property in its best possible light, appealing to the preferences of the widest possible buyer group, and driving as much traffic through your home opens as possible, can only be considered an investment, however you choose to do it 😊

* Thankyou to @codelimephotography for the feature image, and @740designs who transformed these 2 properties in West Leederville and Leederville recently for me (both of which sold in the first week!). 😊

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