How To Stage A House For Sale

Tips For Getting The Best Price

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When it comes to selling a property, making sure it stands out by creating the perfect first impression is essential. After all, aside from price and location, how a property is ‘packaged’ is arguably the most important factor when purchasing a new home, and when this is done well it naturally leads to quicker sales and higher offers. This is where ‘home staging’ comes in.

With the ultimate aim of creating a 'picture-perfect home' that will help to ensure your property appeals to as many potential buyers as possible - pushing up the potential price you achieve in the process - staging has become ever more important in recent years as the housing market continues to grow increasingly competitive.

However, what does home staging actually mean, should it be used for both occupied and unoccupied properties, and how do you go about it? Here at Chill Insurance, we’ve put together this handy guide to tell you everything you need to know to staging a house for sale.

What Is Staging A House?

So much more than simply preparing your property for sale, the art of house staging encompasses everything from deep cleaning each room and completing small repairs you may have been putting off, to decluttering and even redecorating your property, sometimes with the help of professionals. As touched upon above, the aim of this is to make sure your home is presented in the best light possible when potential buyers are invited to view the property, highlighting its best features and showing the full potential the house has going forward. When done well, house staging can make your home appear larger, brighter and more appealing than ever before. It is even thought this practice can add as much as 10 per cent to the value of your home.

What is so important to remember when putting a property on the market is that you are not selling your home to potential buyers, you are selling their future home. While you may think the way your home currently looks, filled with personal effects and other homely items, would help to present the image of a home potential buyers would want, the truth is, a property is much more likely to sell if you display it as a blank canvas. This, in a nutshell, is what staging a house involves - making small, often temporary, modifications to your home to allow buyers to see your property in the best possible light and to mentally project their own futures into it. While it may sound basic, this simple process can make a huge difference to both the speed you sell your home and the price you get for it.

Why Stage A House?

Although house staging is a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland, across Europe and in the US it has been a common practice for decades. Indeed, when you actually look at the reasons why it is done and the many benefits it can bring during the selling process, this is really no surprise. These benefits include:

Better First Impressions

According to regulated property buyers, Good Move, potential buyers spend just 16.5 minutes viewing a property. This means your home has to do the talking by creating the perfect first impression. Staging a home can help achieve this.

Quicker Sales

A staged home will spend, on average, 73 per cent less time on the market compared to one that hasn’t been staged.

Higher Sale Price

According to the International Home Staging Survey 2018, 85 per cent of staged homes sold for between six and 25 per cent more than unstaged homes.

How To Stage A House

There are many aspects to staging a house, and how to go about doing it may depend on the current condition of your property and how able you are to complete any necessary staging work yourself. While you can always employ a professional staging company to help prepare your home for the market, this option can be expensive. However, depending on the time and skills you have, you may be able to do some of these tasks by yourself. See our short checklist below for everything you need to do in order to successfully stage your house.

1. Create Kerb Appeal

First impressions can be made even before a potential buyer has set foot inside your home. Ensure viewers fall in love with your property from the moment they pull up outside by cutting your front lawn (if you have one), weeding your driveway, and adding some flowers. If your home needs it, you could also paint your front door, clean all your windows and remove any old curtains to ensure your home looks clean and welcoming.

2. Create Space

As discussed above, creating a blank canvas for potential buyers is essential when selling your home. The easiest way to do this is to declutter and remove everything that is not essential to create a minimal and clean look. This may include removing personal items that are on display, as well as some, if not all, family ornaments. Bookshelves, coffee tables and kitchen surfaces should also be clutter-free.

3. Clean

A deep clean of your entire house is a vital part of staging a home successfully. This can be hard to stay on top of if you are still living in your home while it’s on the market. However, whether you do it yourself or employ professional help, windows, floors and tiles should all sparkle and carpets, sofas and all other soft furnishings should be dirt and odour-free. Research has also shown that the smell of vanilla-scented candles and home baking can also help during viewings.

4. Neutral Colours

While we are not saying you will need to completely redecorate your home in order to successfully stage it, rooms that feature a neutral colour scheme are thought to help make your property more appealing to potential buyers. With this in mind, consider re-painting walls that display dark, bold colours, and replacing matts and rugs that feature dark or heavy patterns. Replacing them with neutral tones such as white, grey or beige can help to create that ‘blank canvas’ we discussed earlier, and ensure your property is remembered in the minds of potential buyers as a home they can put their own stamp on.

5. Lighting

In a similar vein, the light your home is viewed in can make a huge difference. Good lighting - both in terms of natural light from windows and well placed artificial lighting - can create a warm and welcoming environment. On the other hand, poor lighting makes for a potentially dark and uninviting first impression. Before viewings, ensure any broken bulbs and light fittings have been replaced, and all curtains and blinds are open.

Staging your home can be time consuming and expensive if you’re not careful. However, if you follow our handy guidelines, remain patient and put the time and effort in, you will reap the rewards when it comes to putting your property on the market.