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HomeStagersTODAY lifts the lid on property staging and shares the secrets the professionals use, debunking some of the myths that you think should work. We explain what IS a home stager ? and share the tricks of the trade.
"Property staging" is the term now widely used to describe the action of getting your home ready for sale by ensuring the presentation is the best it can be.
For many home sellers and Estate Agents the concept of "professional property staging" is being increasingly recognised and used to effectively promote and market a home in the property selling marketplace.
While Estate Agents are experts in the field of selling houses and closing the sale, many are not design savvy. Estate Agents usually know exactly what factors can help sell a home but it's not always that easy to get a home into selling condition in a timely manner without some sort of experienced and professional assistance. That’s where professional stylists can really help.
Professional stylists are practiced in the art of preparing a home for resale. They work with the "flow" of a home, eliminate clutter, edit out and re-arrange furniture, and even assist in enhancing drive by appeal.
The estate agent industry often stresses that the first impression is the key factor in selling your home. Typically, a potential buyer has made up their mind ten seconds after they step in the front door. They were already forming an opinion as they pulled up outside. That really doesn't leave too much room for not getting it right first time. Each viewing should lead to a potential offer. If it doesn't, it's another viewing wasted and another potential buyer lost. To achieve the greatest possible outcome a home should always be presented at its best from day one.
Each profession has it’s own tricks of the trade but property staging is not about painting the walls white, putting a pot of coffee on and using a ¾ sized bed in the bedroom, oh no, if you want to really learn what’s behind the scenes of a professionally staged property, then read on.
Lighting is a key ingredient to any property. You don’t see many dark show houses for sale now do you. New builders ALWAYS have all the lights on. Good lighting, inset spot lights, task lights and soft ambient bedside lighting. This is possibly the most cost effective way to make over any room.
Using mirrors can really increase the amount of natural light in any area. Used particularly in dark hallways and over the fireplace of a lounge. No fireplace, then by adding a floating shelf or console table with a mirror over, you can create a focal point when there is none.
Developers often put in a ¾ sized bed to their bedrooms, but you really don’t have to go that far if space is limited. By using a metal framed bed, you can open up the space visually rather than using a solid divan, which can look too ‘blocky’ as you can’t see around it or through it.
Many home sellers I have met just throw the bed covers over their bed in the morning and their bed linen often looks tired and uninviting. For a small investment buy new duvet covers, but make sure you buy new pillows too. We call it ‘pancake - pillow’ in the trade. It describes that ‘flat as a pancake’ look, so familiar in so many bedrooms across the land.
One of the BIG mistakes I see from would be DIYers who think they can stage a property themselves is removing EVERYTHING and going too minimal. There is a knack of using accessories to create balance and tying a room together. We use a principle of 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and 5’s. On a single shelf it should never have more than that on it, depending on the size of the object and the length of the shelf. It’s amazing what a few cushions and a co-ordinated rug can do when teamed up with a vase or lamp and a picture or two, sporting the same accent colour.
Flooring is very important to the flow of a property and the easiest trick is to have the same, plain coloured carpet throughout. Having different colours in each room is to be avoided as this just chops the space up in to little pieces. Never put carpet in the wet areas though. Still today, new build developers do this. It’s such a ‘no no’. Cushion flooring or ceramic tiles every time.
Most of the homes I see are lived in and that means lots of stuff. But what is too much? Try to keep the window and the door ways clear. People like to move from the door to the window easily. Make sure wardrobes are behind the door away from the window where possible. Badly positioned wardrobes can be the single biggest problem which makes a bedroom look small.
Talking of space and the flow between window and door, NEVER use a coffee table. I know some show homes do use them but if you think about the fact that people often view a house in pairs if not in families then you need as much floor space as possible, so remove the obstacle of the coffee table. If you need to tie the room together, use a rug. It’s much softer on the shins.
There are often a few jobs which you’ve just not got around to doing. Well get around to it. It could be replacing a door, to fitting a new light fitting or re-hanging the gate or fixing the fence. It really does need to be done if you are to present your property like the professionals.