We recently reported figures from Rightmove that suggest confidence in the housing market is growing, with asking prices set to reach an all-time high in the coming months. In order to maximise your chances of actually pocketing these prices, it’s important your house stands out.
In the US many have sought the help of professional home staging services to help bring homes up to their full potential. Although some experts assert that the cost of repeated asking price reductions will nearly always outweigh the cost of hiring a stager, many people will still be unwilling to take that risk. Here, we’ll provide our top tips on how to recreate ‘the stager effect’ yourself.
A stager knows your home’s target market, and this is key; by gaining a full understanding of who is most likely to be buying your home, you know who you are trying to make it appeal to right from the start. While you may think you have an idea, the easiest way to make sure is by asking your estate agent.
A stager will also know what’s selling in your price range. Do your research, look what’s being sold within your asking price bracket and decipher why you would choose the ones that stand out. Again, try asking your estate agent; they’ll be happy to give you some advice on the most sellable features for your target audience.
You can then go about recreating these features in your house, aiming for inexpensive but popular options. For instance, if your target market is attracted to modern kitchens then consider simply switching to a modern laminate worktop from an affordable supplier like Wren Kitchens. You’ll be surprised how much impact a small change can make.
As well as adding improvements, it’s also crucial to emphasise the house’s current assets. For instance, if a certain window has a great view then consider removing any blinds, or highlight the space of a particularly large room by doing away with any bulky furniture.
Stagers will have an array of contractors at hand because they realise even small issues can make or break a sale. Take the time to note down any defects –exposed pipes or cracks for instance – and weigh up the negative perceptions these may cause against the cost of having them fixed.
Another main benefit a home stager provides is a fresh set of eyes. In some way you will no doubt be attached to your house, seeing your style and the memories you’ve had as opposed to the set of tick-boxes a buyer will see. In order to recreate this blank canvas effect, start by removing your belongings, then thoroughly clean the house and paint all the walls in a neutral, welcoming colour.
With your belongings removed, you’ll find it easier to put them back in the most picture-perfect positions. If you decide your furniture, artwork or appliances aren’t suitable to appeal to your home’s target market then put these items into storage – you might also want to try asking close friends or family if you can borrow their ornaments to complete the look.
Be on the lookout for inspiration and don’t be afraid to experiment. Keep on editing your home – a small unusable corner might become a reading nook, or you might find moving a mirror adds metres to a room. Remember, you’ve already made the decision to move out, so don’t be afraid if the house starts to lose the character you’ve put in to it – you’re simply making room for the next owner to embed theirs.