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Lifestyle, Homes

Stage it to Sell it

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Home staging makes a home more appealing to a higher number of potential buyers, helping a property sell more swiftly and for more money. Creating beautiful, functional, and personalised interiors that create a lifestyle for the owner or buyer, home staging can not only create an emotional connection for prospective purchasers but increases the probability of securing a quick sale for the best possible price.

Elaine Penhaul, founder of Lemon & Lime Interiors, a nationwide home staging firm gives OX Homes is a firm believer in the role staging can play in realising the full potential of your home:

“Staging should be an integral aspect of every homeowners strategy to sell. It is one of the most valuable, and underused, differentiators to help homeowners to achieve the all-important fast sale with a great offer. Every home can benefit from a few tweaks before the photographer arrives. These don’t have to cost anything. Most professional stagers will even offer some free tips to enable a seller to do some work themselves. However, if a home is messy, smelly, dated or just tired then a good staging business will be able to co-ordinate tradespeople quickly to do any decorating or repairs to benefit the sale. They will then be able to advise on furniture and accessory placement and rent any additional furniture that may be necessary to enhance the space.”

Elaine’s Top Five Tips to Help Sell Your Home   

Step 1. Declutter and De-personalise

Decluttering is one of the most important steps when staging a home. Buyers are often expected to see past clutter, but this can drastically slow down the selling process and decrease the property’s perceived value. By presenting the house as untidy and apparently uncared for, potential buyers will quickly assume that it is not well-maintained, which will be reflected in any offers received.

When a buyer chooses a home, they want to envision their own belongings placed within it. While selling a home can be an emotional process, de-personalising it can assist a seller to start that process of ‘letting go’. Tidying away children’s toys and play areas, ornaments, family photographs and portraits, plus any other collectables that might not suit another buyer’s taste, is an important start to the moving process.

Step 2. Ensure the space is well-utilised

We often find that in every home there are ‘redundant’ spaces. The second sitting room, a cellar, an extra bedroom. If a space is too big it can often overwhelm buyers so you should look to fill the space with the right sized furniture (home stagers would do this via a furniture rental service).

Equally, sometimes redundant rooms have been used as a dumping ground for clutter or even boxes ahead of a planned move. This prevents viewers from seeing these rooms as another asset to their new home. A bedroom without a bed will appear smaller than it is. A box room used for ironing will not feel as though it could possibly be an appealing home office. Ensuring every room has a function targeted to the buyer market will create a faster sale with higher offers.

With more buyers also looking for a property that can accommodate their working from home needs, it’s even more important to stage and showcase the dynamics of a room for multiple purposes. Highlight selling points such as close-away desk units inside of cupboards and ensure spaces are efficiently lit to bring light to rooms which lack natural light sources – this can really transform a rooms appeal.

Step 3: Spruce up your exterior furnishings and add value

Unappealing exteriors can very much lose a sale before the buyer has even set foot through the door. Placing an emphasis on exterior work can make your property the envy of the neighbourhood and create curb appeal.

Old wooden frames can look tired and weathered after a long period of time. While new windows can cost anywhere between £500-£3,000 per window and a front door could cost up to £2,000, you could spray your existing exterior timber with a lick of paint to give a new lease of life and possibly add up to £10,000 to your house value.

Add a tasteful pop of colour to your front door; earthy greens and calming blues are synonymous with nature and homeliness, making these are popular colour choice for homeowners this year. Ensuring the colour resonates with the other exterior fittings and the period of the property is key however and could increase the value of your property by thousands.

Step 4: Paint interior walls, fixtures and fittings

Many vendors are concerned about the cost of home improvements made ahead of sale and these jobs can sometimes delay getting property to market. On average, though, if the DIY was to be carried out by the occupier then jobs like painting a room, refreshing old tiles, or even replacing those exterior windows and doors could cost anything from the price of a pot of paint, but the return could be significantly higher.

Look out for these telltale signs that your paintwork needs addressing:

  • Paint is chipped, cracked or stained (on walls, radiators, doors etc)
  • The colour pallet doesn’t appeal to buyers
  • The window frames darken the room
  • The paint on your doors, skirtings and fittings is discoloured
  • The exterior paintwork clashes with the other houses in the area
  • The paintwork seems to have mould or mildew

Try not to do ‘patch’ cover-ups on your internal walls, these rarely look right as the rest of the colour is likely to have faded over time. Go for a neutral colour pallet, such as whites and beiges, greys, and earthy greens which will help make rooms feel more spacious and assist potential buyers in envisioning the space as their own.

Ceilings don’t tend to be the first thing buyers see in a home, but often this means they go untouched for long periods of time – accumulating cobwebs, or even old leak stains that have failed to be fixed.

Painting a ceiling could in effect open up or reduce the size of a space depending on the desired effect. A brightening paint can help light bounce around the room, whereas darker colours will make the ceiling feel lower. If you have existing watermarks or stains you’ll need to cover this beforehand with a stain blocker as emulsion won’t cover over these.

Step 5: Consider art rental

Art makes a home more human. Breathing life into a room, it is more than just an aesthetic – it’s about understanding people’s behaviours and evoking an emotion in the potential buyer – that’s what sells. Art can be the guiding framework of a room, assisting the overall layout for placing furniture, maximising the space available and creating a focal colour scheme which ultimately sets the ambience and feeling of a space. Introduce art as a tool to make your home more appealing, taking shapes, colour and themes to guide the rest of your space, ensuring the entire home feels more cohesive.

How much could staging cost me and for what return?

When a property is well-staged it often appears more attractive, inviting and ‘move-in ready’. Buyers can see themselves living in a well-organised, aesthetically pleasing space which can lead them to see the property at a higher value.

Lemon and Lime have staged a large number of properties which have achieved a quick sale with an offer as much as 15% higher than a similar unstaged home. The current average time for our clients to achieve an acceptable offer is 21 days against a national average of 66 days.

The cost of staging can vary considerably depending on what work is required at the property. There are a number of considerations (such as square footage, house value and location) which can have a bearing on the actual figure. To give a guide, a good declutter and style ahead of professional photos being taken, can cost anything up to 0.5% of the property guide price. A part-furnish, usually applied when rooms don’t have the right furniture or when part of the furniture has gone because of a relocation or a separation, tends to be around 1% of the guide price. Fully furnishing an empty home is likely to cost roughly 1.5% of the guide price.

lemonandlimeinteriors.co.uk | 01332987740

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