Taking Center Stage

Property styling, or 'home staging', is a selling technique vendors are using to achieve a faster sale, minimize price reductions and push up values.

Taking Center Stage
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Property styling, or ‘home staging’, is a selling technique vendors are using to achieve a faster sale, minimise price reductions and push up values. 

Developers do it, agents representing premium property insist on it and stores like Ikea and Freedom rely on it. ‘Home staging’ is synonymous with merchandising. It’s about styling a space to psychologically appeal to a target demographic to ultimately achieve top consumer dollar... and apparently, it works.

In a sellers’ market, some experts are describing as ‘lacklustre’, a competitive edge is required to achieve an optimum price, and renovation isn’t the only answer.

Boosting the sales price

The purpose of home staging is to glam up a house to emulate the pages of a stylish home magazine is a way to push up the price and buyer interest.

It can make a really big difference, price wise it can add $20,000 to $25,000 to an average sale price in comparison to a similar property on the market that’s unfurnished,  particularly so with inner-city properties.

It can also minimise price reductions currently happening in the marketplace. It is all emotion-based for owner-occupier buyers, based on what they see and feel in the first 30 seconds.

Neutralise, depersonalise and the wow factor

Sellers should seek to neutralise and depersonalise everything.  Get rid of the old trophies,, remove everything off the fridge, hide the electricity bills and any personal contact numbers, take down all the photos of the grandchildren because that makes people feel awkward and just pack it all away because everyone wants to think they are buying something new.

Decluttering the house is important. You also need to consider which way buyers would walk through the house and remove anything that becomes an obstacle.

Home staging is about taking the techniques of depersonalising and decluttering to the next stage by adding display furniture and furnishings to evoke a certain emotion.

Other tips for sellers include inexpensive cosmetic changes that give a little wow factor such as: changing the kitchen cabinet knobs or handles, adding a new mailbox, installing new blinds or curtains,replacing the kitchen appliances if they are really outdated or on their last legs, oiling a deck, mulching the gardens, cutting back hedges or plants to give the yard a more spacious appearance, placing plants in pots around the outside of the house, or ditching the feature wall and either dressing it up with a fashion piece or adding wall storage or a bookshelf instead.

To maximise your sale, a holistic approach is important when preparing the property for the market. Home staging should be tied in with low-cost upgrade techniques to boost the sale price.  If there's no furniture and furnishings, minor things like cracks or peeling wallpaper become glaringly noticeable.  Any obvious maintenance issues can have a big effect on the buyer so important to fix those up.

People are buying a lifestyle, not just a house.  If nothing to gauge against if their king size bed will fit in a room then it makes it harder for them to imagine living there.


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