Home staging is a relatively new concept, but it has taken over the globe. (That’s why you see new home design companies sprouting up like weeds on the streets of the Greater Sydney area.) Today, real estate selling agents almost always advise sellers to invest in home staging before their property is even listed for sale. Why? Because styling properties works to get houses sold quickly.
Home staging was born in the minds of real estate developers. When a developer had an entire subdivision of houses to sell, it occurred to them that if they created a ‘model home’ complete with furnishings and window treatments the vacant homes would sell better. They were absolutely right.
Vacant homes may look bright and fresh and new, but the average buyer can’t relate to empty houses. They are not sure where to put the entertainment centre or Grannie’s sewing machine. When a house becomes a “model home” it shines brighter. Thus the service of home design came into being.
Lest you are confused, home staging professionals do totally different work than interior designers do. Interior designers are tasked with making a home reflect the personalities of their owners. If the homeowner is a big game hunter, the interior designer will probably use lots of animal prints and safari imagery.
An expert at property styling, on the other hand, does pretty much the opposite. A stager’s job is to eliminate the idea that anybody had ever lived in the property. A home design professional will wipe away all evidence that the homeowner liked the colour turquoise in the bathroom or muted blue in the living room. Why?
Your sales team, including your selling agent and your home stager, want to present the house to buyers as one in which they can put their own personalities and lifestyles on display. The charge of a property stylist is to make the house look both neutral and sensational at the same time. No mean feat. Yet they do it every day in ways that make property prices soar and buyers line up to make offers on every beautifully staged home.
Some people think that selling a vacant, unfurnished home ought to be easier. It isn’t. Not only do vacant houses bewilder potential buyers, they get written off that “must see” list. Nobody wants to look confused, after all. Once they are passed over, they are permanently crippled in the world of real estate sales.
A house that stays on the market for even a matter of weeks simply gets discarded in the minds of buyers. “Oh. I looked at that one online, and it is okay. But there must be something wrong with it since it hasn’t sold in three whole weeks.” It’s not a fair judgement, but such inequities happen every day in the real estate world.
Spending the time and the money to have your house at its most beautiful and inviting before it is listed for sale is the best way to avoid a long wait on the market. Not only do professionally staged homes appear more beautiful in listing photos, they also stir the hearts of selling agents.
People who make their livings selling real estate get positively giddy over a really well staged home. Agents show the house, and show the house, and show it again. They will happily concentrate their efforts on a house that’s bound to sell quickly. It’s simply a good business decision – we fish where the fish are, right? An investment in professional staging improves your chances of a quick sale dramatically.
So, creating an inviting vision of “happily ever after” can generate great interest among buyers today. Buyers are looking for a new house that fits with their vision and their goals for the rest of their lives. Usually, buying a new house is associated with steps upward on the ladder to success. Making a house look the part is tricky, which is precisely why a stager who understands what motivates buyers can make your sale more lucrative.
It seems that styling properties is here to stay. Don’t think of this as an added expense, property styling almost always pays for itself. Instead, think of it as a way to increase your sale price and minimise your home’s time on the market.