Staging is all about getting your home ready to go on the market in order to appeal to the widest audience and ultimately to sell quickly and for the best price. It involves a lot of hard work, a fair amount of time but actually doesn’t have to cost anything at all because it’s all about being able to see your home through the eyes of a potential buyer.
But let’s start with what staging isn’t.
It isn’t about painting everything magnolia and removing the soul from your home
It isn’t about baking bread, whipping up a cake or brewing coffee (but don’t get me wrong, a home that smells pleasant is a hit!)
And it certainly isn’t about expecting a hoard of potential buyers to clamber through the door desperate to make an offer on the home you’ve lived in for the past 20 years just because you’ve cleaned the windows, finally got round to fixing that annoying dripping the bathroom tap and put a for sale sign out the front.
During a staging consultation (this is my initial meeting with a vendor once they have contacted me for advice) I often use the analogy of what we do when we’re selling a car; this would be MOT’d, serviced, valeted and looking its best but sometimes we don’t do this with our most valuable asset and do you know what? I get it.
I get that you’ve lived in your home a long time, made lots of memories and you love it ‘just as it is’.
I get that to make the changes you would really like would be really expensive and there’s no point when you’re moving.
I get that you’ve collected so much clutter over the years you can’t face sorting through it now so you’ll wait til the house sells.
I get that having to hoover up and tidy up before viewings is stressful and that all you want to do is kick your shoes off and crash out on the sofa in your new home.
And I get that the thought of having to pack everything up once the house sells sends you into a cold sweat so the thought of having to do anything before then is just a big fat ‘No’.
And guess what? I bet you’re expecting me to tell you that staging will make everything better, well here’s the truth. Staging involves time and effort, it can be stressful and friends and family may well ask why on earth you’re bothering, BUT it works. Just because you love your home and have always loved it doesn’t automatically mean that other people will. Start viewing properties you like the look of and look at what you notice - you’ll be far more objective if not rather critical when looking at other people’s homes. The key is to be able to cast this ‘critical’ eye over your own home and make the necessary changes.
Today’s buyers are savvy; they know how much properties in your street are worth and like you they’re also very busy people which means they’ll be prepared to pay more for a similar property they can simply move into, kick off their shoes and put their own personal stamp on at their leisure.
Dealing with clutter now (as well as those maintenance issues you’ve been avoiding) will save you heaps of time when it gets round to moving day; you won’t be paying to move ‘stuff’ you no longer need and you’ll have created more space making everywhere feel brighter and lighter. Viewing days will be less of a chore because you’ll have already done the hard work and you’ll feel more positive and in control of the whole process.