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Antony Antoniou – Luxury Property Expert

Staging your home to sell

Staging your home to sell

Boosting Home Sales: The Power of Property Staging in a Challenging Market

In the ever-evolving world of real estate, where a seller’s market can swiftly turn into a buyer’s market, homeowners are getting creative to entice potential buyers. Whether you’re binge-watching the glamorous transformations on Netflix’s hit show “Selling Sunset” or haven’t yet deciphered the allure of throw pillows, one thing is clear – selling a house in today’s market requires innovative strategies.

The Current Real Estate Landscape

Homes are languishing on the market for longer periods, and even owners of high-end properties (£1 million and above) are grappling with the need to make their homes more appealing. Enter the trend of property staging – a concept that has migrated from the US, with its real estate spectacle, to places like the UK and France. Staging involves employing professionals to adorn homes with stylish furniture, artwork, and soft furnishings, and to offer guidance on paint selections for everything from window frames to front doors.

A Struggle in the Housing Market

Statistics from Rics’ UK residential market survey of estate agents reveal a somber reality: house price declines in July were the most widespread since 2009. The sales slump recorded in the same month was eerily reminiscent of the downturn witnessed in 2007. As homeowners and agents alike scramble to combat this stagnation, property staging has emerged as an alluring strategy – but not without its own considerations.

Understanding Home Staging

While real estate agents have historically advised sellers to reconfigure their spaces for optimal presentation, home staging takes this concept to new heights. Property staging can encompass a range of interventions, from relatively simple changes to substantial structural renovations aimed at increasing the final sale price. This practice can target homes that have been on the market for a while without attracting decent offers or homes that are yet to be listed.

The Art of Home Staging

Property staging can encompass a spectrum of interventions, tailored to the home’s condition and whether it is occupied. The repertoire includes adding supplementary furniture, painting walls, installing new carpets, and even incorporating temporary wallpapers and artificial plants. In some instances, the reorientation of existing furniture is employed to create a more spacious ambiance. These transformations are often brought to life by professionals like London-based Sophia Cramer, who curates pieces from vintage shops and flea markets, stored in expansive warehouses until they’re ready to shine.

The Staging Process Unveiled

Engaging a stager typically kicks off with an initial consultation, where the seller’s or property developer’s needs are discussed. Following this, a quote is provided for the envisioned decorative changes. Although rented, the furniture is only one part of the equation. Additional expenses, such as new carpets, tiles, or paint, are typically borne by the client. Once the stage is set with furnishings and soft decor, viewings can commence, spotlighting the property’s finest features.

The Economics of Staging

Paloma Harrington, founder of the UK’s Home Staging Association, offers insights into the cost landscape. Initial consultations range from £100 to £350 an hour, with larger properties often requiring up to three hours. Furniture rental spans eight to 12 weeks, aligning with agents’ sales predictions. In London, staging a three-bedroom house can tally anywhere from £20,000 to £85,000 for 12 weeks. Outside London, prices may dip, but larger homes compensate by requiring more soft furnishings.

Innovative Funding Solutions

For those who find the upfront costs daunting, property platform Flyp proposes an intriguing alternative. Flyp covers the beautification expenses in exchange for a portion of the additional sale profit. Their investment can range from £5,000 to £50,000, and in some cases, up to £100,000 for properties in need of substantial improvements. Flyp’s return is contingent on the renovation’s impact on the property’s value.

The Verdict: Is Staging Worth It?

According to the Home Staging Association, non-staged properties languish on the market for an average of 99 days, while decorated homes typically sell within 41 days. The association’s 2022 report also echoes the sentiment that staging can increase offers on homes by up to 6%. As the housing market grapples with uncertainty, property staging offers a glimmer of hope – a way to transform a lackluster listing into a captivating haven that resonates with potential buyers. Whether you’re a fan of Netflix’s property extravaganzas or a pragmatist exploring creative solutions, there’s no denying the allure of property staging in today’s challenging market.

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