With rising interior design standards and the majority of house buyers basing their decision to view a property on a few online images, it may come as no surprise that home staging is becoming an ever more enticing option for people trying to sell their homes. The concept, originating in the USA, claims to help people sell their homes quicker and for a higher price, through a few interior design tricks. Is it worth it though?
What is home staging?
‘Home staging is an art,’ says Paloma Harrington-Griffin from The Home Staging Association. ‘It’s the art of putting furniture and accessories in a property.’
She explains that this may involve putting furniture in an empty property or rearranging an existing property in order to show it to its full potential. Its overarching goal is to allow the potential buyer to envisage themselves living there, when without the staging they may struggle to.
‘Some people can’t really see past an empty room or they can’t see past really bad decoration or a really ugly sofa,’ explains Paloma.
‘It ensures everyone gets the best that the property has to offer.’
Why stage your home?
Most people view a property online first. Home staging makes it easier for people to imagine a property they view online as a home. Every single property professional surveyed by The Home Staging Association agreed that home staging makes it easier for buyers to visualise a property as their future home.
The thinking goes that if people can imagine a property as a home, they are more likely to view it in person. Correspondingly, the more people who view a property, the higher the offer value for it. The Home Staging Association survey found that both property developers and estate agents agree that staging increases the offer value of properties. 46% of property developers cited that staging increased the offer value above 10%. Meanwhile, 35% of estate agents said staging increased the offer value of properties by between 4-6%.
Which rooms should you stage?
Over two thirds of estate agents surveyed by the Home Staging Association agreed that the lounge is the most important room to stage. The lounge is often the first room that people see when viewing a house. It is also the room people spend most time in: the average homeowner spends almost four hours per day in the living room. The survey revealed that people consider the kitchen and master bedroom the next two most important rooms to stage. Nearly a third of homeowners spend most of their time in the kitchen.
How much does it cost?
If you hire professionals, home staging is a substantial investment. According to property valuer Louis Woodward, the cost of home staging can be anything between £2000 and £3000 – about 1% of the average house price.
The hefty price tag may explain why only 1% of his clients currently use home staging. ‘Within our area, the vast majority of properties are owner occupied meaning there is no requirement for home staging and making it rather uncommon,’ he says.
Is it worth it?
Louis Woodward recommends home staging vacant properties, but not already furnished ones. ‘Staging is ideal for showing off space and style,’ he says.
He cautions that although staging is unlikely to make any difference to the asking price, it can have a positive impact on the sales price. ‘Staging would produce better marketing photographs, thus resulting in an increased number of viewers, resulting in more offers for the property.’
For Paloma, it is exactly these benefits of staging a house that make it so attractive. ‘It will stay in the market for less time. It will sell for a higher asking price. It’s very beneficial to the sales process overall.’
Connect with home staging professionals and find out more information about courses and events at homestaging.org.uk