‘Essential’ way to boost property value by £28,000 – ‘receive higher offers’

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Those prepared to invest a bit of money to sell quickly – for a high price – home staging could be the answer. Home staging involves enhancing a property’s best features to attract buyers. It can be hard to know how to stage a property and where to start, but an expert has shared how homeowners can showcase their home to make it more attractive.

Paloma Harrington, founder of the Home Staging Association UK & Ireland explained that homebuyers now spend more time looking at photos, videos, and floor plans before arranging viewings, so presentation is more important than ever.

She said: “As much as homeowners want to sell their homes fast and at the best price, most of the time, very little is done to achieve that goal.

“Staged properties get more viewings, stay less time on the market, and have better chances of receiving higher offers.

“Staging a property is no longer a method for simply increasing offer value – it’s become a necessity for maintaining and even exceeding pricing expectations.”

But while the idea of hiring someone to stage your property might sound like a nice idea, is it really worth it? 

Elaine Penhaul, founder of home staging company Lemon & Lime Interiors says the cost of professional staging varies from roughly 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent of the property guide price, depending on its size, value and what needs to be done.

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The HSA’s 2019 Home Staging report estimated home staging costs can range from around £500 to more than £5,000, but found staging can increase a home’s value by up to 10 percent. 

As the average UK house price stands at £289,099, according to the latest Halifax house price index, home staging could boost property value by £28,909.90.

In addition, 85 percent of estate agents reported that a staged home sells up to three times faster than a non-staged property.

The expert explained that home staging disregards the tastes of the property owner, basing the design of rooms on what will attract the widest target audience.

She said: “Home staging is essential to make a home more appealing to a higher number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.

“On average, the occupied properties I’ve worked on sold four times faster after staging, and mostly above the asking price, so it’s in everyone’s best interests to stage before selling.”

Elaine shared four principles of home staging, with the first being decluttering and depersonalising. 

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Decluttering is one of the most important steps when staging a home, stresses the expert.

She explained: “Buyers are often expected to see past clutter, but this can drastically slow down the selling process and decrease the property’s value. 

“By presenting the house as untidy and apparently uncared for, potential buyers will quickly assume it’s not well-maintained, which will be reflected in any offers.”

She says potential buyers want to be able to imagine their own possessions in a house they might buy, which is why it’s important to “depersonalise” it as much as possible.

The expert added: “While selling a home can be an emotional process, depersonalising it can help a seller to start the process of ‘letting go’.

“Tidying away children’s toys, ornaments, family photographs and portraits, plus any other collectables that might not suit another buyer’s taste, is an important start to the moving process.”

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Many houses contain “redundant” spaces, such as second sitting rooms, spare bedrooms or cellars, explains Elaine.

She advised: “If a space is too big, it can often overwhelm buyers, so you should look to fill the space with the right sized furniture.”

Sometimes, these “redundant” rooms have been used as a dump for clutter, or boxes ahead of a planned move, says Elaine. 

She explained: “This prevents viewers from seeing these rooms as another asset to their new home. 

“Ensuring every room has a function targeted to the buyer market will create a faster sale with higher offers.”

Plus, with more buyers looking for a property they can work from, it’s important to stage and showcase a room’s multiple purposes.

The expert stressed: “Highlight selling points, such as close-away desk units inside cupboards, and ensure spaces are efficiently lit to bring light to rooms which lack natural light – this can really transform a room’s appeal.”

Unappealing exteriors can lose a sale before the buyer’s even set foot through the door, warned the property pro, so it’s worthwhile giving home’s exterior a facelift. 

New windows and doors look great but will cost thousands, so she suggests: “Rather than spending a fortune on refitting new frames and doors, spray your existing ones with a lick of paint, to give them a new lease of life, and possibly add up to £10,000 to your house value.”

Modern and traditional panelling techniques are increasingly popular among current buyers, says Elaine, pointing out that for less than £100, it’s possible to create a desirable feature wall that gives off an expensive look and feel to potential buyers.

She explained: “Formerly associated with luxurious and historic buildings, panelling adds an immediate value to your space, as it creates depth and interest when looking at plain and square rooms.”



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