Staging and its benefits for homeowners
When you put your home on the market, you do it in the belief that someone will like it enough to want to make it their own. Nowadays, there is a trend that helps you do just that– making your home look pretty enough to sell. It’s called staging, which is preparing your home for sale by cleaning, redecorating and even furnishing it with new furniture. Owing its roots to an American real estate agent, staging was conceived after she realised that well-presented homes sell faster and at a higher value and that often homeowners do not bring out the full potential of their home.
How does it work?
Staging is a marketing strategy to showcase a home’s best features which could be strong selling points. The technique has proven to be so successful that it is becoming a trend worldwide, and now in homes for sale in Malta too. The aim is to impress buyers and to sell quickly. It does this by flattering the property and making the home look liveable to the viewer, without drawing too much importance to it.
A well-staged home looks better on professional photos which can be used in the listing. Remember that the majority of people start their quest for a new home online.
What does it involve?
The least a homeowner can do to prepare the home for a sale is to declutter and clean the home. The areas to focus on are usually the living room and the kitchen, main bedroom and bathroom, and the outdoor living space. Clutter makes the home look smaller, and it distracts the buyer. If the place is not clean it gives the impression that the owner didn’t take care of the place. Therefore, deep clean everything from walls to ceilings, floors and corners, and furniture and appliances so that they look new.
Next, depersonalise the space – remove picture frames and put away toys and clothing. By doing so, you are creating an impersonal and neutral space where people could imagine themselves living.
Finally, freshen up the place. Buy or place already-owned potted plants to strategic places, like in a corner, or on the side in front of a curtain. Plants make the place look homely and less cold.
Also, take care of eliminating odours from the kitchen and bathrooms. When you have viewings, create an inviting aroma by baking cookies or lighting a vanilla-scented candle. It will also give the home a warm ambiance. If you smoke inside your home, take up the habit of smoking outside instead.
If the place hasn’t been redecorated in a while, it is worth giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. If you like particularly strong shades of colour, opt for warm and neutral ones this time as they tend to be more mainstream and will appeal to a wider range of people.
Also, try moving the furniture around to achieve a different look, and buy a new lamp to light up a dark corner. Consider buying an armchair to fill an empty space.
If you wish to take the project up a notch, you can replace a few furniture items if the ones you have at home look worn and tired.
Is it just decorating your home?
Staging and decorating are not the same thing. Whilst decorating is personal and makes the place look nice by putting in touches of a personal preference here and there – like picture frames, or a patterned wallpaper – staging is simply creating an impersonal mood by adding a few items that accentuate a room. The difference between the two lies essentially in the word ‘personal’ or the lack of it.
Is it worth the money?
If you have a place with some nice features, but don’t know how to bring the best out of it, then you should consider staging. The process can be as rigorous, and as costly, as the amount of time, energy and money you are willing to invest in it. You can do the staging yourself as the seller, or you could engage a professional to do the work for you. Statistically, homes which have been staged fetch higher prices and sell quicker. This is because people who are looking and not just buying a space, but a place where they can make their dreams come true. And staging helps buyers to envision that dream because the home looks ready to move into and buyers get the feeling that there aren’t major works that need to be undertaken, which people would need to mentally deduct from the total price.
Ready to take the plunge?
Staging makes features stand out, can turn weird places into usable spaces and allows the buyers to see themselves living in the home by making the space look believable and habitable. How much to spend on it is entirely up to you but one recommends not spending more than 1% to 3% of the total value of the home. If you are thinking about selling your home or would like more information on the importance of staging and how to get the best out of it, you can head over to the Contact page of the Zanzi Homes website. Our team of dedicated experts are always on hand to offer sellers advice and guidance.