Do you ever wonder how people’s houses look so perfect in online real estate advertising? Is it just a coincidence that everyone who is selling a house has excellent taste in furniture, décor and interior design? The answer is no – they are all in on the home staging secret.
What is Home Staging?
Home staging involves a consultant coming to your property to advise you on how you can showcase its best features during the marketing campaign. Often these experts have an interior design background and an excellent little black book of connections. They can call in all the resources needed to makeover your property – from furniture rentals to florists, art dealers to gardeners.
Home staging will remove existing furniture and décor deemed to be inappropriate for the marketing campaign and replace it with styled rental items. The staging usually starts about 2 weeks before your property goes on the market, during the advertising preparations stage. Then, the furniture stays in your property for another 4 weeks until the day of auction. This ensures that your house looks the same when potential buyers viewed it in person, and on auction day.
Often sellers are concerned about what home staging costs are involved. Considering you will pay the consultant for their time, rent on the furniture, and incidentals such as insurance and regularly delivery of fresh flowers, it can become quite an expensive exercise. However, it can also make a huge difference to the impact your listing has in search results and ‘the wow factor’ when people come to see the property in person.
Once the house has sold, the items will be removed and everything put back the way it was before. Something to be mindful of is that if your house has not sold during the marketing period, the rental agreement on the furniture comes to an end and the items must be removed. The images used in the marketing campaign (that already did not result in a sale) will be completely different to the house that buyers will come to see with your agent.
What is Home Virtual Staging?
Virtual staging is a faster and less expensive option than classic home staging, offering a simple and seamless solution to getting a property staged and ready for listing quickly. Virtual staging is also ideal for properties about to be placed on the market where construction hasn’t yet been completed but the property is now available for sale. Home virtual staging involves computer generated interiors that can change the look of the property completely. Adjustments can be as simple as paint colour, curtains and architects’ impressions of forthcoming views out of windows, to the virtual completion of renovations or construction and the decorating of empty properties with the finest of virtual furniture and art.
The benefit of virtual staging is that the cumbersome logistics of dealing with ‘stuff’ can be avoided. Nothing has to be brought in. This means no long-term rental costs either and no fear of children damaging the rental décor and you losing your deposit. It does however mean that buyers, who were impressed with the listing online, may be somewhat disappointed when they visit the empty lifeless property and realise they were ‘virtually’ seduced.
Why Would I Stage my Home to Sell?
As a property owner, it may be that your own furniture and belongings aren’t quite right for the purposes of the sale, or that you don’t have quite the right creative flair to make your property look like the million or more bucks you’d like someone to pay for it.
Owners of investment properties may use home staging to add some colour and life to their listing and increase its sales potential. If the tenants have recently vacated an investment property, the emptiness can make it seem drab and uninteresting. Getting some basic furniture and decoration added can really showcase the property and its potential.
A real estate agent will sometimes suggest to a vendor that they stage the home to sell, to give it the best opportunity to impress a wide range of buyers. Images are a powerful selling tool and, in many cases, are what gets the buyer interested in the first place. Attractive photos will spark their interest and inspire them to see the property in real life. A home that looks unkempt and implies little effort has been made will not only result in less buyers interested in your property, it may also affect the final sale price.
Usually agents can recommend home stagers they know or will refer you personally via a call to the stager who will then contact you. Home virtual staging or digital staging can be done by specialist companies easily found online.