Dressed to Impress: Stage a Home to Attract Buyers
Home staging refers to the actions taken to “dress up” or “stage” a property to make it more attractive and more appealing to prospective buyers.
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Property professionals will tell you this is especially true when prospective buyers view a property, which is why it is important to ensure your property makes a great impression on show day.
Home staging is the action of 'dressing up' or 'staging' your home to make it more appealing to prospective buyers viewing the property by paying attention to the cosmetic and aesthetic details.
“When you consider that buyers tend to mostly look at properties in their price range, it makes sense to employ elements of home staging to make the property stand out from the rest. The main reason you want it to stand out is to help it sell faster and at the highest possible price,” says Silvana dos reis Marques, Franchisee at Leapfrog Pretoria East and Irene.
She says that more than the price, the condition of the property, the structure or the layout, the final decision for a buyer tends to be based on a feeling they have about the property – and that has a lot to do with what a property looks, feels and even smells like. Dos reis Marques, explains: “People need to be able to imagine themselves living in the space, which is what home staging helps to do.”
Luckily this doesn’t mean putting all your own things in storage, recruiting an interior designer or spending vast amounts of money. The art of home staging is all about moving things around for better placement, a few magic touches and just a dash of imagination to ensure the property is the best (ad)dressed.
Clear the clutter
Your own clutter is one thing. Somebody else’s is a whole mess on its own! “Clutter can be very off-putting because it immediately says ‘chaos’, so something as simple as ensuring surfaces are clutter-free, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom, already goes a long way in the staging process,” Dos reis Marques believes.
In order to make a home attractive to potential buyers, a staged home is artfully arranged to prevent squeezing through furniture and spaces and being visually overwhelmed by too much clutter. To have even a slight advantage, a property should be at its best to appeal to buyers.
Looking good is one thing, smelling great is another! Scent has a surprisingly strong effect on our emotions and as such goes a long way in making a space more appealing. “It’s a good idea to have a pot of coffee brewing or something tasty baking in the oven. Similarly a scented candle or a mild, but refreshing, room spray can make a subtle difference.” Also don’t forget to take the rubbish out, wipe surfaces and clear the kitchen sink,” Dos reis Marques recommends.
Let there be light
Very few people enjoy walking into a dark and drab property, rather we’re drawn to light and airy spaces. “Make a point of opening curtains or blinds, and the windows to allow fresh air in, when prospective buyers come to view the property, to allow natural light in,” Dos reis Marques advises.
Don’t forget the outside
While buyers are mostly concerned with the inside of the property, it doesn’t hurt to pay attention to the outside. “The outside is what is seen first, so ensure the exterior is also neat and tidy and that, at the very least, the walkway to the entrance is unobstructed,”
Since emotion has such an important role when choosing a property to buy, and home staging is all about ensuring that a property appeals to the emotions of prospective buyers, it is important not to underestimate the potential of things like order, natural light and pleasing scents as these can go a long way towards selling your property fast and at the right price.