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If you are wondering about staging your home for sale and whether it is necessary, then you’re in the right place. Staging your home for sale is an often spoken about subject amongst professional house sellers, and the process has been proven to speed up a house sale. 

According to Zoopla, staging your home for sale can add up to 10% to your sale price and help sell it three times faster. The most staged room in a house on the open market is the living room, with the kitchen and main bedroom coming second and third. 

The staged home look will normally consist of a neutral colour palette, clean surfaces and plenty of light bouncing around the place - but is it necessary to sell? In this article we will cover just that and more!

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What is property staging?

Property staging, or home staging is the act of preparing a house for sale, as a form of visual merchandising. The staging process usually involves lightly dressing the house to make it presentable, clean and attractive to potential buyers without carrying out full renovations. 

It’s often said across the industry that staging allows potential buyers to imagine themselves in the house as good staging shows off its good features, hides its flaws and makes the property look far better in estate agent photography.

Why staging your home to sell is important

When selling your home, one of the main things on your mind may be - how do I maximise the selling price? Well, one of the easiest ways to do this is by staging your home. 

Property staging means that you put a small investment in to prepping your home for sale, and maximise on potential returns from a higher selling price. Potential buyers will more likely put in higher offers on houses which have character and charm, and that aren’t empty shells.

Is it worth decorating a house before selling?

There isn't one answer that fits all to this, as it will depend on the types of buyers in your area and the condition of your home. 

If you are in an area with plenty of serious buyers then you may find that they aren’t swayed by the interior design style of your home. But if your area has more window shoppers then putting the property staging investment in may be far more beneficial. 

The condition of your home may also be an important factor when it comes to debating whether you should decorate your home or not. If your home is in a good condition and well designed then you won’t need to stage the property but if the property has features which are looking very worn then it may be worth addressing these.

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How do I present my house to sell?

Many estate agents will organise house staging as part of their service, which will either include the hiring of an external property staging company, or the organising of the house by the estate agents themselves. 

This said, if you are selling your house via an online or hybrid estate agent then you may be left to stage the house yourself. 

Staging your house for sale checklist

Here are a few of our home staging tips you can use to help buyers find your property more attractive and possible help it sell faster:

1. Clean & declutter

Homes which are full of clutter and lack cleanliness, will often face harsher criticism from potential buyers as the mess distracts the buyers from home’s features and makes the house seem as if there is less room. 

Cleaning your house and making sure it is tidy, can show potential buyers that you are eager to sell your home quickly, and may even help reassure them that you are serious. 

If you have lots of appliances in the kitchen, you may want to find a new home for them like under the counter cupboards or take them to storage. Appliances in a kitchen will make the kitchen seem significantly smaller.

One of the main features of a house you will need to pay special attention to is your home’s floors. If you have carpeted areas, we would recommend hiring a professional carpet cleaner to freshen up your floors. 

When it comes to staging your house for sale, another important feature to consider is your walls and ceilings. Any non-serious cracks will need to be filled, but if your house suffers from subsidence issues then you will need to notify the potential buyers.

2. Depersonalise

Removing any family memorabilia from your home will help your buyers imagine themselves living in your home. This could also be done by keeping clothes hidden in wardrobes and ensuring all bathroom items are kept well kept.

3. Refresh the property

We would also recommend modifying your house and creating a neutral feel to the space. If you have wacky wallpaper or interior design, it may distract the buyers from the house.

A neutral home may include using white paint to freshen up the room and creating a sense of more light. As well as adding light blues, greys and greens to furniture and throws to add some sense of character without damaging the prospect of a potential purchase. 

To avoid the property from feeling a little too clinical, it may be worth adding a few potted plants in areas which feel empty or unutilised.

You will also want to consider getting rid of any poor odours from pets, smoking, kids or dampness. This could be achieved by using candles, essential oil sprays and fragrance diffusers.

4. Define rooms

You will want to define each room in your house, making sure each room has a purpose, which will help buyers see how they can use the house to their full potential. If your house is listed on the open market as a 3 bedroom house, with 1 bathroom, a study, utility room and open plan living room & kitchen, then you should modify the house to fit within this. 

Often over the years of living in a property, rooms become used for different purposes and will stray away from the original listing purpose. 

Similarly, if you have any extension spaces then you should make sure these are used appropriately and listed on your property advertisement.

5. Think about fixtures and fittings

There is nothing worse than a dark home, which is why you should take advantage of your home’s natural light. Ensure all blinds and curtains are open, and any dark areas of a house are lit up with the use of lamps, lights or mirrors to reflect light. 

Another thing to consider when staging your home for sale, is ensuring any furniture in a room is the right size and doesn’t overwhelm the space. You will need to make sure that all the furniture is in good condition, and if you have any pieces of furniture that are in poor condition are put into temporary storage.

6. Increase kerb appeal

The first thing your potential buyers will see as they pull up to your property is its exterior. Staging your home for sale, doesn’t just include staging the interior, but also the exterior. You will want to make sure that your front garden and actual garden spaces are well kept, and there are no unruly weeds.

Furthermore, you will want to wash any of your windows and doors and make sure there is no build up of leaves on the garden areas or gutters. You may also want to get your driveway and paths blasted with a high pressure washer.

7. Final touches

If you know you are having potential buyers around your house for a viewing or open house, you may want to add some finishing touches. This could include adding fresh flowers to vases, opening windows around the house to increase air circulation, adding fresh towels to bathrooms, making the beds and lighting some subtle candles.

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Should you stage your home for sale yourself?

Staging your house for sale yourself can be a very cost effective way to save money when selling on the open market. Staging a house yourself could include removing personal items, removing mess and cleaning all the rooms, while adding in soft furnishings like bed throws and curtains to soften a space.

How much does it cost to stage your home for sale yourself?

Staging your home for sale yourself is pretty inexpensive as you will probably have all you need lying around the house already! This could be from white paint, to using cleaning equipment, trimming any hedges to putting personal items into storage for a few weeks. 

Should I find a staging company to stage my property?

Staging your home for sale has become a necessary part of the house selling process, with 4 in 5 estate agents saying it helps prospective buyers to visualise themselves within the property. 

There are many professional home staging companies in the UK, external to estate agents who will cost anywhere from £500 to £5,000 depending on the amount of rooms and condition of property.

Although most open market house sales will need you to do some form of staging - from cleaning, decluttering or depersonalisation, before a home stager can come in and add the final touches. 

Whether you wish to hire a staging company, use the estate agent service, do it yourself or not do it at all will completely depend on your situation and the timeline you have to sell and money you have available.

Is it better to sell a house empty or staged?

On average in the UK, furnished properties will spend half the time on the open market than empty properties, and may sell for a 8% to 10% higher value. But, this doesn’t mean the furniture within the property has to be yours. 

You could hire furniture or purchase cheap furniture for the duration of the time your house is on the market. This would mean that your property is curated from the outset of the marketing of your home, and that in any photographs used in the listing include the furniture. 

Empty properties are often said to be harder to sell on the open market as many potential buyers can’t visualise themselves in the properties. This theory all boils down to the visual merchandising suggested at the beginning of this article, and is seen across many different industries. 

For example, imagine you were walking down the high street, wanting to find a new pair of shoes for work, and there were two shoe shops in front of you. One shop had absolutely no window display and looked bare inside, whereas the other had a wonderful window display with the shoes you wanted right in front of you, most people would go to the shop with the window display. 

This is the same with property. You should make it as easy as possible for any potential buyers to grab their attention and let them think about themselves in the house – which can be done through staging. 

Do I have to stage my home to sell?

If you are looking to sell your house, you don’t need to stage it to sell quickly. You could consider selling your house to a cash house buyer like us, who will buy your house in as little as seven days (which will be far faster than any sale on the open market). 

When you sell your house for cash with us, you will not need to stage the property yourself, as we have the cash ready available to purchase your property and guarantee its sale. 

We can help you sell in a timeline that suits you, without the estate agent or house selling fees usually associated with selling your house.

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Tom Condon

Tom Condon, one of our content writers, has fascinating expertise in sustainability in the property industry. Tom thoroughly understands the market and has experience in both residential and commercial property. He enjoys attending conferences and staying current with the most recent property trends.