Category Residential Property News
Home staging is sprucing up your home so it shows itself off to its best possible advantage. It's done for the photographs and videos on line or in print, for the sales consultants who value your home, and for all the prospective buyers
When you've lived in a home for many years, it's difficult to be objective about it.
But when you're selling it, you have to be.
You might need to ask a friend, a family member, a sales consultant, to tell you honestly what works, and what doesn't, in your home.
You see a collection of precious family memorabilia, but a buyer sees clutter; you see your beloved dog's basket, a buyer sees something slightly unhygienic and grubby in your kitchen.
When you put your house on the market, you have to look at it differently. You and your chosen sales consultant need to be aligned - and that means, together, you need to present the property at its very, very best. That way, the chances of it selling, selling fast, and selling for the highest price possible, increases substantially.
Listen to your sales consultant. Don't be offended by their comments and suggestions. Sure, it's not always easy hearing that your home needs tweaking, but the consultant knows what buyers are drawn to, and what they aren't - they've seen the properties, prices and décor of the homes in your road, suburb and price range.
They're giving you advice born of experience.
They know what makes a great photograph or video, and what attracts buyers.
THE BUYING PROCESS TODAY
This is how it works today.
Nine times out of ten, prospective buyers look at photographs and/or a video of a property on line, before they decide - or not - to visit your home.
That means, they make a judgement call before they've even physically stepped on to your property.
Those photographs are very, very important.
Home staging when those photographs are taken, is crucial. Great photographs mean more people through your front door, which clearly increases the chances of a faster sale at a higher price.
Listen to your sales consultant - if they're being honest with you, know that you've chosen the right consultant.
Spotless. You don't need to be told that this matters, everywhere on the property.
Nor do you need to be reminded that elderly paintwork needs to be touched up, gutters cleaned, the lawn mowed, flower beds tidied, any water features cleaned, and your entrance gate/door spruced up.
Remember, you're very used to your home - that grubby mop leaning against the courtyard wall has been there so long, you don't see it any more.
Here are a few useful pointers.
You know what constitutes clutter. All those bits and pieces which crowd the room - they might be of sentimental value, may be of immense use - cellphone chargers and your bottles of pills - or just things left lying around before you've forgotten it's even there.
Clutter must go. Whether you box it, donate it, or throw it away, you'll add enormous value to your home. Visually, you'll increase the size of the rooms.
Clear the tables and other surfaces in rooms like the kitchen. Keep what is necessary and attractive. Rid the fridge of magnets, lists and kids drawings.
Kids rooms - create some order here. Use baskets and bags for toys and sports equipment.
Clutter prevents buyers from seeing the flow of your home - it interrupts the focal points of each room. It sucks up the energy in a room. Even if a buyer can't pinpoint why they don't want to look any further, it's often because clutter is tiring to look at, and it detracts from the home's value.
It's simple. In South Africa, we love light and sunlight. We don't like gloom, dingy or dark. For us, light means air, and it's the reason we love living here.
It's often so simple to achieve.
Open all those windows and doors, lift up all the blinds to their fullest extent, pull back the curtains as far as they'll go.
And for rooms like loos - which may not have much natural light - put on a light, or a candle.
Sell the lifestyle your home offers.
If you have a lounge which opens on to a patio, accentuate that flow. Enhance it. Show it off, with a spotless braai, drinking glasses and an icy jug of water on the table.
If you have a swimming pool, it must gleam. No pool cleaner in sight. Pile up swimming towels in a basket. Help the buyers imagine themselves living there.
Pool loungers and patio furniture? Put out the spotless cushions, a book, a drink...
Buyers want security, but you, as seller, need to find the balance. Security needs to be there, but not overly obtrusive - that sends a message that living there, you need it.
In addition, physical security is often unattractive.
Stack back those Trellidors, open security gates.
Plants and flowers.
Fresh flowers in clean water, green growing plants...they enhance every room in the house. Don't create a jungle...just a healthy sign of life.
Pot plants outdoors. Make sure there are not oodles of small pot plants in the courtyard/on the veranda, all struggling to survive. Time to set them free - nothing is more depressing than dying plants or flowers.
Cigarettes and pets - absolute No No. Cooking smells - No.
Think lightly scented diffusers, lightly scented candles...no heavy, overpowering scents which might imply you're ridding the house of other, less pleasant ones.
Linen, towels and covers.
Fresh. That's the impression you want to give. If it's via the use of fluffy, fabric-softener smelling bath towels or crisp white bedlinen, then use those. Make sure all cushion covers and throws are washed and clean - tired fabric isn't appealing.
Your sales consultant - your finest asset
Use your consultant - help them to help you. Ask them probing questions about home staging - what can you do to make your home more attractive, and therefore more saleable.
Work together to achieve superb photographs - work together to make a show day sensational.
Author: Anne Schauffer