Home Staging: what is it good for? 1 Aug, 2017 Manuel Alarcon
The concept of Home Staging refers to a series of techniques that improve the appearance of a property and make it more attractive in the eyes of potential buyers. The Home Staging technique was conceived and developed in the United States, some three decades ago, and is now being used in Europe in an increasingly professional way.
It must be taken into account that, when the real estate offer abounds and potential clients are very demanding, we must try to differentiate our home from competitors in the real estate market. The techniques of Home Staging will serve us both during the visits and when taking the photos (or videos) that we will use online —keep in mind that 70% of home buyers start their searches in the internet. The techniques of Home Staging may seem common sense and within reach for anyone, but often it is very difficult for a person who has lived in his/her own house for years to be objective when detecting defects or figuring out all the possibilities to enhance the appearance of their home. In the case of luxury homes, Home Staging is especially important, since many buyers do not simply acquire a property: they want to live a dream to which very few can aspire.
The purpose of Home Staging is to prepare a home so that it can be sold as quickly as possible and at the best price. Specifically, Home Staging means:
- Organizing the space
The job of the Home Stager is making the best of a home for sale or rent, highlighting its most positive aspects and minimizing its defects. It is not a matter of hiding the problems, but of fixing them, of course as far as it is possible and convenient. If a house is to be renovated, it can be sold like this at a convenient price and it is the new owner who will undertake the reform according to his tastes and his budget. If the seller of a property carries out a reform on the presumption that it will raise the price of his/her property, he or she can find that, in the end, the selling price does not make up for the investment. This should be calibrated very carefully. However, when it comes to relatively minor repairs, it will surely compensate: houses that are not in perfect condition are often the subject of negotiations that result in cuts of up to 15% of their price. If a house that is sold “in good condition”, reality must correspond to expectations.
Once we have everything in perfect condition, it is time to present our home in the best possible way and the role of Home Stager becomes prominent. It is important to organize the space, since the perception of an overequipped home —for example—can give us a misleading idea of its true surface. A home always seems more spacious when it is furnished, so in the case of an empty property, the seller can always consider the option of furnishing it at a low price or even using cardboard furniture.
As for the always delicate aspect of decoration, the Home Stager will try to depersonalize the home as much as possible. In fact, if a house is decorated in a very personal way, prospective buyers may have difficulty imagining themselves living in it, making it their own. Ideally, visitors should be able to see themselves living there as soon as they cross the door on their first visit. It is not only a question of removing family photos or pictures, but in many cases changing curtains, sheets, furniture, etc. Although it may seem a bit exaggerated, this moment of “falling in love” can be important when making a decision to buy a home.
In short, if we want to maximize our selling possibilities, the best option is an agreeable but neutral environment, where everyone can feel at ease. In this respect, it is important to be advised by professionals, since decoration is something very personal and we all can have some difficulties when it comes to detecting defects in our own house. The more objective view of someone who observes it from the outside and with a professional criterium is no doubt a better guideline to the optimization of our property.
1st Aug, 2017 by Manuel Alarcon