Home Staging: the power of a good “staging”
Posted: Sep 04, 2020
Home Staging literally means the staging of a house. As defined by Barb Schwarz, the pioneer of this marketing technique born in the United States, it is about "thinking of a house as a product." If, before selling a car, a tune-up is carried out, why not do the same in a property? This marketing technique shows the potential buyer the full potential of the home, and places him in a cozy space where it is much easier for him to imagine his future life. The result is faster and better priced sales.
Home Staging has been in use in the United States since the 1970s and, after being imported by northern European countries, it arrived in Spain at the beginning of this decade. And according to the number of professionals - home stagers - who have specialized since then, it is here to stay. Just as an example: the Home Staging Spain portal includes more than a hundred home stagers and a thematic magazine has even been launched in our country.
The abc of Home Staging
Antique upholstery, threadbare curtains, chipping on the walls and tiles that dance: it looks like a horror movie but, unfortunately, it is the reality of many properties for sale or for rent in Spain. Home Staging is about improving those details to get a good impression, both in visits and in ads. We already know the importance of having good photos (internal link to the article about the photos) in the real estate sector, but, after all, the camera cannot work qnnit.
There is no single recipe for Home Staging. A good part depends on the instinct and style of each home stager, the characteristics of the home and the profile of a possible buyer according to the area and the price range. But there are a few basic rules to improve the appearance of a home: cleaning, painting, clearing the space, making small repairs and creating environments instead of showing empty rooms is an investment that, generally, recovers by far.
When to use Home Staging
Although this marketing technique can be applied in almost any home, experts recommend evaluating the investment, especially in those properties where there is an urgent need to sell or that have been on the market for some time: instead of a price drop, it can be very more cost-effective improve your appearance. It is also a good option in those old homes inherited between several people: the expense, divided among all of them, is minimal, and visits can multiply.
In fact, although in Spain there is not yet much data, in the United States the figures are clear: homes with Home Staging sell up to eight times faster and for a price up to 20% higher than those that are empty or without this intervention.
An approach for each case
Home Staging techniques vary depending on whether the house is still occupied, whether it is furnished or not, or whether it is for rent fully equipped. In the case of properties with residents, it is necessary to adapt as much as possible to what you already have. If the house is empty, it will be necessary to consider incorporating furniture temporarily, and a very useful option may be to use cardboard furniture. The presence of furniture helps to get a better idea of??the space available, and empty houses often seem smaller than they actually are.
Let there be no stain
Although it may seem obvious, the first step in Home Staging is a good thorough cleaning. It is not just about dusting and cleaning the windows: the switches must be left spotless and the taps gleaming. And this also includes balconies and terraces, or gardens and access areas in single-family homes. In addition, you should consider carrying out small repairs, such as fixing a leaky faucet or a creaking door, or changing the handles for more modern ones.
Depersonalize: goodbye to the previous life
A potential buyer wants to visualize his life in that home, not knowing that of the previous owners. That's why all personal photos, fridge magnets, travel memorabilia, and most decorative items should be removed.
Especially clearing the living room, kitchen and bathroom of personal belongings is a basic requirement before a photo shoot or real estate visit.
Love at first sight
Home Staging experts have in mind that the first opinion of a house is formed in the first fifteen seconds of a visit. That is why it is essential to take maximum care of what is the first thing you see when you enter, and also the image that is received from the door of each room.
Less is more
The objective is for the buyer to make a real image of how the house is furnished, but at the same time to imagine their own objects in that space. For this the key is to simplify: remove everything that is left over, especially in the bedroom, where there is usually too much furniture. In addition, you must make sure that there is enough space so that you can make the visit without constraints considering that you will want to inspect every corner of the house.
A look at the cabinets
Storage spaces are an important factor for the buyer, so it is to be expected that he wants to inspect them in detail. If the house is empty, it is important that they are perfectly clean. If it is still inhabited, try to show them as ordered as possible and with some empty space.
Neutral colors and styles
For tastes, colors, but to sell a house, it is better to use neutral tones. A house for sale must be attractive to all kinds of audiences regardless of their personal tastes, and strident colors can make you lose sight of the other factors. The ideal is to be able to paint the house in white or light colors, and to choose furniture with straight lines and little emphasis.
If you cannot invest in new furniture, textiles can be a good ally to change the look of a house. Fabrics and cushions help neutralize armchairs and sofas, and there are inexpensive options to upgrade curtains. Regarding the beds, experts recommend that you always show dressed, never with the mattress in sight, and if possible with new sheets in plain, neutral colors. In the bathroom it is advisable to have clean and combined towels, preferably white.
What is seen and what is not seen
Good lighting is basic: in addition to making the most of natural light, you have to make sure that all the bulbs in your home work and offer sufficient and pleasant lighting in every room. On the other hand, it is also important to pay attention to what is not seen. Good ventilation is recommended to eliminate the smell of tobacco or pets. If necessary, you can use a mild fragrance air freshener, being careful because the most intense ones are not liked by everyone. If the house is still occupied, pay attention to the smells in the kitchen before a visit.
The natural touch, but without going over
A basket with fresh fruit in the kitchen or a plant in a corner provide an extra touch to show the most livable space. But experts warn against the temptation to overdo it in trying to naturalize the space: a set table or a breakfast tray at the foot of the bed are exaggerated options.
All these considerations can be applied to all types of housing, but in the highest sector some additional detail must be taken into account: in this case, the quality of the chosen furniture must be in line with the purchasing level of the potential buyer. The home stagers specialized in this range of properties usually resort to the temporary rental of furniture and even the loan of some work of art.
Last minute touches
The first visit to a home is essential and every detail must be taken care of with a general inspection at the last moment. Emptying the bins, lowering the toilet lid, and leaving a few lights on will help improve the first impression. Some home stagers even recommend playing soft music to set the scene for the visit.
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