HOME STAGINGMackenzie Paige
Home staging is something as an Interior Designer that I do have a detailed interest in. The psychology behind how to ‘stage’ a house is fascinating, and I even found it so intriguing that I decided to do my University dissertation on it.
Before Interior Design I was working within property and knew the sales process thoroughly, so having this in my background certainly made the interest of Home Staging even stronger.
I wanted to write a blog on the topic as the housing market is slowly getting more activity again (the demand is high but the stock is low at the moment) and home staging can make a huge difference to the success of your property sale.
To quote my dissertation paper…
“Even the history and origination of home staging is argued about amongst authors and those in the trade. Hinds-Williams and Jesson (2017) believe the “whole concept of staging property for sale started in California as far back as the mid 1980s”, Similarly, Weintraub (2019) argues that Barb Schwarz, came up with the concept of home staging in 1972, both authors therefore indicating the introduction of it within a 10 year period. However, Golab (2013) states that concept has been in practice since the late 1940s.” So in essence, we don’t really have a clear understanding of when it did start but the ultimate aim of it is to enable a house to sell in the shortest time, for the most money possible.
There are 2 sides to home staging, the one side of re-sale properties, and the second for new builds.
Starting with new builds, I’m sure we’ve all wandered into a new build house and fallen in love with it straight away – more often than not, this is because how they’ve ‘sold’ the house to you, through its presentation. Staging involves using ‘visual cues’ throughout. So for example, walking into the dining room, you’re likely to see fine china and glass set up in a beautiful table display – this is because its aspirational to be able to host and entertain like this. As such, people fall in love with that idea, and it encourages a sale. Similarly, the fruit and veg (all fake!) on the side of the kitchen, connoting a healthy lifestyle, is an aspirational factor, and helps with selling the house. The same could be said for the fluffy white towels and roaring fire, and well, you get the picture.
They do though also use some ‘trickery’ within show homes too.
- All the lights are always on. Why? It makes it seem brighter, more airy and subsequently bigger.
- The heavy use of mirrors throughout – naturally reflects the space and makes it appear larger too.
- Sometimes they even used scaled down furniture (3/4 size beds) or have bedrooms with no wardrobes or clothes storage to make the spaces feel larger.
What if you’re selling your own property though? No matter if its a new build or a re-sale, you want your viewers to experience “livability” (a term coined by Versel in 2018) so that they essentially mentally place themselves into the house which helps them fall in love with it.
Viewings on a re-sale property would too benefit from all the lights being on but most of the tricks of the trade used in show homes can’t be replicated at home…. But what can you do?
- Clear your house of clutter! Yes you may have to be ruthless, but viewers aren’t going to want to see your mug collection or children’s art work (sorry!). So tidy these away in boxes and place into storage so that they can see the house and not the people who live in it.
- Some people suggest removing personal photo frames, I wouldn’t say this is as necessary, but if your house contains plenty, then it wouldn’t harm to remove a few.
- If your house is a bit tired, then consider a fresh lick of paint. The cost for a decorator to do this varies on house size but for the finished result and likely easier sale, it’s worth it!
- Same rule applies for any bright or ‘controversial’ colours – generally if you’re selling a house you want it to be as neutral as possible. Colours have psychological affects and like most things, these can be subjective, so neutral is better!
- Make the beds! May seem obvious but makes such a difference and sometimes this isn’t done.
- Whilst we mentioned decluttering, you don’t want the house to be too bare. There is a balance! This is where it can pay to have an Interior Designer come and help dress the space for you and ensure the correct balance is there. “Staging a home is about marketing a lifestyle” (Barnett, 2014).
- SPACE! It’s so important to make the space feel as large as possible, so avoid choppy colour schemes or broken / different flooring which stops the eye from travelling throughout the house.
Rae and Maresh (2008) stated that staged properties sell in half the time of a non-staged property and averages 6.4% more than the list price… seems a no brainer to me!
There is so much more to be said on the topic and the results that came in from my research on the project were fascinating. Here are 2 interesting graphs:
This graph shows the % of people and what they found to be the most appealing aspects inside a property. At number 1 we have updated bathrooms and number 2 is for the space to be decluttered and tidy!
When asked if they think home staging makes a difference to a buyer when purchasing a property, a significant 82% said yes!
It is evident and proven that home staging does make a difference when selling a property, whether that be a new build or a re-sale property. I hope this blog has given you some ideas on what to be conscious of when buying new-builds (can the smallest bedroom fit a wardrobe in it?) and how to help you with the selling of your own properties.
Don’t forget, I do offer home staging as a service – https://mpinteriors.co.uk/interior-design-styling-advice-home-staging and would be delighted to help you so feel free to get in touch here – https://mpinteriors.co.uk/contact.
Speak soon & I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!