Home-staging is real estate valuation : the idea to put your house « on stage » before selling it. So home-staging is to prepare your house so that you can sell it better.
What is the difference between home-staging and interior decoration ?
As an interior decorator, when I am doing interior decoration, I create an atmosphere and a decoration that fit my clients, respectful of their specific needs, tastes, desires and budget. In this case, their home should look like them so that they feel well in it. So if they wish big red flowers on the wall, that’s fine 😉
On the contrary, the idea with home-staging is to please as many people as possible, as the idea is to succeed in selling the home in question. So in this case, I wouldn’t agree with those big red flowers because there is little chance that they will please the future potential buyers 😉
General principles of home staging
The aim is to trigger a crush on the future buyer of the house/flat, so that he will be willing to buy it. It has been proved that when we visit a new house, we just need 2 minutes to know if we like it or not, if we are going to buy it or not ! 90% of the sales are done after a crush for the place. So in these first two minutes, the visitor must be nicely surprised and must be able to imagine himself living in it. So he must forget the negative aspects, and only keeps in mind the positive things.
So we must prepare the environment (clean, tidy, nice…) so that the sale can be done correctly. We must present the place, correcting as much as possible its drawbacks and emphasizing its advantages.
You should keep in mind that obviously you should not spend a lot of money in doing home-staging. You will probably have to spend some but it should not represent more than 2% of the price of the house.
But BE CAREFUL the home-staging will never enable you to sell your house at a superior price than the market price ! It will just avoid negotiations on the price because everything will look perfect. So we sell at a better price because the buyers do not try to negotiate. And of course you will also sell much more quickly ! You gain money and time !!
Is home-staging really necessary ?
in many countries like Canada, the US, every single house is prepared with home-staging principles before trying to be sold ! So yes it is always necessary !! Sometimes there is hardly anything to do and sometimes a little more !!
The 6 steps of the home-staging
To be followed in this order !
- 1- Tidying
It costs nothing but it takes time and energy. It might not be pleasant but it is absolutely necessary !! You must tidy space by space, without forgetting the garage, the cupboards, the outdoor, the cellar, the attic, everywhere !!
- 2- Cleaning
After tidying, you may discover many little negative things ! Think of perfectly cleaning the toilets, the taps in the bathroom, the joints, under cupboards etc.
- 3- Repairing
You may not be able to repair everything so make a list of the priorities. If it is too expensive and you prefer not to do it, get an estimate ready for the future buyers. But there are many little things that we don’t see anymore when we live in a house. Just because we are used to seeing them and we don’t notice them anymore. But the buyers will notice them on the contrary and they will not like them ! So preparing your house before selling means correcting and repairing all these negative things ! You can’t let a plug pending, you can’t let stains and damaged things visible.
You have to understand that all these visible problems give proofs that the house has not been taken care of. And this gives a very negative message to the buyers, it doesn’t bring confidence !
- 4- Depersonalizing
The potential buyers must imagine themselves and their future life in the house, they must potentially identify themselves !
So the space must be neutral and minimalist. It means that all the personal objects must be removed : you must not let your family photos, your travelling souvenirs, your kids’ drawings apparent.
- 5- Organizing the space again
It is important that the buyers can clearly see the surface and the volume of each room. For this reason it is essential that you remove all the big pieces of furniture. Otherwise, they deliver the message that the space is much smaller than it is for real, that you can’t circulate correctly, that the natural lighting doesn’t enter nicely.
You should also give a very specific function to each space . For example, is this room a kid’s bedroom, a study room, a dressing room ? This should be very clear !
You should also create an atmosphere that as many people as possible could enjoy ! We talk about this later.
- 6- Putting the space on stage !
We will also talk about it later but you should create an atmosphere thanks to many little details !
Isn’t it better to sell the house empty ?
No ! An empty space doesn’t help the buyers to imagine themselves in the house. They won’t be able to imagine where to place their pieces of furniture etc. And it also gives a negative message, maybe of an emergency, and maybe they will be willing to negotiate more.
Be aware of the psychologic dimension
This is a sensitive subject but you should know that it may be difficult for you. I don’t know the reason why you are selling your house. It may be for an exiting reason, such as a new bigger house but it may also be for a more complicated one, such as a divorce, financial problems… So it may be an emotional event for you and thus challenging to do this home-staging. You will tidy, clean maybe throw away things, and this could be painful. This is absolutely normal. Take your time, try to analyse your feelings and emotions and put some words on them. Imagine the good things that you will have after this sale. Stay positive.
If ever you need any support, I could help you to make decisions and come to action.