Decrease time on the market, increase interest of prospective buyers

…staging your home! Remember first impressions last.

The most overlooked but valued form of home staging for us as agents are de-cluttering and cleanliness.

Staging should ideally take place before putting your home on the market and, especially, before photographing it. If people don’t like what they see of your home in the online photos, you’ll never get them through the door on show day. Whilst photos may get them through the door, the appearance and overall feel of your home needs to match or better that when prospective buyers visit your home.

The concept of home staging, whilst popular abroad, is slowly gaining traction in South Africa. If you’re planning to put your house on the market, you’ve no doubt already got a checklist of things you need to do before show day. Those activities are, in fact, home staging in its most basic form.  There are varying degrees of staging: from hiring a cleaning service like My Maid and de-cluttering to elaborate renting of furniture and accessories for an empty home. Time and money spent preparing the home upfront should be worth the reduced time the house spends on the market and a higher selling price.

Clutter can make your home appear untidy, crowded and small. If you can’t sort through it quickly – place it in temporary storage. The same applies to packed moving boxes. Having these stacked around your home subconsciously reminds prospective buyers that someone doesn’t want to live there anymore – you create a sense of departure (past), rather than arrival (future). Toys, shoes, etc. must be packed away.

Converting a vacant house in to a warm home

Statistically, staged homes take between 10% and 50% less time to sell. The aim of staging is to bring out the best in your home – emphasising the positives and downplaying the imperfections, making it appear larger, brighter, newer, etc. You also want your home to appeal to the highest number of prospective buyers – all of whom should be able to envisage themselves in it.

Changing an accent wall’s colour won’t cost an arm and leg

Take a walk through your property, starting from the outside and objectively scrutinise its condition and features making a list of required maintenance and enhancements. Ensure that your lawn and garden are tidy and varnish or paint your front door – it should invite and entice rather than deter.  Interior walls should be as neutral as possible without being boring – opt for a popular ‘greige’.  Brightly-coloured walls, whilst appealing to some, will narrow your prospective market. Old fittings (lights, switches, etc.) can date your home. Consider replacing some of them without breaking the bank.

Audrey Maidwell is an interior decorator, home stager and second hand furniture and décor retailer, owner of Second Chance Furniture & Decor. Whether you need help selling your current home or turning your new space into a home, she’d love to help. Contact details: Tel 083 297 7671, Email: secondchance.fd@vodamail.co.za

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