Did you know that only 10% of prospective buyers can visualize a home looking any different than the way it looks when they walk in the door?
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) “2015 Profile of Home Staging”, 81% of their clients felt that staging helped them envision the property as their future home.
Staging can also be compared to visual merchandising, a way of enticing buyers solely on presentation. Although staging services are nothing new to the US and Europe, they are only just emerging in Hong Kong, with landlords gradually seeing the benefits.
Although using a professional staging service is ideal, we don’t entirely endorse it as we understand this can be a costly venture. We do however, recommend the do-it-yourself mentality, and believe that with a few tricks, you can make your home more appealing than the average listing on the market.
Stage Your Home for a Quicker Sale
1) Arrange & Rearrange
The way you arrange your furniture makes a big difference in how your property is perceived by prospective buyers. Ideally, your furniture pieces should be the right size for the room they are placed in and you should never clutter your space. Furniture that is too big, will make the room look miniature, while furniture that is too small, can make your space feel cold. Here are some easy arranging tips that will make a world of a difference:
- Keep a clear path: Be mindful of the number of items you are placing in a room. Use only what you need for comfort, storage and utility
- Lining furniture along the perimeter of a room creates a stagnant look. Try staging one large piece against the wall, and balancing a few smaller pieces like armchairs in front to balance the look
2) Lighting Sets the Stage
Taking advantage of natural light is key. However, if natural light is limited in your home, you should consider more than one light source in a room. Lighting is important because it gives a better impression of the interior space. A room with dimly lit corners will look less spacious than a well-lit one.
Enhanced lighting is often worth the extra expense of incorporating other options such as lampshades and recessed ceiling lights in addition to traditional light fixtures.
3) Neutralize your Walls
Fresh, neutral paint on the walls, trim on ceilings and doors makes everything appear clean and new. Most people assume that white walls are ideal as they create a blank slate for buyers to envision their own décor, however, it’s better to paint your home with warm, neutral colours which will project the homey image you're trying to sell.
“Neutral colours” don’t just mean different shades of white and beige. In fact, you can use browns, greens and some bolder colours to highlight your home. Earth tones including shades of brown, green, and even red, depict colour in nature and are warm and inviting.
Decluttering your home is the simplest way to get a buyer to focus on the shell of the flat. Although it is the simplest of tasks, most sellers have a hard time getting rid of their personal belongings. Below are a few tips on decluttering with an attention to detail.
- Start removing items from countertops in the kitchen and bathroom(s)
- If you have kids, get rid of all the toys around the flat
- Buyers will be interested in seeing the closet space, so tossing everything into the closet to hide the “clutter” is not the best strategy! Tidy up those closets as well
5) Take Professional Photos
Taking great property photos whether by yourself or using a professional is a must when speeding up a sale. It is one of the most important things you can do after the staging process. It’s essential for strengthening your online profile and making a strong first impression. Although photography does not enhance the appearance of your home, when combined with easy DIY staging tips, it will both attract and entice potential buyers.
If you are taking photos of the property by yourself, we suggest avoiding the use of a cell-phone as it compromises and compresses the image quality. However, pictures from a phone can be acceptable if you have a wide-angle lens attached to it.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Try taking pictures in the daylight and be sure to send your agency high resolution image files so they can be used across all marketing channels without any negative effect on quality
- Choose the best angle: The best way to show off a room is to shoot from a corner or a doorway to include as much of the room as possible
- Edit your photos: Utilize free online editing software to crop, adjust brightness or contrast and to correct colors. We suggest using Pixlr Photo Editor as it’s easy to use and great for adding professional touches to you photos