In a nutshell, home staging refers to the act of sprucing up a home and making it more desirable for potential buyers. When we first wrote about it back in 2016, home staging wasn’t huge here. But it’s now become one of the must-do things in order to sell a house fast (and potentially get a higher price too).
Why home staging? Well, when it comes to home viewings, the first impression counts. Home staging not only helps to increase the visual appeal of the property, but also allows the potential buyers to envision it as their new home.
What’s more, it can help boost up the selling price. With this in mind, home staging could make the difference between a profit or a loss.
If you’re new to this whole home staging thing, here are five handy tips that will help you make an impression on potential buyers.
1. Avoid putting your life on show
You might really love your wedding photos or snaps of your beloved child, but it might not be wisest to showcase them during property viewings. The same goes for candid polaroids of you and your BFFs that you’ve lined your walls and TV console with.
If you have an excessive amount of religious fixtures or decorations put up, it might also work against you. (A discreet altar in the living room is fine.)
Remember: the goal is to get prospective buyers to fall in love with your space and visualise it as their home. Something that is difficult for them to do when you’ve staked your claim so obviously.
So, when preparing your home for viewings, consider putting your pictures and other obvious personal effects away — at least for the time being — so that your house appears as neutral as possible to the prospective buyer. Aim for impersonal but liveable, like a showflat.
2. Be detail-oriented
You might not want to go through the hassle of repainting your walls, but there are several DIY quick fixes to instantly increase the appeal of your property.
A vase of freshly-cut flowers in the living room or a basket of fruits on the dining table, for example, will go a long way in making your property feel more upmarket.
Give dirty hobs or appliances a quick wipe-down. And if your shower curtains look like a science experiment, waste no time in replacing them.
HDB flats for sale
3. Be ready to open up
We know many homeowners are uncomfortable with prospective buyers peering inside their storeroom, built-in closets or kitchen cabinets.
But the truth is that the less the buyer sees, the less their unspoken questions will be answered (e.g. any signs of damage). And the more uncertainty there is, the less likely the prospective buyer will enter a bid.
So, make sure you’re ready to open up every single room and wardrobe door to the buyer who’s viewing your home.
And instead of stuffing your wardrobe to the brim, for instance, try to leave at least 20% spare capacity. Otherwise, they’d get the impression that there won’t be enough space for them as well if they choose to buy your place.
(This is also why it’s important to declutter the house before any viewings. If there’s not enough storage space at home, consider renting a storage space for the time being.)
Some agents have also told us that buyers dare not ask to open the wardrobes and other enclosed spaces when the owner is present, for fear of coming across as rude. When this happens, they are less likely to sustain interest for that particular property. So, agents usually advise the owner to not be present during home viewings. Just leave it to them work their magic.
4. Transform ‘dead space’
Perhaps your hallway is longer than usual, or you have an awkward nook or alcove somewhere in your home. You don’t want the prospective buyer to view this as wasted space.
To remedy this, try putting up a bulletin board, shelves or artwork to frame the space and direct lighting towards it if necessary. Doing so will not only help you eliminate a ‘dead space’, but give your home an additional, aesthetically-pleasing plus point.
5. Don’t forget what’s outside
If you’re staying in a condo or an HDB flat, you probably don’t have much outdoor space to speak of. However, you should still make sure that whatever space that leads from the lift landing to your main gate/door is spick and span.
Dispose of any trash or old newspapers that you’ve left lying around, and make sure there aren’t any stray pamphlets at your gate. Trim and neaten any plants you might have.
If there’s a faulty light at the corridor, get the management or town council to get it fixed. It’s all about nailing that first impression!