Your questions anwsered. An interview with the team. Home staging is on the rise in the UK property industry after gaining huge success rates across the USA and Australia. In fact, it’s one of the most effective marketing strategies for selling your home faster and for more money. However, you’ll be forgiven if the concept is new to you, so grab a cuppa and get comfy as we sit down to have a chat with Sarah Massey and Maria Stokes, who run the successful House of Arden Home Staging and Interiors, a sister company founded by Arden Estates in Worcestershire.

Is home staging just for show homes?

Sarah: Not at all! Home staging can transform any property for the better, from a one bedroom apartment to a five bedroom detached house. Although, we have created ‘show home’ new builds for developers, our portfolio is mainly built up of ex-rentals and vacant properties. We’ve even helped homes where the vendors are still living in the property.

What is Home Staging?

Maria: Home Staging is simply the process of preparing a home for sale by highlighting its best features with fitting furniture, accessories, plants, artwork and soft furnishings to create an environment that makes a potential buyer say, “I could really see myself living here.”. To stand out in a competitive market, a property has to be as appealing as possible and really stand out from the crowd. Home staging therefore focuses on what the buyer sees, and ultimately feels, when they walk through the home to inspire them to make an offer right away.

Is it affordable for anyone?

Maria: Totally! We quote for every individual project that we take on. Obviously, the smaller the property, the smaller the cost as we use less furniture and stock, but we have done our best to create a service that any vendor could afford to use. If the property needs a bit of a spruce up, we can add painting and decorating, cleaning and a garden tidy (if necessary) to the quote, alternatively, if the vendor prefers to do that themselves to save money, that’s fine too.

How did House of Arden come about?

Sarah: I founded the company, alongside Jon Whitehead (the Directing Manager of Arden Estates) back in 2017. My dad had bought a fixer upper and it was coming to the point where it was ready to go back on the market. I convinced him to let me ‘stage’ the property with all the spare furniture and accessories we could muster together before going on the market. I took Jon out to the house to show him the difference staging could make and he was impressed. The house went on the market with Arden Estates, receiving more interest than usual and sold within a week after a successful bidding war! Jon saw it was a service that could benefit so many of our clients and so House of Arden was born.

But does home staging really work?

Sarah: Absolutely, I know this first-hand as I’ve not just been a stager, I was also a branch manager for Arden Estates. 90% of our staged homes spend less than three weeks on the market – that’s 73% less time than their non-staged competition! But the most exciting incentive for the client is that a staged home can add a value of 5-10% on any given property making the return on the investment between 500%-1000%, not bad at all!

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