What’s a common misconception about home staging?

And, last but not least, what do you enjoy most about the job?

Maria: I think there are three big misconceptions when it comes to home staging. The first is that it will be too expensive, the second is that they don’t think the house needs it or that the property isn’t worth bothering to stage, and the third is that anyone can do this themselves. We’ve seen this a few times and half-filled rooms with mis- matched furniture and very few accessories can often look more unappealing than a completely empty room.

Maria: I love the whole process, purchasing stock for the company, the staging itself, vendor’s reaction and seeing how quickly the property sells. We have great fun together with the team on staging days, it’s hard work, there’s a lot to get organised in advance in terms of stock which will be available to us and ordering extra items in time, but there’s always lots of banter and laughter, and to see the transformation at the end is just unbelievable sometimes. It’s wonderful when a vendor has checked in after we’ve finished or has viewed the property photos for the first time and is overwhelmed by the difference it has made, it’s exciting for everyone. Sarah: As I said, for me, I enjoy the challenge. It’s great to stage a brand new show home, but I love the satisfaction of staging a property that’s needed some attention, perhaps been marketed with another agent before, sometimes for months with no bites. We go in, paint, stage, take professional photos and have the property sold for the client sometimes within a week or two. That’s a great feeling, knowing we are providing an invaluable service to our clients that takes all the stress away from them and helps them achieve thousands of pounds more than they ever thought they could get on their property.

What’s the most challenging part of the job?

Sarah: I suppose the most challenging issues we are faced with are the properties that aren’t just ready to stage. They are dirty or they require decorating, new carpets or a bit of maintenance. But because I can see in my head how it’ll look by the time we’ve finished with it, I actually love the challenge. Some of these kinds of properties have been my favourite finished projects. Like Maria said, every property is worthy of staging, even if it takes a bit of hard work to get there. Maria: One of the biggest challenges I’d say we face are non-believers. They agree that our portfolio looks great, but either don’t want to spend on the service or don’t feel it would benefit their property. This can be really frustrating, because in the long-run, the initial expenditure is returned ten-fold. When a non-staged property goes on the market and receives less interest than hoped for, or low offers, we are often asked about staging at this later point. However, the property has already had its chance to make a first impression. By the time the service can be carried out and the property is re-photographed, the vendor has lost that initial ‘wow’ impact, the value of the property may have declined as it has sat stale for a while, and several weeks or months will have been wasted.

What skills do you have?

Sarah: Between us we have a great range of skills, Maria has an interior design course under her belt which is invaluable, as well as a qualification in marketing. I have experience and knowledge of the local market, I know what excites potential buyers, I have brilliant relationships with our vendors, and most importantly, both Maria and I have a good eye for home staging, we work very well together and never walk away from the job until we are both completely satisfied with the presentation of every room. I always say to our clients a property will sell on three things, price, presentation and position. We can’t change the position of a home, but we can present the house in its very best light, which positively affects the price they can hope to achieve.

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