What is 'home staging'? Investment terms explained

What is 'home staging'? Investment terms explained
What is 'home staging'? Investment terms explained

Home staging, or styling, is an increasingly popular part of presenting your property to either the selling or rental market. In a nutshell, it involves dressing your property to allow it to present itself in its best light.

Home owners have been undertaking staging to some extent for almost as long as the property selling business has existed. Tidying, moving furniture and de-cluttering are on most vendors' 'to do' lists, however it has become a trend in recent times to bring in the professionals. These companies tend to charge a fairly hefty sum, particularly if you're looking to style a large house, however they claim they can add tens of thousands to your final selling price and can shift properties quicker.

Staged Homes Pty Ltd claims that just 10% of prospective buyers can look past what is right in front of them, or the furniture, to the structure itself. There's a reason display homes from large companies are presented furnished (such as those in the gallery above, which are the staged display homes at Atherstone in Melton South).

It's not just couches and beds that home staging refers to, however. It covers the following (and often more):

  • Artworks
  • Kitchen utensils (and sometimes appliances)
  • Books, stationery and similar
  • Furniture sets (desks, beds, chairs, beanbags, etc)
  • Sculptures
  • Cushions
  • Curtains
  • Plants
  • Lighting

Professional stagers, who regularly come from interior design or similar backgrounds, will come into your property, assess and consider the prospective buyers, and set about selecting furnishings that bring the best aspects of your property, and what is most appealing to those interesting in purchasing, to life. They will also place everything in its best aspect (regularly measuring walls and hanging things precisely), and ensure the right balance of colour and light. It's no small task. It's also not limited to houses - regularly, apartments and other dwellings use styling techniques as well.

Some stylists will look at your furniture and see what can be incorporated, while others will look to start with an empty slate.

Some stylists will look at the furniture you currently have and see what can be incorporated into the overall design, while others will look to start with an empty slate.

Making the most of space

An empty property is difficult to feel inspired by as a home buyer. The majority of the time, properties look better, and often larger, with furniture inside. The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. You show how functional a room can be

    If you have large rooms, and can show off how you can fit a double bed, a desk and a chest of drawers in the room, it is likely to register on some level with the prospective buyer. Don't leave them guessing whether their furniture will fit into the room - show them just how they can use one corner as a study, and another room as a dining area.

  2. You can draw attention to specific areas and ignore 'problem' points

    When empty, a viewer may think that a certain area is an 'unusable' nook - however some creative furnishing can prove otherwise. Similarly, areas that are special to a home can be displayed in their best light with splashes of colour to draw attention. Furniture is aspirational in many cases - it shows a buyer the life they want to lead.

    It also provides an opportunity to mask areas that are not as attractive. A poor paint job can be hidden somewhat by lights pointing in the right direction.

But will it work with all properties? Over the coming weeks, Property Observer will hear from styling professionals just which properties these experts believing staging works for, how to DIY if you can't afford to bring in a big-name company and the tricks of the trade.

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Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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