Home staging began as a Hollywood secret, popular with A-list celebrities who wanted to showcase their lavish residences in lifestyle magazines. The luxury property market in America then adopted the practice during the recession to increase the value of high-end real estate. Now the trend is spreading to Europe – around 30% of luxury properties for sale in London are given a makeover. Home styling taps into the old adage that you are selling a lifestyle and not just a property, so when you stage your house for selling it's important the finished result exudes style and exclusivity.
Surfaces should be free of clutter, with just a few carefully curated accessories on show – elegant jewellery boxes, soft throw pillows and scented candles all create an impression of luxury. In the living room display glossy coffee table books and the latest editions of aspirational lifestyle magazines, such as Monocle and Harper's Bazaar. Artwork can provide a focal point for a room, and shows refined taste – you can even arrange for a few pieces on loan from a local art dealer.
Remove personal touches
It's important that potential buyers can visualise themselves living in the property, so let nothing spoil the illusion. Family photographs, children's drawings and pet paraphernalia should all be put away before spaces are photographed. Strong colours or bold embellishments can be off-putting, so neutral hues are preferred for home staging. Brightly coloured fabrics should be replaced with lighter shades and rooms should be painted in subtle, pale tones. One statement wall is fine, but avoid anything too garish.
Make it a sensory experience
Create a calm and welcoming atmosphere by playing relaxing music, such as light jazz or blues, on a quiet setting. Baking bread and brewing coffee are well-known tricks for enticing buyers, but a more subtle option is a scented candle or diffuser. Experts recommend a mixture of white tea and fig scents, which are fresh and clean while delicate enough not to overwhelm. These aromas have been proven to have a positive effect on sales, especially in light, minimal properties.
Stage rooms to show their function
Each room should be shown to its full potential. If you want to appeal to professionals, transform a spare bedroom into a clean and spacious office. If you are targeting the family market, create a nursery by arranging toys on a shelf, stacking board games in the corner and placing classic children's books like The Little Prince on the side table.
While home styling is crucial to making a good sale, you need the expertise of industry professionals to reach the right audience. Engel & Völkers are represented across four continents, with consultants on hand to assist you in every step of the sale – visit us in person or online today.