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Home staging – just a nice thing to offer vendors?

Home staging – or dressing – may not add value to a property but it may boost the chances of achieving the asking price in some markets, reports Marc Da Silva.

Property Drum

Home Stagers, beauty in the barn.

An open event at a new development or a resale is a great opportunity for potential buyers to explore the property, while sales consultants or vendors are on hand to answer any questions; but if the property is dressed to demonstrate exactly how it could be the buyer’s dream house, the effect can be far more persuasive.

“Our success rate of selling properties through Savills that have been dressed is over 90 per cent which should be reason enough for more firms and individuals to consider use home staging on a property,” says Simon Buhl Davis, Director of Interior Services at Savills.


He added, “Home staging or ‘dressing’ as we call it, is not interior design, it is a marketing tool to ensure that the property appeals to the widest possible audience of relevant buyers and not to the personal taste of the vendor.”

From furniture and lighting to bedding and tabletop items, there is a lot that can be done to improve a property’s internal appearance and give it that homely feel; helping to showcase the impressive features available and maximise the use of space, ensuring that the home is perfect for family buyers or busy professionals.

All marketing opportunities are wasted if a property is poorly presented and not shown to its full potential.” Collette Hanion Home Stagers


Collette Hanion Home Stagers

“Furnished houses allow prospective customers to visualise what it would be like to live in them,” said Ed Grant, the head of rental furnishings at David Phillips Furniture, who reports that most of his firm’s business comes from house builders.

Although highly popular with developers with a scheme full of residential units to sell, home staging services also appeal to various property professionals, vendors and landlords, marketing a wide range of homes, reflected in the different types of services on offer.

Ed added, “We offer different levels of service, from a basic product that we can set up very quickly to a high level service, at an attractive price that makes good business sense.”


Ed Grant David Phillips Furniture

The costs involved in sourcing, storing, purchasing, transporting and installing furnishings and accessories, particularly for properties in the mid to high end market, can be significant, which is why many firms opt to outsource this work to the professionals.

Furnished houses allow customers to visualise how they could live in them.” Ed Grant David Phillips Furniture

Costs vary, with some providers typically charging £1-£2sqft for homes that are for sale, based on a three month minimum rental, and typically 10 to 15 per cent of the rental fee for homes that are being furnished to let on a 6-12 month contract.

Some companies offer a discount of around 20 per cent on the retail price, if the client opts to acquire the furniture package at the end of the lease, presenting developers and agents with an opportunity to sell ‘marked-up’ furniture packages to buyers.


Whether acquiring or renting a starter home or a luxury marble mansion, there are people at all levels of the market with high expectations, and properties that reflect that key factor will attract more viewings and potentially achieve a better price.

Dark wood furniture and flooring may be deemed out of date, but it would appear that flashy, ostentatious or elaborate furniture and décor is also no longer in vogue, “This year ‘bling’ is out, and considered, sophisticated styling is in. Emerald Green has earned pantone colour of year, complementing a strong botanical theme in throughout a number of new properties. Also on trend are sleek metal finishes and luxurious stone surfaces,” said Christopher Ellison, Business Manager at Fully Furnished.


Ellison says that his firm is seeing growth in the number of instructions to dress for sale, “particularly in Greater London”, he says, “Buoyancy in the private rented sector is also driving confidence in the wider residential property market, and that in turn is manifested in renewed commitment and focus by individuals and companies developing stock for sale.”


When taking photos of a property or making a promotional video, a well organised, smart looking home is always likely to attract the greatest level of interest.

Staging a property for sale opens new and innovative marketing opportunities, as it gives house builders and estate agents a platform to showcase a stunning property to the full, according to Collette Hanlon of Home Stagers.


Savills dress for success

She says, “Through photos on property portals to potential editorial and 360-degree photos or videos, hosted open days and luxury brochures, all these high level marketing opportunities are lost on a property that is poorly presented and not shown at its full potential.”

Dress for sale or to let may not be suited to every property, but there is no denying the possible impacts that it can have, with many able to offer a flexibility of design schemes to suit the individual characteristics and space requirements of different properties.

Success rates for our dressed properties is over 90%. Reason enough to consider it!” Simon Buhl Davis Savills

This is especially the case as far as new or recently refurbished homes are concerned, thanks to the unique range of skills and resources offered by professional staging firms; and it’s well suited to potential buyers buying into a certain lifestyle, particularly at the mid- to high-end of the market.

Home Stagers
Fully Furnished
David Phillips
Savills Interior Services

May 15, 2013

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