Presentation makes a huge difference to your sale

Written by Ed Grant, Head of Rental at furnishing solutions provider David Phillips, www.davidphillips.com.

Home staging (also known as dress to sell) is a service where vendors can rent furnishings in order to dress their property to sell.

Buying a property can be a very emotional experience, particularly for owner occupiers, so creating a homely look that helps people to imagine living there can make a huge difference.

Certainly, in our experience of situations where the vendor has struggled to sell a property, home staging has enabled them to sell it on average within 25 days of installation and at 98 percent of the asking price. Only recently, we were brought in to stage a large family apartment in Wellington Court, St Johns Wood that had been on the market for over three months. The flat had previously been tenanted – and although in good decorative condition – it didn’t present well, and after numerous viewings and a price reduction – the client was still unable to sell it. Not long after we dressed it, the client received several offers and achieved over the asking price of £2,095,000.

But – you don’t have to wait for that sort of scenario to happen before you decide to dress your property. Even in a strong market when properties are selling fast, home staging can boost interest and you could end up with offers well in excess of the asking price. We ask for half to one percent of the property’s value, which is nothing if you make 10 or 15 percent more in the sale. Additionally, home staging can show buyers how to make a space work. We recently staged two apartments at Carmel Gate in Golders Green – an old converted monastery. Some of the rooms were built into the original arched roofs so the walls sloped and there were large exposed beams. The apartments were stunning but buyers couldn’t imagine how the furniture would fit. Showing them a solution makes them think: “actually, this could work”.  Staging can also mask a property’s shortcomings. Properties that suffer from a shortage of natural light such as lower ground floor apartments can be brightened by mirrors, glass tables and light colours.

We operate at all levels of the market but our service tends to be more popular at the higher end. There are fewer buyers – and vendors know that dressing will help them to stand out from the crowd. If you look at the most successful luxury developers, the Finchattons and Candy & Candys of the world, everything they sell is furnished, and that strategy has enabled them to sell properties at record prices per square foot.

It’s true that at the lower end of the market home staging can be seen as too big an outlay, but at David Phillips all of our furniture is available to purchase at a significant discount at the end of the rental period, so the developer can recoup the cost if the purchaser wants to buy it. And – because the buy rate is potentially much higher at the lower end of the market, where purchasers tend to be first time buyers or investors – the outlay might not end up being so big. Developers often include the furniture with the property, which can really help first time buyers who are already short of cash after paying stamp duty, solicitors fees and surveys. And if this makes a property much more desirable than a similar one that’s unfurnished – and the buyer pays more for it, the cost of staging will be more than recouped in the sale price.

We are often asked to explain the benefits of home staging but these benefits are only realised if you deliver an appropriate furniture scheme, fast, and for a price that makes sense. If you decide to stage your property, a key consideration – when choosing your provider – should be how long it’s going to take. There is no point in using a service that aims to sell your property faster if it takes months to install. We aim to have most installations completed in less than a week for mid-end installations and in only two weeks for high-end schemes. You should also make sure that your provider has a broad selection of products to choose from as well as interior designers that you can consult. Otherwise, your property could end up looking like a ‘clone’ or with a scheme that devalues it.

The way a property is presented can make a huge difference; our clients will testify to that. Best of luck with your property sale – and if you’re interested in staging your property, please feel free to give us a call.

 

Written by Ed Grant, Head of Rental at furnishing solutions provider David Phillips, www.davidphillips.com.

David Phillips is a company that provides furnishing solutions to private landlords. Their service includes Next Day Replenishment Furniture and Appliances, Furniture Packages, Interior Design, Contract Furniture, and Rental Furniture.


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