Although most people would agree, the better the first impression, the better the chance of transforming a potential buyer, to a serious one, many homeowners fail to realize, or are unwilling or unable to accept, may need some tweaks, in order for others to see it in its best light! Sometimes, only some minor adjustments might be needed, while at other times, there may be a need to stage the entire place
Originating in America in the 1970s, home staging is commonly practised in the US where an estimated one million trained professionals spruce up properties before they are put up for lease or sale. However, home staging is a relatively new concept in Singapore, although locals may have heard of it from reality TV shows such as Extreme Home Makeover and Sell This House. What exactly is home staging, and how does it help you lease or sell your property?
HOW DOES HOME STAGING WORK?
The objective of home staging is to highlight a property’s best features in order to attract a wider audience and to sell or lease it out faster, at the highest price. “It commonly involves de-cluttering, maintenance, re-arrangement or hire of furniture and decor and finding storage solutions,” explains Georgina Wong, CEO of Asian Professional Organisers. Singapore’s first professional organising company registered with the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers. Her company has been offering home staging services here for the past year.
Besides inhabited properties, it also involves dressing up a bare unit with rented furniture and furnishings, as it’s difficult for potential buyers to appreciate how large a space is in an empty house. “The lack of decor such as curtains, artwork and lighting also puts defects in plain sight,” points out Georgina. Home staging is commonly confused with interior design but she explains that it is almost the reverse process. “A professional organizer will stage the property to de-personalise it and make it more neutral, or return it to showroom condition, so that viewers can imagine themselves living there.”
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
This depends on how much work is required. Asian Professional Organisers offer a complimentary first-hour assessment to clients (sellers, landlords or their property agents) before giving a quotation. On the average, a one-bedroom condo that is inhabited will take at least a day. A three-bedder house with a driveway and garage may require a week or more.
Charges are the same for HDB or private properties: $900 to $1,000 per eight-hour day, depending on the complexity and number of professional organisers required. This covers professional recommendations, hands-on de-cluttering and re-organising of room layouts and decor, sourcing for custom items and getting quotations for specialists in electrical, plumbing, painting and gardening. It includes free use of the company’s inventory such as lighting, carpets, small furniture and plants. Clients working on a tight budget can choose to stage key rooms such as the entrance, living and dining rooms and the master bedroom.
Sellers may wonder: what’s the point of spending on a home that you’re selling off anyway? Georgina says it’s the same logic why condominium developers spend time, effort and money to create attractive show galleries before a launch: “To make the unit show-worthy, to demonstrate how the space can be utilised and to entice buyers with a warm and inviting environment.”
HOW DOES HOME STAGING HELP TO INCREASE MY HOME’S VALUE?
Viewings usually last an average of five to 10 minutes. Hence, curb appeal – the first impression – is vital as buyers decide within seconds …