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Ask RiotACT: Home staging in a hot suburb, would you do it?

By canberreaner - 12 September 2016 11

Ask RiotACT
I have a relatively nice and modern 4-bedroom house ( bright led through the house, nice bathroom, walk-in robe and pantry, alfresco area, caesar stone on all bathroom and laundry, etc) in the Gungahlin suburb.

There are not many houses on the market at the moment and we are currently waiting to put new lawns in the front yard to make it nicer and tiling the alfresco to make it easier on the eyes. I am also going to repaint the garage floor.

The house is being emptied and all that’s left will be the beds, the fridge and washing machine and a few bits and pieces. It will be an empty home.

I have read a lot these past few week about home styling/home staging the house and how it could recoup the cost of the staging and even get you toward the upper end of what your house would sell for.

In a suburb where house get sold as quickly as Gungahlin would it be worth it to stage your home? We are not looking for a quick sell but to get the best money we can on the house.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Ask RiotACT: Home staging in a hot suburb, would you do it?
JesintaBale 10:10 am 22 Sep 16

You could try hiring a professional stylist.

JoueurBoy 1:39 am 22 Sep 16

canberreaner said :

@joueurboy …. there [is] no option to send private message or none that I am aware of so far.

You can send me a Gmail.

Maya123 12:18 pm 15 Sep 16

canberreaner said :

Thank you @Joueurboy for sharing your experience. I have sold a house in the past and we lived in there. It took a long time to sell it as our furniture didn’t really match the house and didn’t really sell it.

A few people we know recommended just selling it empty but from our experience we didn’t like empty houses, although we bought this particular house empty because:
1. it was cheaper (bought through the builder)
2. the builders did an amazing job with the inclusions and the house layout is modern.

I have decided to do my own staging too since I have a very good design skills. I am currently drafting a plan for the staging and I would like to share it with you but there are no option to send private message or none that I am aware of so far.

@Masquara Thank you for your tips. I believe the house is desirable and like you said we are looking to style ourselves. It will be a bit more expensive than going with a stylist with the initial investment but by reselling at the end we will more than recoup the cost (we might as well keep a few nice pieces to ourselves ! ).

Whether the house looks better empty or with furniture I feel depends on the house. I have visited some houses that look better with furniture and others that were improved by not having the furniture. If a house is empty the walls need to be in great condition; ie. no faded marks where a painting, clock, etc used be be. Basically, freshly painted. The floors need to look immaculate. If not, the furniture helps hide the faults. My parents house for instant looked better with the furniture, because the walls had been covered in paintings for years and removing them you could still see where they had hung. The walls were also wallpapered and the furniture reduced the effect of this. Bare, the wallpaper was a bit overpowering. On the other hand, my house looked better to be sold without its furniture, because the tiny rooms looked larger empty and many of the walls were freshly painted. Paint is also not as overwhelming as wallpaper. Same with a property I wanted to rent. Freshly painted inside, new carpet, newly hung curtains; that all looked much better without furniture, and roomier.

canberreaner 8:19 pm 14 Sep 16

Thank you @Joueurboy for sharing your experience. I have sold a house in the past and we lived in there. It took a long time to sell it as our furniture didn’t really match the house and didn’t really sell it.

A few people we know recommended just selling it empty but from our experience we didn’t like empty houses, although we bought this particular house empty because:
1. it was cheaper (bought through the builder)
2. the builders did an amazing job with the inclusions and the house layout is modern.

I have decided to do my own staging too since I have a very good design skills. I am currently drafting a plan for the staging and I would like to share it with you but there are no option to send private message or none that I am aware of so far.

@Masquara Thank you for your tips. I believe the house is desirable and like you said we are looking to style ourselves. It will be a bit more expensive than going with a stylist with the initial investment but by reselling at the end we will more than recoup the cost (we might as well keep a few nice pieces to ourselves ! ).

Masquara 8:16 pm 13 Sep 16

Two houses in my neighbourhood were styled for sale over the last few months – it’s very obvious when that’s been done, it just looks straight out of a Harvey Norman showroom. I must say, the “styling” was pretty dull and low-end. If you just put nice doona covers on the beds, have a couple of good framed posters on the walls, and make the place smell nice, and make sure it’s super, super clean – I don’t think “styling” – which is of course expensive – would make a difference if you’re confident that your house is desirable. You could weigh up the cost of a “professional” stylist and even spend a bit of money on your own styling with a couple of pieces that you would then own …

JoueurBoy 5:44 am 13 Sep 16

I think you should stage your house. Most people can not visualise what furniture can fit into a space and staging adds the wow factor.

I have bought and sold a few times. The last time it was a hot market and I staged. I had six interested parties with two outbidding each other. Sold in fifteen minutes! Once you have more than one interested party at the open house tell them we have multiple offers and that it is going to be sold today.

The last place I bought was first inspected furnished. The inspection before signing the contract it was unfurnished and I nearly did not buy it because it looked smaller.

You don’t have to style so it looks over done. Contemporary furniture in neutral tones. Leave family pictures so it does not look sterile. It should look lived in but not lived in if you get my drift.

It is a pity you moved out. I do my own staging and buy the necessary furniture and assessories. It is the same cost as hiring and you get to keep the purchases. You can get quality furniture that isn’t Ikea or flat packed if you shop around and wait for the sales. I start from the first day I move in. If you don’t have an eye for what looks good or the time bring in the professionals.

Nice photos, well written blurb, a floor plan with accruate dimensions, internet listings (including the floor plan as last image), Canberra Weekly advertising and non slimey respected agent will sell a house for top dollar every time.

Maya123 11:24 pm 12 Sep 16

I find empty houses are better, as you can see the good and bad easier. Plus it’s easier to imagine your own furniture in it, without being distracted by someone else’s taste (or lack of). The occasional piece of furniture is okay though. I don’t like cluttered homes, so a house with too much furniture is a negative distraction for me. But to be honest, I have put a higher priority on what way the house faces, and how much northern sun it will get.

canberreaner 2:56 pm 12 Sep 16

I do believe it’s a lot of money to invest as the house is quite modern.
The reason I want to tile the concrete is that there are a few stains that I can’t get out (oil from cooking). Should I still leave it like that?

I’d love to hear some positive or negative stories of owners that sold their place with home styling.

Genie 11:57 am 12 Sep 16

While I had some friends stage their house which led to top dollar, I wouldn’t recommend it. Mostly for them, staging their home was due to their outdated furniture and helping hide their clutter while still living there.

While house hunting I personally wasn’t a fan of bare houses. I couldn’t picture the space (particularly in open plan homes) or gauge how big/small the bedrooms really were.

Personally I wouldn’t waste money tiling the alfresco, let the new owners decide if that it was they’d like. When I originally enquired about tiling over the concrete slab that it my outdoor alfresco, 2 separate tile shops and a landscaper told me I’d be wasting my money. The concrete was safer, and I would be better off putting down an outdoor rug with my furniture.

devils_advocate 10:15 am 12 Sep 16

If the living areas are small, leave it empty. It makes it appear bigger. Spend the money on professional (or good amateur) photography that highlights the best points of the home.
If the house is a strange layout consider staging it to show people what the possibilities are, however don’t use stuff from IKEA because it just makes the place look cheaper than it is.
And stop using the term staging, it’s hideously American.

TuggLife 9:33 am 12 Sep 16

To be honest, I wouldn’t bother. Whenever I see a house on AllHomes that’s been staged, I feel like the seller is trying to trick me from the outset, and is going to be a pain to deal with.

Neat and tidy is worthwhile (iron the bed covers, clean the dust off the ceiling fans, etc) and if your furniture isn’t up to scratch, leave it empty. Particularly so in Canberra – the houses in any given suburb are all pretty similar, so people know what they’re getting, regardless of window dressing.

When we bought our house, we were after a quick move because we had to be out of our previous house by a set date, so seeing it empty meant we knew the seller was serious and we wouldn’t be delayed.

Selling and moving is stressful enough without adding any extra steps.

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