Home staging: professional vs DIY

Written by realestateview.com.au in Selling

A home staged kitchen with a marble table, wooden floors and charcoal cupboards

Getting your home ready for inspection is not easy, nobody denies that. It’s even harder when there are rugrats running around making it virtually impossible to market your home towards a couple of young professionals with a newborn, who seem to be coping so much better than you (they aren’t). That’s where home staging comes in. You can employ a professional to bring their experience in marketing homes so that you can see an increased interest in your property and an increased return on the sale of your home.

That’s the goal at least.

There are two main reasons why house staging is a potentially worthwhile investment:

  1. Peace of mind. For the average cost ($2000 for a 1 bedroom, 6-week campaign, $500 for each additional bedroom), you can enjoy the feeling of placing the job of marketing your home in the hands of a professional. You also don’t have to worry about the small things, as a professional home stager can bring in staging furniture to target the right demographic.
  2. Strategic marketing. House staging is different to property styling. A stylist will help you create a home that reflects your own tastes and is usually employed when you move into a home. But what if your tastes aren’t those of your buyers? Home staging aims to present your home in a way that helps buyers visualise living in your home and so create an emotional connection with the home. It is this difference that makes investing in a professional stager potentially lucrative and stress-free.

home staging with light colours

Alternatives to home staging

It can be very hard to identify just how much of a return you see through investing in a professional staging service. Many in the industry claim that home staging can bring in between 5-10% extra on the sale of your property but would you have seen that sort of interest in your home anyway?

There is no doubt that presenting your home effectively is going to drive interest in your home. As long as your home doesn’t have any major faults and is a good investment, home staging can only help. So, can you do it yourself?

As a first step, a professional stager will meet with you to help identify your target audience. However, you can find this out yourself. Using a Property Price Estimates tool, you can see your neighbourhood demographics, as well homeowner attributes before you target your marketing towards these age groups and professional types.

Home staging with paintings, throw rugs and natural light

If you do decide to stage your home yourself, consider the following:

  1. Research as much as you can. Knowing who your target audience is, identify trends within that age bracket. Invest the $30 in a book that can help you effectively stage by knowing exactly how you will go about the process. Use online resources as much as you can to get ideas, such as virtual staging apps that show how your home will look with particular kinds of staging furniture and colour schemes.
  2. Clear your rooms. Rather than trying to declutter until you are happy with your property styling, it is easier to clear rooms as much as you possibly can and then build up from there.
  3. Seek support. That sounds like emotional support, but this is more to do with asking friends and family to borrow items you think will really work in the staging of your home. Remember to tell them that it’s only for 6 weeks.
  4. Target your audience. If you are targeting young and/or potential families, then that third bedroom may be better presented as a baby’s room. This move risks narrowing that room’s appeal but if your research tells you that the most probable buyer in your neighbourhood for a 3-bedroom home is a young professional couple, then you know that they will probably be upsizing for a potential family.
  5. Create broad appeal. While you may target young, professional couples with a baby’s room, you can use other staging techniques to appeal to a wider audience in the rest of the property. While you don’t want to invest too much money in cheap and generic decorations, you do want to find that balance between specific styling and creating an environment in which buyers can imagining themselves living a similar lifestyle within your home. This is where professional stagers can be highly effective, but if you do decide to try yourself, keep things simple, spacious and neutral. Avoid trying to inject too many primary colours into the main palette of a room. Any bold colours should be in temporary decorations (pillows) that buyers can easily swap in their own mind.
  6. Get preliminary help: Invest a minimum (approximately $200) in a professional consultation when home staging, as this can help you identify your audience as well as affordable DIY home staging techniques.