Property - Home Stagers and House Doctors

Home Stagers / House Doctors

By Tina Andlaw

Home Staging, or “House Doctoring” as it is widely known as on UK and American TV, is also available here in Andalucia. It is becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective means to redesign a property in order to realize its full potential.

The concept of home staging is an important sales or rental tool in a slow property market. Agents and homeowners alike are now practicing home staging as a means to sell fast by making a property outshine all the others in its league. A property with the essential "wow" factor that others lack has far greater potential than the rest for that all important quick sale or rental.

Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a revamp or restyle to improve your living environment without resorting to major construction work, a home stager will help you with anything from a de-clutter and tidy-up to a change of colour scheme and the introduction of key accessories.

Home Staging to Sell or Rent Your Property

Using specific styling techniques and universal trade facts that are proven to increase selling power, home stagers put emphasis where it should lie, be it on a necessary building project, a new colour scheme, or simply the reorganization or addition of furniture or accessories.

It is a psychological fact that 90% of viewers do not want to use their imagination to envisage living in a property and they often don´t have time, patience or money for home improvements. This 90% wants to imagine simply moving in with a minimum of work to do and invariably chose the perfect, well presented, staged home in preference to the un-staged version of the same property.

The Purchaser & the Un-staged Home

We have all done it before: gone excitedly to see a property listed by an agent, which seems to fit virtually all of our criteria. When we approach the front door we notice it could do with a lick of paint and the windows aren't all that clean either.

We enter the property and within seconds we are feeling decidedly disappointed and negative towards the whole viewing. We wonder at the furniture layout and notice the walls haven´t been painted in a long time, not to speak of that lingering smell that seems to be coming from the dog-hair infested rug. All we want to do is get out! We don´t linger to look further, nor do we feel we want to go through the thought process, let alone the work, to make this property into a home. We leave as soon as is politely possible, in search of something better.

The reality is that this house was ideal for all our requirements but we didn´t even see it. Had it been appropriately presented for viewing, we would have loved it and almost certainly have made an offer.

What a Home Stager Does

  1. Work to a strict budget avoiding unnecessary spending on a property soon to be sold. Sometimes home owners spend large sums of money on a property, unaware of the fact that what they have spent it on may not necessarily improve sales potential at all.

  2. Focus only on relevant rooms or areas which need improvement to gain a maximum return. As little as 350 EUR can add as much as 1,500 EUR to your selling price and, of course, offer the best potential for the quick sale you dream of.

  3. Clean living spaces meticulously as well as rearrange, de-clutter and neutralize.

  4. If you wish to rent your property, restyle to achieve maximum rental potential. The stylist uses practical solutions to create an inviting, pristine, neutral home that will rent well and be hard-wearing for your target market.

  5. Subtly emphasize selling points and under play bad ones.

  6. Complete all DIY and repair jobs throughout the home and organise any necessary small building projects.

  7. If you are not selling, but have no time or inclination to give your property the finishing touch it deserves, home stagers will recreate your essential sense of style, often by using many of the existing furnishings. Space, light and harmony are optimised and accessories are added where necessary. The end result is a living or work environment for enjoyment to the full.

Not to be confused with interior designers, home stagers concentrate more on taking things out of the home than putting things in. Other than the occasional necessary item of furniture and accessories, costs are saved by striving to use what is already in the property wherever possible.  The house is then styled professionally to present it in the best possible way to appeal to the maximum number of viewers.

Home stylists use a careful eye, along with intuition and styling experience to see to it that the end result is a beautiful show home that appeals to the widest possible market. Like "show homes" professionally staged homes are designed to impress and never fail to do so. They are attractive to the widest possible market and have been proven to greatly increase rental or sales potential.

The Owner & the Home Staging Concept

It can be an emotional and stressful affair to sell your property, particularly if it has been a home. We all get attached to our homes and are sometimes obliged to sell without wanting to.

For home staging to be effective, the seller must try to mentally "move out" of the home before putting it on the market. By this you will no longer think of it as your home, but rather a property for sale or rent which needs styling by a stylist who knows what will appeal to your target market. In this way the property becomes a show home for sale/rent and will need to be neutralized and de-cluttered according to the stylist´s intuition and recommendations.

Most interior designers will offer a styling service for property resale purposes. However, be aware that they may not be appropriately qualified to offer a home staging service that will make the most of what you already have in the property and may spend large amounts of money in a makeover. We therefore hesitate to recommend any of the hundreds of interior design companies in Andalucia for home staging and would advise you to check out their qualifications and experience before ordering a home staging makeover.

Interior designers also provide furniture packages that are often a very effective means to sell or rent your property fast and to the right type of client.

Large real estate agents offer staging or presentation services in order to sell or rent your property while this will form part of their individual after sales services. While they will not go to the full extent of the house doctor in de-cluttering and storing your personal belongings or repainting in appropriate colour schemes, they will often make an empty, new property look very inviting for viewers.

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