10 Finishing Touches for Home Staging Success.

Home staging is all about creating a lifestyle for potential buyers to fall in love with.  It’s about enhancing your homes best features and creating a home that they can see themselves living in.

Our 10 finishing touches are for that all important viewing to ensure you give your home the best possible chance of success.

1. Flowers

Placing fresh flowers in your key rooms, adds beautiful natural aromas, they also look good too.

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You don’t have to spend a fortune, seasonal flowers or even use flowers from your garden.

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2. Lemons and Limes

Citrus fruits always make a home feel clean and fresh.  Use lemons and limes in your kitchen either in a glass bowl or vase for a perfect touch.

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3. Setting the table

Set your dining room table, and if it’s lovely weather, your garden furniture.  You are not looking for a completed table but a couple of place settings and e.g. cake stand or salad bowl.

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Sainsbury's Home
Sainsbury’s Home

4. Shelves

You want your shelves to consist of a small mixture of items such as photos, books, accessories, and maybe even a plant or two.  These images will give you a few ideas.

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5. Coffee Table

A coffee table should be simply and elegantly staged with a few simple accessories.

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If you only have a side table, place a couple of hard back books neatly in size order for an elegant look.  If possible use coffee table books.

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6. Toiletries

Hide, Hide, Hide except for any of your high end products then stage a couple accordingly.

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7. Smells

Try and keep the smells in your home natural and not use any overpowering air fresheners.  It is true that fresh coffee and baking are really attractive to a home-buyer; maybe even leave them a cake or two to sample.

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8. Cushions

Cushions can really bring a piece of furniture alive; make sure they are placed square on and not at an angle.  Again you do not have to spend a fortune there are some fantastic cushions available on our high streets.

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9. Light

Make sure all your curtains and blinds are open as you want to ensure that as much natural light as possible is streaming into your home.

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10. Kerb

Let the start of your home be the signature for what is to come.  Remember you want to give your home the best first impression to potential buyers.  Add a hanging basket or tubs with fresh flowers if your budget allows use two Bay or Olive trees at either side of your front door.

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For more ideas for Selling Success contact James Ryan on 0208 457 5590

For more Home Staging Ideas check out our Pinterest Board

Our Home Staging Expert Shares her Secrets

We hope you are enjoying our new look monthly newsletters; March is our Home Staging month.  We grabbed a moment with our featured expert Sharon Johnston to see if she would share some of her home staging secrets.

As you know it is home staging month at Ellis and Co Golders Green.  As our home staging expert can you tell us what is meant by the term ‘Home Staging?

Home Staging is styling and presenting a property to stand out from the crowd.  You want to highlight its strengths and detracting from any weaknesses.  The aim is to broaden appeal and sell quickly for the best price.

How important do you think it is for vendors to stage their home for a sale?

Very! A buyer will first look on the internet at property sites and will make a snap decision to view based on the images they see. The photographs can only look good if the property looks its best.  Buyers will also see many different properties; yours needs to be the one that stands out for the right reasons.  There should always be a wow factor people will remember.

Is it OK to have colour in your home, or is it better to have a blank canvas?

All neutral will be bland, so colour is good, but should be brought in through furnishings and accessories, thus leaving a blank canvas that buyers can use for their own look.  If a featureless house, colour can be introduced on a feature wall or a large colourful canvas can be used.

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A main element to home staging is de-cluttering, what would you advise if you didn’t have time to do it yourself?

Bring in a professional.  As little as four hours working with a professional will achieve great results.  They will be focused and impartial, making difficult decisions much easier to make.  They also take items away.  Follow the mantra of The Spacemakers which is based on the 4 Cs.  Cherish, Charity, Cash or Chuck.  Everything will fall into one of these categories.  Your home can look twice as light and spacious with clever de cluttering and no one needs to take their clutter with them!

People always say it’s Kitchens and Bathrooms that sell houses, so what are your top 3 tips in staging your bathroom?

1. Fresh white towels that are exclusively used for viewings only are essential.  Or if an all white bathroom that hasn’t got much of a wow factor, use coloured towels in aqua or coffee to add some colour.  Only white loo rolls are permissible!

2.  Only have a few aspirational premium branded toiletries on show ie Chanel 5 perfume, The White Company liquid soap.

3.  Remove all other items from bathroom – no potties, bath toys, old soap tablets and ensue loo seat is always down (for viewings and photos)

Our signature touch is to place a white orchid in the bathroom for a boutique hotel feel.

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What finishing touches would you add to a kitchen for viewings?

  • If kettle and toaster looking a bit tired, invest in new matching chrome items.
  • Wherever possible, ensure there is an area for eating, even if it’s a pull down table with a couple of stools.
  • Dress the eating area with nice coloured trendy mugs and a cafietiere and a basket of croissants
  • Vase of fresh flowers – if kitchen a little bland, brighten it up with red gebera
  • Add some fresh colourful tea towels as an accent colour to main kitchen colour ways
  • Store old and dated cookery books and introduce some current cookbooks to appeal to a wider audience.

 If your property is empty, how would you make it attractive to buyers?

We would recommend buying in some key furniture and soft furnishings, as many people cannot visualise the room’s purpose.  This is of equal importance for the marketing of the property in the brochure and on web sites that the rooms look fantastic.  We often ‘dress’ empty properties and this can be done on a relatively small budget.  The items can then be sold on to the buyer or on Ebay.  Key rooms to dress include the living room/dining area and the master bedroom.  If bedrooms are a small double, it is essential to show it can take a double bed (but be canny and choose the smallest double bed you can buy) and dress the bed with fresh bedding and add cushions and throws to tone or contrast with bedding.  Place a mirror or picture over the fireplace. If a living room/dining room/kitchen area is in an open plan format, use furniture and rugs to demarcate the different zones.

What would be your top 3 ‘Don’ts’ with regard to home staging?

  • Don’t use a strong colour that only a few people will like, for example acid yellow or fluorescent orange
  • Don’t have a wide array of personal photographs throughout the home
  • Smell!  Bad smells will put off homebuyers so it’s imperative the smell doesn’t put people off.  We all get used to the smell of our home and no longer smell it.  Pets, stale tobacco and highly spiced cooking are all key offenders.  Don’t be tempted to mask it with strong smelling home fragrance as some fragrances are too over powering.  Authentic nice smells are always preferable to highly perfumed artificial fragrances, so it’s true baking jam tarts or some spiced buns really does give a homely welcome.

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Is it expensive to stage your home?

No it shouldn’t be.   At Dressed to Sell we suggest investing 1% of the asking price to achieve the best results.  A good home stager will work with the items you have already and look at what you may have in storage already. And another way of not spending unnecessarily is that if the existing sofa is about to be replaced, we might recommend buying a new one now instead of waiting until after the move.

What would be your key message for our home staging month?

Your property is probably the most expensive item you own.  Make sure it is presented looking its best for viewings and marketing so you can sell for the best price possible in the quickest time.  For those that are short on time, I would recommend you use an expert and invest in ensuring you have a successful sale.

Thank you so much to Sharon for sharing some of her Home Staging Secrets. 

About Sharon

Sharon Johnston started her career as a stylist on glossy magazine, Tatler and later ran a public relations business specialising in luxury goods and home interest brands.  For more than a decade she has been helping people make the best of their homes. Whether it’s home staging a property to sell, de cluttering, restoring order and making the best of the space available with storage solutions and practical advice, or unpacking and organising after a move.

A little time makes all the difference

As an estate agent who works closely in the community it serves, we feel it is really important to give a little time to support others.   At Ellis and Co Golders Green it is part of our ethos, sponsoring community events and giving ourselves where we can, even if it’s just for an hour.

Last week two members of our branch, Daniel Grayson and Josh Finestone, had the pleasure of assisting at Age UK in Barnet.  Age UK Barnet is a voluntary organisation existing to serve and promote the interests of all older citizens of the London Borough of Barnet, from all walks of life and ethnic communities.

Age UK Barnet, formerly Age Concern Barnet was formed in 1999 to bring together Age Concern charities in East Finchley, Hendon and Friern Barnet. For over 40 years all three provided services in the Borough of Barnet.

“Josh and I really didn’t know what to expect when we walked through the door of the charity.  We were made to feel extremely welcome and put to work straight away serving tea and coffee to groups.

We listened with great interest as we were drawn into their personal stories of years gone by, their challenges and their experiences.  It was so enlightening thinking about their experiences and outlook on life today.   We enjoyed their company as much as they enjoyed ours!

We also had the pleasure of joining in with their activities, and typical estate agent competitive spirit kicked in as I told Josh, the gloves were off!  The first round of ‘Hoy’ Josh won, so after lunch I made sure that the first round of bingo was mine.

We both felt that supporting this charity in such a small way meant a great deal to the both of us, so we have organized to volunteer again at their event in April.  The April event is dedicated to helping the older citizens improve their abilities when working with electronic devices such as their mobile phones, tablets and laptops.  We feel that our skills will be a valuable contribution to this event, plus we get to help some incredible people.

We would like to thank Age UK Barnet for making us feel so welcome.”

Daniel Grayson, Ellis and Co Golders Green.

At Ellis and Co Golders Green we feel a little time makes all the difference.