What are the Essentials of Presenting a Property for Sale or Rental?

If you have a property for sale or rent, it’s important to present it in its best light. We ask the experts from Lemon & Lime for advice

As soon as you decide you want to sell your home or rent a property you own, you are in the position of marketing what is probably your biggest capital asset. A home you are selling is the financial gateway to the next stage of your life. If you are a landlord renting property then then you need to maximise the rental income as it pays for your lifestyle. It is important to get the marketing right to maximise your sale price.

The presentation of your home is a key factor in your marketing and one that many estate agents are reluctant to discuss with their sellers for fear of causing offence. Our five key tips would be:

  • 1. Assess who your buyer/tenant is likely to be and understand what they are looking for in a new home. Are they likely to be a young family, a couple downsizing or a young professional just stepping onto the housing ladder? Each will be looking for something different as they scroll through the photos on the property portals.
  • 2. Step outside and check the kerb appeal of your home. Many potential buyers or tenants will do a ‘drive-by’ if they see a house they think they might like to view. First impressions from the roadside may put them off before they ever get to see the beautiful interiors. Tidy up the garden, mow the lawn, weed the flower beds, mend the gate and paint the window frames.
  • 3. Walk around your own home and take photos of every room as if you were going to put them online. Look at your photos on the biggest screen you can and be critical. Is your home cluttered? Is the décor dated? Would you book a viewing if you were looking in this price bracket. It is hard to be objective about your own home, ask a friend round to help.
  • 4. Declutter and mend. Your viewers won’t be willing to see past the detritus of your everyday life. If you have piles of books or clothes everywhere they will think there is no storage. If the walls are grubby or tiles chipped they will start to worry that other, bigger, maintenance jobs haven’t been done either. Pack away everything you don’t need on a daily basis ready for your move. Get minor repairs and decorating done, you will easily recoup the cost in a better sale price.
  • 5. Arrange your furniture and accessories to show every room to best advantage. If you have four bedrooms then four rooms should have a bed in them. If you can find a space for a desk and chair to show there is space to work from home then people will be more likely to see your home as the one for them. Hire in additional furniture if you don’t have the right pieces or if yours is old and tatty. You are selling the idea of the lifestyle to your viewers not simply bricks and mortar.

What’s the basic idea behind home staging?

Home staging is a property marketing tool.

Its purpose is to help a seller or a landlord maximise their investment by ensuring the property sells/ rents as quickly as possible at the maximum price. Staging ensures a property stands out from similar homes on the market in the same price bracket at the same time. It creates desirability in the target audience which in turn creates a competing group of potential buyers/tenants. This pushes the price to the maximum in the quickest possible time.

Can staging really increase the number of views I get for my property, or the amount it sells or rents for?

Yes! This is the reason for enlisting the help of a professional stager, to achieve more viewings and ultimately the amount it sells or rents for. Lemon & Lime have had great success in achieving sales and rentals for clients in just a few days and in many cases far above the asking price. Clients are extremely happy that they decided to go with a stager and often tell us that it not only alleviates the stress of moving house but is also the best return on investment they have ever made.

What’s the first step in working with a staging specialist?

It can be simple as getting in touch! A good estate agent or letting agent should be able to recommend a stager who has success with the type of property you are selling or letting. From there, the stager will be able to guide you through the whole process. They’ll start by getting some details about the property from which they can a quote together. Often the stager will visit in order to get a feel for the space and take measurements. At Lemon & Lime, we prioritise keeping the process as simple as possible for our clients as we know how busy they are.

If your agent isn’t able to recommend a stager they have worked with in the past then it’s important to do your research. Staging is a growing industry in the UK and many new businesses come into the market place. The Home Staging Association for the UK and Ireland runs training courses and an accreditation programme for stagers. Their website organises stagers by the areas they cover. Using an accredited stager is the best way to find someone who is qualified and experienced. When you have identified a few options then take a look at their case studies and testimonials to see that they have a record of achieving good results. Ask for their statistics on how quickly the homes they stage sell and for how much relative to the guide price. This will tell you whether they have clear sight of the return on investment their clients can expect.

Can a staging company take into account the sort of buyers I want to attract?

Yes. The very first stage of the process is for the stager to work with the seller or landlord and their agent to work out who the target buyer/tenant is for the property. This will depend on many factors, the size and location of the property, the price bracket and the existing condition. A stager will deliberately design the staging to attract the target buyer/tenant.

Can staging work for newbuild properties?

Absolutely. Staging works in both new build and occupied properties. The staging may take a different form and some staging companies specialise in one or the other. Lemon and Lime work with both new build and occupied homes.

In an empty newly built space, staging clearly defines the purpose of each room for a viewer. People often find empty spaces hard to visualise as their own home. Large open plan spaces may need to be split into zones – living areas, dining and a study space to help potential buyers/tenants imagine themselves living there. Bedrooms are notorious for appearing smaller without furniture and staging with a bed and a wardrobe enables a viewer to understand they can fit in both a king sized bed and all their clothes. Staging in new builds also helps to give buyers inspiration and ideas for what they can do when they move in. In a recent Home Staging Association survey, 100% of property developers said that home staging makes it easier for a viewer to visualise the property as their future home.

Staging works well in occupied properties too. Whilst a new build may require fully furnishing an occupied home may need updating with some decorating and repairs ahead of styling. An experienced stager will keep costs to a minimum for a seller by using their existing furniture and accessories where possible. However, they may also recommend bringing in a few additional key pieces, perhaps an accent armchair, a beautiful desk for home working or simply new cushions. An accredited stager will be recommending costs based on the likely impact on the sale of the home, they are not undertaking an interior design project.

Can staging work with remote or virtual presentations?

Virtual staging is a popular option especially if a property is being sold off plan or a landlord wants to keep costs as low as possible in a rental property. Images can be created either from photographs or from floor plans. The virtual stager will work alongside a designer to ensure that the furniture placed onto the photos matches the target audience.

In general, if a property is fully built, we recommend real life staging. There is nothing more disappointing for a viewer arriving at a home they have seen with beautiful furniture, not realising it has been virtually staged, and finding empty rooms. A disappointed viewer is not likely to convert to a great buyer or a new tenant.

Where can I read more about how staging can work for me?

The founder of Lemon & Lime Interiors, Elaine Penhaul, wrote the first UK book to speak directly to vendors about how to achieve their highest possible price in the quickest possible time in her best-selling Amazon title Sell High, Sell Fast. She explains the whys and hows of staging in great detail and, in the final chapter, offers a list of questions to ask when choosing a stager to help with your project.

What’s the story behind Lemon & Lime?

Lemon & Lime is a multi-international award-winning property staging company, covering the whole of the UK. The team are experts in presenting houses to make a memorable first impression for potential buyers in the premium market. The business was founded in 2015, by property investor and staging expert Elaine Penhaul.

Elaine’s experience in renovating country homes and as a landlord has made Lemon and Lime into the leading UK staging business in the country market. The team work on everything from redecorating and decluttering lived-in homes to fully furnishing multi-million pound new builds. With many estate agents now recommending home staging as part of their marketing pitch, Lemon & Lime has had to increase their stock inventory and warehousing and now employs full sales, marketing and logistics teams. They were the first UK staging business to have a formal arrangement to stage for a premium agent , Fine and Country. They work regularly all over the UK with agents such as Savills and Knight Frank and are the go-to for many independent agents and developers.

Where can I find out more about Lemon & Lime?

In addition to the Lemon & Lime website, (www.lemonandlimeinteriors.co.uk), our social channels are a great place to see what projects we are currently working on and our tips to help you sell quicker and for a higher price. You may also often see us featured in publications such as The Times, The Daily Express and House Beautiful magazine.


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