Home staging can supercharge your house sale – but is it worth it?
Other tricks include installing temporary wallpapers or artificial plants and flowers, as well as reorientating existing furniture to open up space.
Stagers, including London-based Sophia Cramer who runs company Inner Pieces, spend much of their time trawling vintage shops and flea markets for good pieces, which they store in large warehouses until needed.
How does it work?
Stagers will typically do an initial consultation with the seller or property developer that has employed them, before giving a quote for the decorative work planned.
The furniture provided by the stager is rented but other work, including new carpeting, tiling or painting, is usually paid for upfront by the client.
Once the soft furnishings and sofas are in place, viewings can begin (or restart) with the house looking its best.
Much of the appeal of staging is seen on social media, where estate agents market properties that have been carefully decorated to their followers in the hopes of tempting potential buyers.
What does it cost?
Paloma Harrington, founder of the UK’s Home Staging Association, says an initial consultation can cost between £100 and £350 an hour, with the largest properties taking up to three hours.
Once the decoration has been agreed, furniture is typically rented for between eight and 12 weeks, depending on how quickly the agents believe the house will sell.
A three-bed house in London can cost between £20,000 and £85,000 to stage for 12 weeks, after which the rented furniture can typically be renewed on a monthly basis at a slightly discounted rate.
Outside of London, prices are lower but houses are often larger, taking up more of the stager’s inventory of soft furnishings.
It is possible to fund the cost of the renovation or decoration using the potential proceeds from a sale.
Property platform Flyp takes on the costs of making a home look beautiful in exchange for a percentage of the additional sale profit, with their cut depending on how much they invest in the house.
The property investment company typically spends between £5,000 and £50,000 on staging, although may invest as much as £100,000 in homes that need improvement, and is currently taking on around 30 projects each month.
The company will then take a cut of up to 50pc of the additional profit created by the renovations, depending on how much it invested in the property.
Is it worth it?
The Home Staging Association says the average time non-staged properties stay on the market is 99 days – compared to 41 days for decorated homes.
Property developers in the trade body’s 2022 report suggested that staging improved the offers on homes by up to 6pc.