Using a staging company

(18 Posts)
TangaHewlettPackard Mon 28-Sep-20 17:19:13

Has anyone ever used a staging company to sell a flat? Our estate agent has recommended using one as our 2 bed flat is not getting much interest. He thinks people are put off by the amount of work to do and staging it would more than pay for itself in the asking price. He estimates it would be about £5k which to me is a huge risk if it doesn't pay off. It's not a doer upper by any stretch but the kitchen and bathroom are a bit tired and he thinks staging would draw people's eye away from these issues.

In my mind staging is something done in very fancy homes and this is a bog standard 2 bed flat in a medium sized city but the agent insists it will make the difference. He has also expressly said he's not on commission but this could of course be a lie.

Has anyone ever done this? To me it sounds crazy but I might be completely out of touch.

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Itwasaquarterpast11 Mon 28-Sep-20 17:23:33

Put photos on here. You will have 100 replies in a couple of hours and the money you save can buy some of the bits you may need (or pay for a storage facility to lose the bits you don't).

TangaHewlettPackard Mon 28-Sep-20 17:51:22

It was previously rented out and the tenants had some of their own furniture and plants etc. which are on the photos online but there's less stuff in now which I don't have pictures of. Part of me thinks that the fact the fact there isn't any interest even from the online photos is a reflection of the market more than the flat. The agent insists it's well priced and we did put it on a the lowest of the four valuations we had.

We are definitely going to do more ourselves but I wanted to know if this is really A Thing and whether it could make a bigger difference than me buying a few rugs and pictures in Ikea ever could.

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optimisticpessimist01 Mon 28-Sep-20 18:55:29

I agree with PP. You'll get a lot of feedback if you posted a link on here for free. I think £5k is a ridiculous amount of money for something that doesn't guarantee the sale

byvirtue Mon 28-Sep-20 18:57:43

I’ve done it on £5m plus central London homes. I wouldn’t advise on a 2 bedroom flat for £5k you can buy loads of furniture and tart up a kitchen/bathroom.

DespairingHomeowner Mon 28-Sep-20 19:02:04

You could refresh the bathroom for 5k, repaint kitchen and take new photos...

I’d be wary that your agent gets a cut of the stagers fees tbh

DespairingHomeowner Mon 28-Sep-20 19:03:00

Also, people are buying space: less stuff is better - don’t buy furniture

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Apparentlystillchilled Mon 28-Sep-20 19:10:10

If the photos aren't even drumming up interest, I think the agent is wrong about staging. Unless he can substantiate this with some hard data around staging for your property type.

DaBaDe Mon 28-Sep-20 21:21:41

Staging is really important but you can do it yourself!

Put ALL your clutter into storage, including over-size furniture that makes spaces look small, and post photos for advice on specific rooms. Everything should be light, airy, neutral and use fabrics for homey texture (blanket and cushions on a sofa etc). Take down personal photos, have fresh flowers for the photos - lots of ideas online too.

Badgertastic Mon 28-Sep-20 21:47:29

When we had an empty house to sell, we purchased some nice bits second hand from eBay and Facebook marketplace and took a few bits from our house and dressed the house. It made such a difference and achieved a good price quickly. It cost approximately £400. Then after the sale, we put it back on Facebook marketplace and re-sold it so it didn't really cost anything in the end.

areallthenamesusedup Mon 28-Sep-20 23:59:16

I have on a big empty house. Definitely worth it.

On a 2 bed flat I would do it myself....but it depends how good a design eye you have. (My mate did one herself and made it look way worse!).

11stoneTess Tue 29-Sep-20 09:54:16

No experience of staging, but it does sound expensive so you're right to question it. You're selling space, not a lifestyle.

I am a visual person, but i'm rubbish at sizes, so empty rooms make me anxious about whether or not basic furniture will actually fit. For that reason, I'm more open to furnished places then empty ones. The combo of photos with furniture and empty space at viewing sounds like thats not the issue.

A tired kitchen and bathroom shouldnt really be a problem, plenty of people will want to change those anyway and can do so without guilt.

If you dont want to share a link here, could you ask friends for an objective view? I'd also go over and take some photos of it in its new emptier state. Photos have a way of highlighting what we are not noticing in real life.

I also assume you've checked out the competition?

TangaHewlettPackard Tue 29-Sep-20 10:06:41

That's the estate agent's argument all over, he thinks the idea is to 'sell a lifestyle' and the sort of first time buyer that the flat would attract is the sort that doesn't want to do any work at all and is therefore put off by the kitchen and bathroom. He thinks fancy furnishings would draw their eye away from the issues which I don't disagree with. Part of the problem is that there's been a massive influx of similar flats to the market and not enough buyers to go round so he thinks it would help it stand out. But I do think I could do it myself although it would never look as fancy. Doesn't help that we live at the other end of the country either.

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Wildwood6 Tue 29-Sep-20 11:04:16

Its tricky as you live so far away, but £5k does seem excessive to stage a two bedroom flat to me, and as far as I'm aware its not the norm to stage properties of that size (unless its a £1m+ place in Chelsea). There's masses online about how to stage properties, and if you've got the time its not too difficult. The gist of it is make sure everything is immaculately clean, get rid of or disguise any sad or tired looking furniture, put some mirrors up, make sure it is ruthlessly decluttered and make sure you've got fresh flowers and house plants for the photos. It sounds like the photos were taken when your tenants were still living there and I wonder if that's part of the problem? Although I'm sure they kept it tidy it's unlikely they would have kept it as 'photoshoot' ready as it would need to be in what sounds like a saturated property market locally.
Last time I sold a property I staged it myself but then paid someone who specialises in property photography to take the photographs (which from memory cost about £200). It makes an enormous difference. Good photography really helps with actually getting people through the door to view the property in the first place.
As a final thought if you really would prefer to hand it over to someone else and actually pursue the property staging route take a look at the Houzz.co.uk website. They've got lots of property stagers on there charging nothing like £5,000.

11stoneTess Tue 29-Sep-20 11:17:02

Hummm.... i'm not an estate agent but i'd be suprised that anyone would be so dazzled by fancy furnishings that they fail to notice the kitchen and bathroom need work.

Buyers who want to do nothing will still not buy it. It might open it up to those who realise it can look nicer than it currently does and perhaps decide its liveable as is until they can afford to renovate to their taste.

If the kitchens and bathrooms in your competitor flats are similalrly tired, I might be tempted to spend the 5k doing up either the kitchen or bathroom into a safe basic boring inoffensive neutral. Then there is only one room that needs work done. Though the sad thing with that is everything you do could end up in landfil in the next 6 months as its not to your eventual buyers taste.

Or take the 5k off your asking price?

FinallyHere Tue 29-Sep-20 11:19:35

Staging is really important but you can do it yourself!

This wot @DaBaDe said

By staging, I'm thinking of clearing any clutter, because making the place as clear as possible is more important than actual adding 'design elements'.

If the flag feels over full of furniture, ornaments (any ornaments, really) or stuff then it might be worth a serious clear out. If you were living there, it might be worth putting belongings in storage but for a flat, I'd just clear it all out sooner rather than later.

While the oversupply is always going to be an issue but some people will buy. Being clutter free will give your best chance of being the flats that are purchased.

TheTurn0fTheScrew Tue 29-Sep-20 11:25:55

that's a lot of money
for context, our full bathroom refurb was less, and our (admittedly tiny) kitchen not much more. spend the money on the work, not a feeble distraction from the work!

TangaHewlettPackard Tue 29-Sep-20 13:21:48

There's definitely no clutter at the moment, there's only sofas, beds and wardrobes in there and a few accessories like cushions and candles. There's no personal belongings at all. The stager appears to be the opposite, the pictures I've seen are all masses of layered fabrics and cushions, all very tasteful but definitely rooms that are full with side tables and occasional chairs etc. A lot of the cost I think comes from hiring the furniture. Good idea to look on Houzz. I'm going to add some more furniture and accessories but not go crazy.

I found the very idea that it was suggested a bit baffling, especially as the agent insisted when it first went on the market that we didn't need to do anything to it. Then he's suddenly announced that this will be the best £5k I'll ever spend and everyone does it now blah blah. Usual EA BS it seems!

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