The Australian Guide to Home-Staging
Home-Staging is a relatively new concept in Australia. But it is one that has been proven overseas to provide a massive advantage over other properties for sale.
Working out your return on investment - how much time and money you spend to achieve the desired financial return
Cleaning, de-cluttering and fixing up - from undertaking a thorough clean to renovating key areas of your property (kitchen, bathroom, landscaping) to increase your sales price.
Taking your personality out of your home - buyers want to immediately see themselves in their new home, they don't want to see the old owners.
Creating the lifestyle story - if it's a bush property, leave the walking boots by the back door; somewhere on the surf coast, hang the wetsuits in the laundry.
It's not just home-owners who can benefit from learning about home-staging - investors, developers and deceased estate trustees - anyone looking to sell fast for more.
Author, Katrina Maes, has been home-staging for years. She helps clients work within a budget and a timeframe to best prepare their home for sale. Her experience shows that if you home-stage a property for sale you will reduce the time it is on the market and significantly increase the sale price.
Throughout the book there are interesting real life case-studies supported by actual financial results. There is an eight page colour section show-casing the dramatic contrast between 'before' and 'after' home-staging.
Part One is all about deciding if you believe this staging stuff really does work? Let's face it, you could pick up the phone this very minute and list your property for sale. You'd save yourself a bit of time and effort. After all, a house should sell itself, shouldn't it? No! Let me assure you, to get the very best out of anything, the very best effort is required!
Part Two is doing the prep. Have you seen a professional house painter in action? All the preparation (pulling hooks, patching, sanding and filling) can take as long as the actual painting. Any good painter will tell you that it's not worth painting at all if the prep work is not done properly. It's similar with staging, if you don't know who is likely to buy your home, or how much you should spend in preparation for sale then it's going to be easy to have the wrong focus and make decisions that take you away from your goal of selling fast...for more.
Part Three is possibly the least favourite but when completed the most liberating. When cars are for sale, every square millimetre is detailed, sometimes with cotton buds. Why do we go to so much trouble? Because the car comes up like new and buyers respond to sparkling cars. Why should selling a house be different? In fact shouldn't closer attention be paid to detailing the house? The higher price tag suggests so. If you are tempted like me to skip some of this process then be assured, if this is the only part you do in the staging process you will add thousands to your end result. The best thing is that this part can be done virtually for free.
Part Four is all about story telling. Do you know a great storyteller? Where instead of your mind wondering you hang off every word? Dressing your home for sale (the storytelling about your property) has huge power to lure house hunters and provide the most tempting solution for the hunt for their dream home.
In Part Five we do a little trouble shooting. Perhaps you have had your house on the market for some time. What can you do to turn the sale around, grab buyers' attention and get the property sold? We look at strategies to prepare and list your property quickly with the least amount of heartache. Then most importantly how to manage the finished home until that exciting climax when SOLD is stuck on the sign out the front.
Katrina Maes was born in Sydney, raised in Hobart, Perth and Melbourne. It's fair to say she's used to moving homes and watching her mother packing boxes one day and being in the 'new' house (and new state) everything unpacked and beautifully perfect before the family were tucked up in bed the next night.
Throughout the '70s and '80s Katrina's parents bought houses, upgraded them, then prepared the property for sale. They didn't know it at the time but they were "home staging".
For some years, Katrina ignored her creative bent, choosing to study business and embarking on a career of number-crunching.
"My heart was never in it. I did not leap out of bed excited to get to work every day and I know it showed," Katrina recalls.
... "After seven years in accounting, when I had met and married my husband Theo, I bought a little Antiques and Interiors shop. I threw myself into the business, establishing reputation and style. I worked long hours and loved everything about the little shop."
Two years later with a baby on the way Katrina started one of Australia's first home-staging businesses. Six years on, and having staged literally hundreds of properties, the whole process still energises her.
"Each new assignment brings unique circumstances and challenges, all of which are the most amazing opportunity to meet people and add to my ever growing vault of information about everything home staging."
Now Katrina shares with readers in her new book The Australian Guide to Home-Staging the things that work time and time again as well as those things that don't seem to make a difference.
>The Australian Guide to Home-Staging
Major St Publishing
Author: Katrina Maes
Interview with Katrina Maes
Question: Can you provide a quick explanation of the concept of home-staging?
Katrina Maes: Home staging is about preparing a property for sale so it presents at it's very best to the most number of people. The aim is to sell fast and for more, by creating a wow factor around every corner.
Question: What made you decide to write The Australian Guide to Home-Staging?
Katrina Maes: The average person sells their home every 5 to 7 years. Generally not often enough to feel anywhere near confident about the process. I have found that many people selling feel overwhelmed and ill prepared for what actions they should take to prepare their homes for sale. The common questions are:
1. Where to I put my effort?
2. Why can't a home sell itself?
3. If I spend money on repairs will it be worth the time and money?
4. How do I get the best out of the house sale?
My answers are often about the nitty gritty detail. In fact it's all the one percenters that add up to create the complete and perfect picture. It is for this reason I wrote the book...to put down tried and tested little know tips and strategies for the average home owner wanting to sell their home.
Question: Why did you see it important to share the concept of home-staging with Australia?
Katrina Maes: There are huge numbers of Australian property owners throwing money away when it comes to selling their home. Some Real Estate Agents are still advising vendors that presentation really doesn't matter. Previously there were only international books on the subject. Australian home owners needed local content. Stories from within our own real estate industry. Basically staging works right here and it's incredibly powerful!
Question: Why is it important to take your personality out of your home, before selling the property?
Katrina Maes: If you see large family photos and wedding photos in a house it's easy for home hunters to start thinking and wondering about the owners of the house instead of thinking about the property and the attributes of the property. You want home buyers to imagine their lives in your property.
Their first Christmas dinner, baby shower, Sunday dinner. If the property is full of the owners personality and life it becomes extremely difficult for buyers to imagine their lives within the walls of the home.
Question: Who did you write this book for?
Katrina Maes: The book is for anyone selling a property. It's packed with tips and ideas for owner occupiers as well as what to do with investment properties or development and renovation projects.
Interview by Brooke Hunter