In a demanding market where buyers ultimately hold the advantage, getting more people into your home for a viewing and subsequently placing a bid is becoming more challenging.
That is why more and more sellers are looking across the pond to America for inspirational ideas on how to make their property stand out from the crowd.
One idea being floated around by local estate agents is that of home staging.
Home staging essentially involves bringing in a consultant to “dress” your home.
It’s very big in America, where they sometimes take it to extremes, completely changing the décor and putting all the home owner’s much-loved furniture in storage in order to bring in stuff to create what is considered to be the right look.
Needless to say, such a service can cost thousands of pounds.
Local property expert Kerry Applin, director of Chapplins in Havant, isn’t sure if this is the best method for attracting more interest in your home however.
He said: ‘Thankfully, here in the UK, this kind of thing hasn’t really caught on, at least not in the mainstream market.
‘The principal reason, of course, is cost.
‘Most estate agents will tell you it’s never worth shelling out thousands on a property you are trying to sell – for the simple reason that you are unlikely to get your money back.
‘Nevertheless, there are a few home staging specialists over here.
‘Without going the whole hog, a typical preliminary consultation might cost no more than £100-£200, and include advice on de-cluttering, colour recommendations, guidance on furniture placement and help with creating the right kind of focus for each room.’
A quick internet search can bring up such companies and list the services each offer, however Kerry feels that some of the advice they provide is obvious:
‘Things like de-cluttering – makes perfect sense and can make a difference to the way your home looks.
‘However, whether you actually need such a service is another matter.
‘For one thing, your estate agent can easily give you any advice on presentation that might be useful.’
This could include simple things that a fresh pair of eyes could notice, like removing the rubbish bins from the front of your home, keeping your dog out of the way during viewings or just giving the garden a proper trim and tidy before potential buyers are due to arrive.
‘And unless you have a rather eccentric taste in décor, I certainly wouldn’t think you would benefit from advice on colour schemes, added Kerry. ‘After all it’s not necessary to make your house entirely devoid of character in order to sell.’