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Should I dress my house before selling it?

House dressing is big business as home-owners turn to professionals to give their house a marketing makeover. Long gone are the days when you’d just tidy up to showcase your home.

Figures from RightMove show that properties that have been home-staged can sell for eight per cent more than a non-staged home. On an average UK property worth £220,994, that’s an extra £17,607.

So, what is house dressing, and do you need to do it?

House dressing or ‘property staging’ is the art of making your home look its best. This isn’t about deceiving the buyer and papering over cracks or moving furniture to hide damp, instead it’s about visualising the potential of a home. By strategically placing a new plant in a window sill, adding stylish cushions or repainting tired furniture to lift a room, you can create a lifestyle that people will want to buy into.

The results can be drastic. Dressing a home to sell not only improves the quality of the photos taken for online brochures and advertising, but it can also can sell your house faster and get you a better asking price. 

For some homeowners, the challenge is being able to see their beloved home in a new light. If they’ve lived in the house for a long time, it can be hard to see the bigger picture. You might love your private study, but if you are trying to appeal to families, would they prefer to see that space as an extra bedroom? A professional house dresser will know the interior trends that sell and be able to instantly see the simple changes that can be made - such a new room layout or de-cluttering a room to make a good impression.

Decluttering your home
Declutter your home and remove personal items

Dressing experts suggest spending 1-2 per cent of the total house value on house staging. But there are of lots of house staging selling tips you can do yourself:

  1. Give your house a deep clean. The first (and best) thing you can do is to get scrubbing. Steam carpets, jet hose the porch and clean all the counters so that every surface sparkles.  It will help your house put its best foot forward on viewing day.
  2. Dress your dining table. This space can often look bare and uninviting. You don’t have to set the table as if you’re expecting the Queen for Christmas dinner, but a few vases of flowers or a wide bowl of fruit (use just one colour of fruit for extra effect) can give a room the ‘John Lewis’ effect.
  3. Declutter. Your boho vintage look may not be the same of your potential buyers. The less of your stuff on show, the more they can imagine theirs.
  4. Towels. Let’s face it, old towels never look as luxurious as new ones. Investing in a new set will help keep your bathroom looking its best. Just make sure no one uses them so that you can whip them out for viewings.
  5. Create a gender-neutral master bedroom. Appeal to all tastes with a crisp, clean look without any personal possessions. Invest in some new linen in neutral colours to create a calm, soothing room that prospective buyers can put their stamp on.
  6. Improve your house flow. Think how you walk around your house? Is there a piece of furniture that blocks out light or a chair arm that always juts out when you walk past it? If so, move it or put it into storage. The more space you can create, the better.
  7. Create an atmosphere. Coffee beans under the grill, room diffusers or the smell of freshly baked biscuits can all create a warm, enticing air. 
  8. Toiletries. Depersonalise your toiletries and invest in some stylish brands to create a feeling of luxury that people will want to buy into.
  9. New coat of paint. If you have time, giving walls a fresh coat of paint can really brighten up a room. Go for lighter colours to give a fresh, neutral look.
  10. Sort out those shelves! Don’t leave shelves overfilled or cluttered with books. Instead, give them a purpose, use them to neatly display plants, or keep items in pretty containers or baskets. 

Whether you do it yourself or get in an interior expert, dressing a house for selling will show your property in its best light and create a narrative that people will want to buy into.