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Effective property marketing will make a big difference to how quickly you can sell your property .. whatever the current market’s like. 

After all, you are trying to ‘sell’ and achieve the maximum market price… you probably take care to present goods/products for sale on sites like Ebay in the best possible light; so why wouldn’t you make sure your home is marketed correctly?

Trawling the property portals for more examples of  ‘How Not to stage ‘ I’m afraid I came across so many underdressed, overdressed, ‘couldn’t careless whether we sell or not’ styles of presentation that I probably have enough property pictures to fill several large books!

In most instances, the home owners ‘could do better’ if they really wanted to cash in on their largest asset but I also came across some excruciatingly bad marketing by a number of estate agents!

Many of them chose to shout about the property putting the whole of the opening description in CAPITAL LETTERS, very off putting to a reader.  A few described houses as “deceptively spacious, must be seen” – only to use a picture of the front of the house or view of the garden (not a single image of the inside) for their advertisement. Others chose to use the space for their vendors property images as a chance to promote themselves .. one showing an image of the front of the house followed by 3 images pertaining to their business; an awards image, logo, contact details etc before showing any further images of the property for sale?!

A subject for another blog perhaps .. so before this turns into a rant;

Here are another 5 classic examples of what not to do if you want to sell your home fast.

1. Don’t neglect your outside space; whatever the size, make the most of it.

2. Never use plastic covers on anything or if you do, take them off for photos and viewings.  I can’t locate the image of two lovely red sofas and a chair I saw covered in thick plastic but if you’re reading this you know who you are…get rid of them!

3. Always leave room for your buyers to circulate.  Edit some of the furniture to allow buyers space to move around.

4. Clear the clutter but don’t strip out all the personality; think warm and welcoming not too austere.


5. Avoid confusion; defining the ‘dumping ground’ adds value!  Make sure the buyer can easily see the room as a bedroom, conservatory, living room etc.

So there you have it ..5 more examples of how not to stage your property for sale.  If you’d like to know more about what you should or shouldn’t do.. please do contact me or keep checking back here for more help and advice in the next coming weeks 🙂

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There’s a huge difference between a ‘Staged home’, a ‘Show-home like home’ and a (developer’s) show-home but that’s another blog!

Subtle use of really good property styling is a property marketing dream.  It helps a potential buyer to visualise your property as their new home and it helps you to clinch a faster sale.  Bad styling gets a property noticed by the viewer …but only for its use of unreal and theatrical staging.

Here are my pet hates/top tips on how NOT to stage a house for sale:

1. Don’t formally set the kitchen or dining table; limit use of candles, china and glass wear – unless you live in a museum.

2. Never put a tray with champagne flutes or teapot/cups on the bed; even if it is at a jaunty angle – unless it is a show-home.

3. Keep towels in the bathroom; don’t stack them on the end of the bed – unless you’re selling a holiday home or B&B.

4. Always light the fire in a big hearth; for photos – unless it’s the height of summer also light for viewings.

5. Dress the master bed with cushions properly – don’t ‘scatter’ them about – EVER!


In part 2 I will give you some more tips of ‘How NOT to stage’ .. and maybe even some examples of  exactly ‘What to do!’

Funny old thing PR … you can spend ages banging on doors, sending off articles, thinking up ideas and getting nowhere.  Of course, if it’s your own business, you are bound to be biased – ‘why wouldn’t they want to write about my styling work, feature my home-staging projects, call on my property expertise?’ – every company wants an injection of free publicity… don’t they?!

So, to get an email or call out of the blue from a “National” publication is always a thrill.  It’s a kind of validation that you are an ‘expert in your field’, do know what you are talking about and have the knowledge to contribute to the article.  Also, secretly, everyone hopes that a mention will open the floodgates and propell you (and your business) to the forefront of everyones minds … for a day or so at least!

Nothing is ever guaranteed, not even the journalist is ever sure it when or if it will make the papers and rarely, as you’re just the one providing the information, do you get to know which bits of your interview will actually get published. 

But twice, in the last couple of months, I have had a call or, as the case this week, an email from a ‘National’ 🙂

I’m flattered to have been asked to contribute to a number of websites, blogs and newspaper articles.  Usually, these have come through getting to know the business owner or journalist via friends and networking connections.  Then, when a topic has come up for discussion or, they need a piece on property marketing, they already know what I do or how I can help and a quote ‘from me’ has been included.

This time though the email was from a stranger, working for the Daily Mail!

The email led to a phone interview and further emails, as information was exchanged and questions asked.  I waffled on about case histories and how amazing property styling could be, what a difference it could make to the value of a property, how people buy homes with emotion not logic, the importance of correct online marketing and how selling empty (of furniture) properties is a complete no no…………..

I am sure the guy requesting the information was bored rigid but he was very polite and, enthusiastically thanked me for my efforts and assured me that if he used any of my quotes/information The Property Styling Company would get a mention. Result!

Well today, Friday October 7th 2011 ‘we’ did get a mention in the Property Mail section of the paper.   I got a name check, the website got published and a telephone number included (thankfully no photo!) … I can now use the quote “As seen in the Daily Mail”

My mother was convinced that with all the time I’d spent talking to him and exchanging emails I’d “practically written the whole article for him” .. and if you see below, yes Mum I practically did 😉

And if you can’t read what it says above … >> a transcript follows below

HOME STAGING

Helen Silver, of The Property Styling Company (07789 488446, propertystylingcompany.co.uk) believes sellers can add at least 10 per cent to the value of their property by employing a professional stylist.

She decluttered and restyled a four-bedroom home in Swindon valued at £275,000 — now it’s on sale for £320,000.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

The property market is a very competitive one and there’s no excuse for a lazy estate agent. However, there’s also no excuse for a idle seller either!

If your property, big or small, (relatively) low value or (extremely) high value is on the market and going no-where… fast, take stock and take back some control.

It’s all about marketing.

We’re used to living in a society where products are targeted, marketed, to appeal to a specific buying audience – why should your ‘product’ be any different?

90%, yes 90% of viewers cannot visualise how a property could look when faced with the way it is presented to them.  That means 1 in 10 can’t imagine how your empty (or cluttered) rooms could suit their family perfectly!

It’s not as though you haven’t been deluged with TV programmes, ‘property gurus’ and press articles telling you how to sell your home…

So what could you, or your agent, do differently?

Make yourself a coffee, grab a note pad and pen, jot down some of your own ideas and, over the next couple of days I’ll tell you if you were right 😉

I came across an article yesterday as featured in The Local, a Fort-Greene edition of the New York Times.  The Americans are so much better than us Brits at understanding just how Home Staging, Property Styling, Property Marketing – call it what you will, gets results when you have a property to sell.

A good many years ago now, my parents upped sticks and moved to the US with me and my sister  (quite another story).  However, in buying and selling property over there we came across ‘Property Stylists’ who worked alongside Real Estate Agents, they even worked from the same office to offer a complete marketing package.  Apart from an exceptional few, we’ve still not quite achieved the same over here.

None the less ‘we’ perservere and battle on with the idea of awareness and bringing a complete package of property marketing combined with staging and styling to the masses!

It isn’t rocket science and, although property sellers in New York tend to think mainly in terms of apartments, the article is still relevant to all who have a house to sell in a difficult market. You can read the full article by Geri Charles here but these are the highlighted tips:

With the importance of staging in mind, here are three tips on staging your home to sell it:

1) It’s not about you, it’s about the buyer.

What you may consider tasteful may not be to the buyer’s taste. The fact of the matter is, interior décor is subjective. The living room painted chocolate brown with one big red stripe in the middle may be a proud do-it-yourself moment for you, but it may give the buyer flashbacks to a slasher scene with Freddie Krueger. Your best bet is to keep it simple with neutral plain colors.

2) It’s all about a room’s “star” feature.

Maximize your home’s best features by accentuating them. Draw more attention to a fireplace, for example, by mounting a wrought iron sculpture right above it. You can also minimize the room’s least appealing feature, like a window directly facing into a neighbor’s bathroom, by using a stained glass window decal to block the view.

3) Less is more.

Get rid of all clutter. I repeat, get rid of ALL clutter. Although you may be proud of your 30-year record collection, or photographs taken at last year’s 10-year family reunion, those items take up space. The less you have on display, the more the potential buyers can envision themselves living there.

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

What is Property Styling?

Home Staging, Property Styling, Property Staging, House Fluffing, Property Presentation…

These are all popular descriptions used for explaining the practise of preparing a property (and its contents) for a faster sale or let, with the sole purpose of achieving the highest price and appealing to the widest possible audience.

However, professional Property Styling is much more than just ‘painting it all white and clearing out the clutter!’

Styling a property for sale ensures that the presentation of the property is the best it can be.   This might simply mean rearranging what you already have or, it could involve bringing in new furniture, accessories and artwork.  Professional Stylists work with the ‘flow’ of a property which normally entails things of an aesthetic nature; overall appearance, clutter, design, colour, as opposed to major structural improvements.

The goal of Property Styling is to improve the property’s appearance in the eyes of a potential buyer.  Typically a buyer has made up their mind whether to buy, within 10 seconds of walking through the door, forming an opinion as they pulled up outside – that doesn’t leave much time for error!

To achieve the desired outcome, a property should be presented at its best right from the start.  Each viewing should lead to a probable offer. If it doesn’t, it’s a wasted viewing and another likely buyer lost.

If your property looks fantastic, buyers can immediately imagine living there and are more prone to making an offer – Most buyers can’t figure out how their furniture might look in an empty property or see past unattractive and disorganized spaces; people buy with emotion but shop with logic!

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