Staging a living room. Photo: Flickr
With rents expected to drop further this year and resale property prices stabilizing, some sellers and landlords have turned to home staging to make their property stand out in a buyer’s market, reported The Straits Times.
This decorating idea is said to have originated in the US, and refers to transforming a lived-in house to make it more appealing to buyers. It usually involves repainting walls, cleaning up and re-arranging furniture, and even baking bread during viewings to create a welcoming atmosphere.
For landlords, home staging may involve renting new furniture for the apartment instead of leaving it empty for viewings.
In Singapore, only a handful of professionals offer home staging services. These include styling studio paper+white, which upcycles existing furniture, and Asian Professional Organisers, which specializes in interior design and space management.
There are also several furniture rental companies such as Singapore Furniture Rental, which leases out furniture and home accessories like cutlery and carpets, and WTP The Furniture Company, which rents out furniture for a minimum of three months.
Packages start from $1,400 per month to furnish a studio apartment. At Singapore Furniture Rental, the cost usually includes photography and transportation, as well as the services of a stylist who will arrange the furniture.
Some property agents also offer home staging services.
For instance, Vestor Realty Vice-President Lawrence Poh goes to great lengths just to decorate a property he is putting on the market.
He brings in various cutlery, potted plants and throw pillows before taking a picture of the house or hosting a viewing. He would sometimes change the bedsheets of homeowners to fit the theme.
He may even serve wine or use home scents during viewings.
While many baulk at the idea of spending money to sell a house, home stagers reckon it’s worth it.
“Elsewhere, homeowners understand that they can spend a five-figure sum to home stage, but they can get back that amount and an even bigger profit because their house has attracted buyers willing to bid high for a good-looking house. The difference can be enormous,” said Davina Stanley, Founder and Creative Director at paper+white.
Eugene Lim, ERA Realty Key Executive Officer, noted that buyers are more likely to go for a spruced-up home over a messy home, even if it is priced a little higher.
“A cluttered house is visually not appealing and stays on the market longer. The longer the house stays on the market, the more likely it will sell at a lower price.”