Tag Archives: Property

Staging your house for sale

Home staging resize

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.”

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GST petition hits 300 supporters

An online petition directed at Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) President Greg Seow to make it mandatory for GST to be paid on agents fees has now attracted 300 signatures.

Launched 10 days ago by Jason Lim of Vestor Realty, the petition was born from growing frustration among an increasing number of Singapore real estate agents who are being forced to absorb GST when their clients simply refuse to pay.

Lim told PropertyGuru: “My plan now is to raise more awareness with realtors who are already aware of the petition and to ask them to spread the word and reach more realtors.”

He added: “Some people doubt if this petition will change anything, but all I can say is if we do nothing, nothing will happen.”

Many agents have left their comments in support of the petition.

Jonathan Yap wrote: “We provide a professional service and we should be remunerated as such”, while JC Lee commented: “I not only meet this issue with landlords – even some developers don’t pay us GST.”

A spokesperson for CEA declined to add to their previous statement to PropertyGuru, in which Yeap Soon Teck, Deputy Director (Licensing) confirmed that the organisation has previously received similar feedback, and is currently reviewing the standard forms to emphasise that if the estate agent is GST-registered then GST should be payable to the estate agent.

Petition: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/council-for-estate-agencies-cea-impose-gst-as-non-negotiable-and-compulsory-payable-by-all-consumers

Source – PropGuru – 25 Jun 2013