The property market is showing a few signs of slowing down, with house prices stagnating for the first time in several years. Some estate agents are also reporting that their portfolios are moving a bit slower, so if you’re about to go to market, you need to use as many tricks as you can to secure as rapid a sale as possible.

One problem sellers may face in the coming months is pressure to reduce the asking price to generate more interest, but of course, this isn’t the best solution. One good idea is to stage your home.

Presentation is everything

That first impression makes all the difference to buyers and it can help you to get your asking price even in an uncertain market. Using a home staging service is a cost-effective way to gain an advantage over similar properties in your area. It’s cheaper to hire show home furniture than it is to buy it and your staging company can provide you with the right items and accessories to really sell your house and the lifestyle it promises.

Most staging companies rent out furniture – from single items to an entire house’s worth – for up to three months at a time. You can expect to pay between £2,000 and £3,000 for a three-bedroomed house and if it means you get your asking price – or even more, it’s well worth the investment.

How to make your home staging work

Before your new furniture arrives, you should spend time on de-cluttering your rooms so that the pieces you rent really stand out and viewers can see the home behind your décor and ideas. Experienced decorators and stagers can arrange the furniture to the best effects and really transform a room.

Size is important

One thing that will really put off buyers is a cramped and obscured space, which is why de-cluttering is so important. Don’t be tempted to place too much furniture in a room – your staging company should advise you here. Less is more where staging is concerned!

Make it de-personal

You need to present a blank canvas to viewers so that they can imagine their own belongings and personalities in your space (this is no time to be sentimental). Remove most ornaments, photos and clear clothes racks, leave most surfaces clear, especially in the kitchen, and redecorate the children’s bedrooms to make them more neutral. If you’ve had the same fairies or Disney characters on the walls for a few years, it’s time they retired with dignity.

Points to consider

You’ll need to create a neutral but welcoming feel in your home – blank but fresh, clean and friendly is the key. You also need to listen to your stager’s advice – just because you always dreamed of a huge, dark oak four-poster bed in your 13-feet square bedroom doesn’t mean you should actually rent one! Don’t let any one thing dominate the place as it stops viewers from really seeing your property and seeing its potential.