Article published in Style Magazine on Sunday, 8th of April, 2018. Issue 38.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, a staging session with RE/MAX Malta’s exclusive home stylist could make all the difference. Here, Fiona Caruana Carabez offers her tips on how to make your home stand out from the crowd through fantastic styling and photography.
The property market is a very busy place and, if you’re hoping to sell your home, then you may be looking for a way to make it stand out among the many properties currently on the market.
Home styling – or ‘home staging’ as it’s professionally referred to – will help to do that very effectively by making your home look beautiful ahead of a viewing or when photos of it are taken.
Professional home stager Fiona Caruana Carabez – who styles homes and provides 3D imagery on a complimentary basis for RE/MAX Malta’s Exclusive Listings – explains that staging is crucial, as it allows potential buyers to get a real feel for your property and to experience all its charm and character.
“Unfortunately, many homes aren’t properly presented when they’re put on the market, which can result in a tremendous loss in offers and even less cash in hand,” says Fiona, who runs ConceptsCarabez.
“A cluttered, badly-presented property makes potential buyers feel as though they are looking at something that isn’t worth buying. This is because many people aren’t able to look beyond daily clutter to appreciate what they are actually looking at. It’s similar to having a car for sale – most people will clean this car inside and out, and possibly even give it a polish, before putting up the For Sale sign. Sadly, this rule doesn’t often apply to homes being put on the property market.”
When Fiona takes on a staging project, she starts by making it clean and clutter free, and stores away a number of personal items, including family photos. “My aim is to bring the property to a neutral state; one which is more appealing across the board,” she says. “This helps potential buyers to fall in love with the house and to see themselves living here. When you’re selling your property, you do need to make some sacrifices in the short term to show it in its best light. In the long term, it will help sell your home quicker and to secure better value for it.”
Fiona, who is originally an interior designer who started home staging eight years ago, loves seeing the difference that the process can make. She has staged everything from small apartments to massive villas, as well as restaurants, pharmacies, offices and boutique hotels. “Every property can benefit from staging, and all properties can look fabulous when they are staged.”
And now it could be your home’s turn – with RE/MAX Malta’s Exclusive Listing package. “Sellers in this category get their home staged and professionally photographed for free, which means potential buyers get to see it online looking its absolute best. Every room in the house is decluttered, staged and photographed.
This encourages buyers to make that all-important appointment for a viewing and, hopefully, to make a sale too!” Fiona adds.
Staging Your Property? These are Fiona’s Top Tips
- Start by decluttering – and begin with your cupboards, drawers and wardrobes. Once they’re clear, you’ll have somewhere to put your everyday things prior to a viewing.
- Take a set of photos of your property. Seeing your normal surroundings in a photo will put a very different perspective on this. It is astonishing how the pile of papers on the kitchen counter seems perfectly normal to you, until you see it in a photo.
- Remove personal photos. A potential buyer needs to be able to see themselves living in the house. Your photos only serve to remind them that this is your house.
- Clean, clean and then clean again. A property that is for sale should be immaculate. Scrub the grout in the bathrooms, take down the curtains and have them laundered, and get your carpets cleaned. Buyers love to walk into a clean, fresh-smelling home.
- Get out your best linen and make your beds. You’re out to impress your buyers on a viewing.
The RE/MAX & Friends Foundation
Behind every RE/MAX transaction is the RE/MAX and Friends Foundation, which last year raised over €85,000 for good causes in Malta. Formed in 2014, the Foundation provides financial support to RE/MAX employees going through a serious illness, while also helping to fund voluntary organisations that focus on children and adolescents suffering from chronic deceases. Most recently, the Foundation has donated €20,000 to Malta’s largest fundraising event, L-Istrina in aid of MFCC, €5,000 to Dar Tal-Providenza, €5,000 to the Blossom Foundation, €2,500 to Beating Hearts Malta – the first Maltese Association for adults and children with congenital heart defects, €5,000 to support Mozart at Midnight, and €5,000 to iGaming idol, both later in aide of MFCC.