Last year, friends listed their home for sale. A character bungalow in a highly sought-after area, it should have been an easy sale, but it wasn’t.

After failing to generate any interest in the house, the couple waited a couple of months and then enlisted the help of a home staging company.

Out went the lovely, but large, dark sofas and heavy furniture – swapped for minimal, light pieces that opened up the room. Colourful cushions and loungers were placed around the pool and the house looked light, bright and welcoming.

Come auction day, several bidders fought over the price and the owners were thrilled with the result.

That story is no surprise to the home staging experts. Jasmine Gough of In-House Style in Christchurch says it can be difficult for vendors to look at their own home from an unbiased viewpoint.

“Sometimes it’s worth having an outsider come in and give you advice on how to best present your home for sale,” she says. “This can often be as simple as rearranging your current furniture or helping you declutter and remove some personal items. Sometimes we might need to just add some European pillows, a throw and some cushions to the bedding. Different lamps, also, can often make a huge difference to a bedroom and give it that finished look.

“With living rooms it can be as simple as adding a rug under the coffee table and some complementary cushions on the sofa. Creating a lived-in feel is important as it allows potential purchasers to connect emotionally with the home and imagine themselves to be living there.”

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