How to stage a city centre flat for sale

by Rizwan Osman on 7th October 2019

If you’re selling a city flat, creating a light, spacious impression is a must. So it’s worth spending a bit of time staging your property to appeal to buyers.

home staging

You never get a second chance to make that all-important first impression. It’s reckoned to take prospective buyers just a few seconds to decide whether or not they are interested in your property. So, it is vital to present your flat in the best possible light.

Buyers may have several similar-sized apartments to choose from, so how do you ensure that yours is the one they fall in love with instantly? Follow our 8 top tips, don’t ignore the detail and be prepared to invest some cash in your staging project – it is more than likely to pay off with a quick sale and higher offers.

1. Target your buyers

Tastes vary as do buyers’ priorities. Before staging your property for sale, you should identify who your buyers are likely to be and what they are looking for. A city centre apartment would probably be most attractive to young professionals, who prefer contemporary décor, a minimalist look and modern appliances.


2. Tackle the basics

Buyers will never fall in love with a home unless you demonstrate that you love it too. Poor maintenance and dirty interiors make a property feel uncared for, so make sure you clean the flat thoroughly – not forgetting the windows – before you show people round.

Tackle any annoying jobs, such as cracked tiles, dripping taps and damaged paintwork. Poor maintenance is always a red flag and will leave buyers wondering what else they will have to deal with after they have moved in.

Smells are a big turn-off so, if you can, relocate your pets after your clean-up and until the property is sold. Avoid cooking anything too pungent before a viewing – in a small flat, cooking smells get everywhere. Artificial air fresheners can create a bad impression – opt for quality scent diffusers or scented candles or just open a few windows to really air the place.


3. Enhance the light

Most buyers value light and airy rooms. Maximise natural light by replacing heavy curtains with lighter ones, or with blinds. Fully open curtains and blinds before viewings and hang mirrors to reflect more light into darker spaces. If you remain concerned about the amount of light, leave the lights on when you or your agent are showing people around.


4. Define every space

Many buyers lack the imagination to see beyond your flat’s current layout. There may be rooms or areas, which you don’t currently use, or which you use in an unconventional way -a spare bedroom as a sewing room or study for example. Present this hobby room as a bedroom so that every space in the flat is clearly defined.

Demonstrate that there is room to feature a dining table, even if you don’t need one, and dress any recesses or spare spaces as useful study or seating areas.

If staging your property requires the addition of furniture, you can save money by borrowing or renting the pieces you need.


5. Lose the clutter

The longer you own a property, the more clutter you acquire. You might even be selling your flat because you need more space – but your buyers don’t need to know that! Clutter makes rooms look smaller and suggests that your flat lacks storage. Your bits and pieces could even prevent buyers from imagining how they will use the rooms.

Clear your flat of everything that you don’t need, at least while you are selling the property. If you don’t have anywhere to hide it, ask family and friends for help or rent a storage unit until the flat is sold.

Clutter could include furniture too. Strip back your rooms to feature as little furniture as possible, while still defining the purpose of every space.


6. Strike the right balance

Your personal items, including photographs and collections, could prevent your buyers from visualising themselves in your property. On the other hand, a completely depersonalised interior could feel cold and unwelcoming. Strike the right balance by removing your bits and pieces, but leaving a few appealing details, such as a vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit to create a lived-in feel.


7. Decorate in neutral shades

Neutral tones will enhance the sense of light and space in your flat while ensuring that the décor appeals to the widest possible audience. Sophisticated neutrals may not be everyone’s favourite look but won’t offend anyone either. Those neutrals will also create a unified feel and a pleasing flow from room to room.


8. Spruce up your kitchen and bathroom

Buyers’ priorities will vary but most will be seduced by great kitchens and bathrooms. Fitting a new kitchen can be expensive but you can achieve a similar effect by replacing the doors of the units. The latest appliances will appeal to young professionals and research consistently demonstrates that granite worktops are on most buyers’ wish lists. You can give your bathroom a swanky facelift by replacing flooring, taps, mirrors or other fittings. Tidy away toiletries and shampoo bottles and give the place a spa-like feel with rolled towels, quality scent diffusers and tropical plants.


To sum up …

It isn’t difficult to stage your flat for sale. Simply identify your target market, research what they are looking for and rework your interior to reflect their wish lists. Decorate in neutrals and create the illusion of light and space. Lose the clutter, repair blemishes and define your rooms. Complete the makeover by cleaning everything thoroughly and, fingers crossed, your flat will sell in no time at all!

If you’d like further advice about staging, or any other aspects of selling your home, please do contact us.