2019 Bloopers Reel

The 2019 Bloopers Reel

A very quick message before the festive period to say a huge thank you to all our investors, both new and old. We’ve had a fantastic year working with you and look forward to meeting some new investors in 2020.

I’ll leave you with a little something to end the weekly blog for the year…

The 2019 bloopers reel.

For all of you who have reached out to me to compliment my social media…

Here’s some behind the scenes footage.

My poor media team. Lot’s of take two, take three and so on. But a huge thank you to them for making my content look presentable!

From the team at Nichol Smith Investments, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’re looking forward to working with you all in 2020.

Best wishes,

Sophie & the whole team at Nichol Smith Investments

Serviced Accommodation: Should You Get Involved?

Serviced Accommodation: Should You Get Involved?


Many of us will have heard of serviced accommodation, but today’s blog will take a more in-depth look into it and whether it could be a strategy for you to get involved in.


Traditional buy-to-let properties are a familiar concept for many of us, where you rent out an apartment or house to a tenant on a long term basis. Serviced accommodation is a little different from this, as you rent your apartment or house on a short term basis. In effect, the property you rent out is effectively a small hotel as guests can stay anywhere from one to two nights to months at a time. 


Serviced accommodation has become a topic of debate in recent years, with lots of media attention surrounding AirBnB. AirBnB is a business that advertises serviced accommodation but has become the go-to company when looking for holiday accommodation. Other companies advertise serviced accommodation such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, Spotahome etc. but we often hear AirBnB being discussed.


Serviced accommodation has many benefits for individuals travelling for work or pleasure. Benefits for the end-user are:


  • A home from home setting
  • Hotel standard services but more homely than a hotel room 
  • Space: more space to enjoy, e.g. bedroom, living room etc
  • Convenient: guests can prepare food (properties have kitchen facilities)
  • Often apartments will have laundry facilities (washing machine and dryer)


Serviced accommodation is becoming ever more popular for business travellers as it gives them more for their money than staying in a hotel. Companies tend to favour serviced accommodation for their workers as it is often cheaper to stay in serviced accommodation than hotels, mainly if the length of stay is weeks to months. Business users will be more likely to do their laundry, cook their meals, and generally expense less when staying in serviced accommodation in comparison to staying in a hotel.


You’re probably wondering what’s in it for me?


Well, with serviced accommodation becoming more popular, the prices charged per night are comparable to guest houses and hotels nearby. When you compare the income generated through a typical buy-to-let where your property is rented out to one tenant long term for say £800 per month in comparison to renting your property per night for £60 a night in low season to £120 a night in high season, you can see why many investors are leaning towards serviced accommodation. It doesn’t take many nights of renting your property out per night to overtake the traditional buy-to-let rent. 


So why doesn’t every landlord switch to serviced accommodation?


There are some considerations when looking into serviced accommodation. As we mentioned earlier in the article, you are technically running your rental property as a mini-hotel. I spent some time with Clare Halliday of Refreshing Scotland, an AirBnB management company, and we discussed some of the challenges of running serviced accommodation.


Bookings: You will need to advertise your property on multiple different websites to ensure it can be booked by a range of guests from holiday goers to corporate business clients. You need to create a listing and upload photos and reply to any questions or enquiries you receive through the various platforms.


Changeovers: You are running your rental property as a hotel; therefore, you will need to get the property changed over between guests. Linen will need changing, the whole place will need to be cleaned from top to toe, and you’ll need to replace consumables (toilet rolls, toiletries etc), take bins out, and check for damage or repairs.


Check-ins: Guests will arrive when it’s convenient for them; therefore, you need to make arrangements to let them into the property, or use a key safe. Remember, no matter how simple you make instructions, there will be the odd guest who struggles to enter your property. Imagine a late-night call from a guest who has been for dinner and a glass or two of wine asking you to help them enter your property at midnight (or later).


Furnishing: While you could technically buy a rental property and put in any old furniture, the price you can charge per night for guests to stay will be higher if your property is kitted with higher quality furniture. From Clare’s years of experience in property management, she recommends picking a few statement pieces of furniture to give your property a luxurious feel and make your property stand out from other similar properties, which will attract attention to your property and likely increase your bookings. High-quality fixtures and fittings will withstand the test of time too, so spending money on quality furnishings upfront is a double win.


Location: Location location location. It’s something that all potential investors or current landlords must consider when researching property to buy for serviced accommodation. If a property you’re looking to purchase or currently own is located in a rural location, it can be more complicated to manage as serviced accommodation. One particular sticking point for managing properties in rural areas is the availability of laundry services for all the bed linen you’ll need if your property turns over every night. 


As you can see, there’s a lot to organise with serviced accommodation. For many landlords, this would be too big of a time commitment. It’s pretty much the same as running a bed and breakfast, without cooking breakfast! So you’ll now be wondering how anyone manages to have serviced accommodation without being full-time in property. This is where serviced accommodation management companies can be worth their weight in gold. 


Many AirBnB management companies can manage your AirBnB for you, but be warned, do your research as they’re not all as good as each other. These companies take care of all the bookings, all the cleaning and bed linen, and can be around 24 hours per day to deal with any guest issues. This service, of course, comes at a price but for many AirBnB landlords, this is an essential cost for running the property as serviced accommodation. Most AirBnB management companies will charge you a percentage of a night’s stay to run your AirBnB for you, anywhere between 12.5% and 20%. This is where number crunching comes in, as the numbers need to stack up to ensure running an AirBnB will make sense financially if you decide to take on an AirBnB management company. 


Clare Halliday of Refreshing Scotland runs a five-star AirBnB management company. Refreshing Scotland has everything in-house, from their management staff to their cleaning staff. They take care of everything for you and pride themselves in getting five-star reviews for every AirBnB they manage. Refreshing Scotland is in a class of its own. They provide hotel standard services for their guests and offer bespoke services tailored to each landlord’s requests; for example, premium quality skin ranges to putting specific food and drink items in the kitchen for guests arriving. A service like this is invaluable, so I’ve shared a link to Refreshing Scotland’s website at the end of this blog.


Serviced accommodation can be a fantastic property strategy if it’s executed correctly. If you’re considering purchasing a property or converting an existing property into serviced accommodation, ensure you have crunched the numbers and have thought about the logistics, as there are a lot of moving parts. You need to ensure that if you have a mortgage on the property, it allows for short term lets and that your insurance covers the short term letting of your property. Be mindful of local council legislation and whether you need to apply for a change of use of the property to allow short term lets. 


As discussed above, if you are looking for a fantastic AirBnB management in East Central Scotland then look no further than Refreshing Scotland. Clare would be delighted to hear from you and discuss your requirements.



Phone: 07908 469 505

E-mail: clare@refreshing-scotland.co.uk


We hope you’ve found this article helpful in sharing some of the positives and some of the challenges with serviced accommodation. If you’re interested in investing in property but don’t have the time, knowledge or know-how, then click the button below to book a call with me.

The Importance of a Property Exit Strategy

The Importance of a Property Exit Strategy


We’re all aware of what’s going on in the news at the moment. With a general election coming up quickly, Brexit and other financial industry uncertainties, many of us have thought about how this will impact the property market.


This blog discusses property exit strategies if the housing market shifts after purchasing a property. An exit strategy is about the financial plan for a property and will be specific to the property and your financial situation.


There are many factors in property investing that are within our control for example where to purchase, type of property, negotiating the purchase price, managing the process from conveyancing to the refurb, but not everything is within our control. If the property market changes, we need to make sure we have thought of exit strategies.


We need to be smart with our numbers when thinking about investing in property. All wealthy property investors will tell you that you make money when you buy. Therefore when you are looking for a property to invest in, start with the numbers, and make sure you don’t pay over the odds for a property. Cost up all renovation work, legal fees, stamp duty etc. to get a figure for total costs involved in buying a specific property. We research the current market in the area we are looking to buy in to estimate our end value. Look for properties for sale, under offer and sold within the past 12 months to get a feel for the end market value. We always err on the side of caution with our end value and keep it on the lower side of recently sold properties. With the end value in mind, we take away our profit margin and all costs associated with purchasing and renovating the property from the estimated end value, to calculate our maximum purchase price. 


The calculation above helps decide a fair price to offer if you’re considering flipping a property. That might be the initial plan, but we like to dive a little deeper. We always ask ourselves: if for some reason the property market dropped or the property didn’t sell, could we sacrifice some of our profits and still sell the property without making a loss, or could we hold onto the property? Spending some time researching the area you are looking to invest in will go a long way when it comes to the second strategy. If you needed to hold on to the property while the market comes back up to the level you bought at, how much could you achieve in rent and what is the rental demand in the area? We ideally like to work out the yield of the property, which is the total annual rent divided by the purchase price (or estimated end value if we’ve completed renovation works), to ensure the deal still stacks up. This will give us two more exit strategies: hold on to the property and pay down the mortgage with money from rent, or rent the property until the market picks up and sell once we know we’re profitable.


Deciding on an exit strategy is important when considering buying a property as an investment. We always make sure if we’re planning to flip a property, do the numbers still work if we needed to hold the property and rent it out. Other property strategies that could be considered are HMOs or serviced accommodation (AirBnB). We wouldn’t normally crunch the numbers for either of these strategies unless our first couple of options were not feasible. Normally if a property is suitable for an HMO or AirBnB it would be the main strategy and the property would’ve been bought with this in mind. Both of these strategies can be very lucrative but require experience, and a bigger time and monetary investment.


If you’d like to get into property investing but don’t have the time or knowledge, book a call with me using the button below to discuss how I could help you on your journey.

Moving House To-Do List

Moving House To-Do List


Moving House is classed as one of the most stressful experiences in life. So why would anyone do it? Many of us buy our first home and eventually outgrow it. For whatever the reason for moving, it can still be incredibly stressful. We have moved home many times, and we have found that being organised can make the process much less stressful. We’ve compiled a summary of big and small tasks to remember when moving home.


Starting packing early

If you haven’t moved home for many years, you will have likely forgotten what a big task this is. Packing your home can take weeks, if not months. So start the process as soon as possible, including a good clear out of any items you no longer need. The bigger the clear out you do before you move, the easier the unpacking will be at the other end. Like us, if you hate packing, book a company as soon as you can to pack and move your belongings for you. It comes at a cost, but we factor this into our budget when moving home as an essential fee.


Redirect your mail

When you move home, don’t forget to redirect your mail. Organise this before you move to ensure your mail will be forwarded to the correct address while you notify everyone that you’ve moved. The Post Office offers a mail redirect service at a small cost for six months (or longer) while you get yourself organised.


For any drivers

Make sure to update your drivers’ license with your new address. It’s an offence not to update your drivers’ license, so make sure to tick it off your list once you’ve moved. Your car insurance will need to be updated to your current address as it may be invalid if the provider has your old home address. Any motor vehicles will need to be registered to your new address too.



On the day you move out, take meter readings for gas and electricity. This will allow you to settle up your account(s) on the property and ensure the buyer of your home will pay the bill thereafter. 



Many of us can’t live without WiFi, and depending on your phone network signal in the area; WiFi could be vital at your new property. It’s worth contacting your current provider early on to see if they can move your existing account to your new address. This will save time and hassle. If you need to change supplier, it can take a few weeks, so getting this organised early avoids any disappointment.



For many of us moving home will also mean organising your TV licence and Netflix Sky etc. Similar to moving your broadband, call your current media provider to see if they can directly switch it to your new property. Although sometimes forgotten about, make sure to change your TV licence to your new property too.


Council Tax

Notifying your local Council that you’re moving is highly important. Some Council’s allow you to do this online, which can be more time-efficient than handling this over the phone. If can also let them know where you’re moving to and if it’s within the same Council you can inform them of your new address. 


Insurance Policies

You’ll undoubtedly need to spend a bit of time sorting out various forms of insurance. The insurance you have on your current home may be suitable for your new property, but remember we need to ensure both building and contents. These are sometimes with the same provider or in the same policy, but if you live in a building that’s shared, you may need to discuss communal buildings insurance with the provider or buildings factor (if applicable).


Your health is your wealth

If you’re moving more than a few streets away from where you currently live, you may need to inform your local GP surgery and Dental Practice in case you fall out with their catchment area. Once you’ve moved, you’ll need to register with new practices. 



Last but by no means least, ensure you register to vote at your new address. This is something that’s often missed during the home moving process but can be incredibly frustrating if an election comes round and you aren’t registered to vote. Don’t miss out and get registered.


We hope you’ve found this article helpful in listing many of the important things to consider when moving house. We are currently in the process of moving ourselves, so it seemed sensible to detail the process for individuals who haven’t moved in some time.


If you’d like to get into property investing but don’t have the time or knowledge, book a call with me using the button below to discuss how I could help you on your journey.

Buy to Flip: Top Considerations

Buy to Flip: Top Considerations


We’re all guilty of doing it. Browsing through Rightmove or Zoopla and finding a home in a good area for what seems like a bargain price…where’s the catch? The old ‘property could do with a degree of modernisation’ from the estate agent’s description gives us a clue. Then you take a look at the pictures and realise the property needs a lot of work. But if you still find yourself interested, then let’s think about whether this could be a suitable property for you to buy and renovate (and possibly sell for profit).


Here are some of our top considerations before considering renovating a property.


Number crunching: 

We are all familiar with what we can borrow from the bank to purchase a home, but when considering a property that needs a degree of renovation, this cost will need to come from your savings (after your house deposit is paid). However, you may save a little on stamp duty due to the reduced purchase price. 

And while we can estimate costs such as kitchens, bathrooms, flooring etc we need to remember that unexpected expenses arise too. Expensive repairs can include damp work, roof repairs and windows need replacing. You might also need to rewire the electrics or replace the heating system, but this shouldn’t be an unexpected cost. Some renovation experts in the industry advise calculating all your expected costs and adding as much as 20% extra for unforeseen expenses.

Costs that can be anticipated are for fees involved with individual professionals needed during the renovation works, such as additional surveys or advice from an architect. 

It’s important to mention that borrowing money from a lender isn’t guaranteed for all properties. Occasionally properties are classed as unsuitable for lending, which would mean any purchaser would need to pay for the property outright in cash, and may struggle to get borrowing in the future. Often if a property is not suitable for lending, it will specify this in the estate agents description, or may state only suitable for cash buyers. 


Time to view the property:

You may want to view the property yourself initially before thinking about taking an expert round with you. If you are considering a big renovation project, it would be wise to take along a local builder and/or building surveyor to a viewing to help you get a sense of the renovation costs, and whether there are any costs you may not have identified. Surveyors will likely charge you for this ‘walk round’, but the advice can be invaluable if they identify something you’ve missed. 

Another key professional to discuss your next project with is your estate agent. You can discuss exactly what you plan to do to the property, for example, renovate and extend to get a feel for the end market value. From this end market value, you can work backwards to ensure your renovation costs and purchase price seem sensible, ensuring you are making a profit on top of all expenses. A wise estate agent once said to us ‘you don’t want to be the most expensive house on the street’ and we have stuck by this rule. If your renovation work will add massive value to your property but also make it hugely expensive in comparison to other homes on the street, you may want to reconsider your project.


Getting your purchase price spot on: 

Once you’ve factored in all costs and decided you’re in the financial position to go ahead with your project, surely it’s time to take the plunge? Think about the following points before proceeding: 

  1. Are you going into this project with your eyes wide open? Projects don’t often run on time, so are you willing to potentially live in a building site for months or years. Have you thought about weeks or months with no bathroom or kitchen?
  2. The costs for your project will undoubtedly run over, have you factored in extra funds to cover this? And will you still be financially safe if your calculations are a little bit off?
  3. Is it your dream home, or are you financially driven? Sometimes we can get caught up with the figures and see only the profits. If the house could be your dream home, you might be happier with the decision than if it’s purely financial.


Don’t forget planning and regulations: 

If you’re planning on extending and significantly remodelling, it’s vital to get an Architect on board early to guide you through planning and any regulations. Your local Council website can give initial guidance on whether you will need planning permission for your building works, but moving forward, you will need an Architect to draw up plans and submit these for planning. Something incredibly important when it comes to planning is whether your new home is a Listed Building and whether it’s in a conservation area. Both of these designations can dictate what, if any, alterations or buildings work you can do to your new home. 

We hope you’ve found this article helpful when considering taking on a renovation project. We’ve completed a few renovation projects ourselves over the years, and each one has been a totally different learning experience. 

If you’d like to get into property investing but don’t have the time or knowledge, book a call with me using the button below to discuss how I could help you on your journey.

Fundamentals for Successful Property Investing

Fundamentals for Successful Property Investing


Many individuals starting on their property journey quite rightly begin by doing some research online. Some even buy property publications or books, and some attend local property events. On the other end of the scale, some individuals dive into the deep end and snap up their first investment property without too much research. Our journey has been shaped by a bit of both! We started our property journey by purchasing our first buy-to-let and luckily didn’t go too wrong. From there, we have learnt from on the ground experience, but also meeting with individuals in the industry who have beaten the path before us. We’re going to share some of the fundamentals that all successful property investors have in common.


1.Make a plan and stick to it!

One of the foundations of success in property investment is to have a plan. Firstly think about the end goal, and where you would like your property journey to take you in terms of cash flow or growth of equity. From the end goal, work backwards to create achievable shorter-term goals. Creating a business plan of sorts will help keep you on track to your goals and reduce the risk of you losing traction. Ultimately a plan can help you reflect on your journey and appreciate success along the way.


2.Build a good reputation

Being a new property investor in a local area will help you build a network of other local professionals within the region. Building a network of trustworthy people is worth its weight in gold, and growing this network will pivot around whether you are an honest and ethical investor. If you make a wrong move or let someone down in the industry, your reputation will be tainted quickly. Just remember the phrase about Karma being a … . 


3. Knowledge is power

When you’re first starting out as a property investor, make sure you spend time developing your level of knowledge of the industry. This can include knowledge of your local area and the market, mortgage rates, tax regulations, government regulations and building rules. This will help you make wise decisions when it comes to investing and will save you money, so prioritise building your knowledge. 


4. Get your ducks in a row

We advise you to find a good accountant and pay for their services from the outset. As a new property investor money in vs money out can make or break your new venture, therefore make sure you pay to get the best advice. An accountant will be invaluable for you moving forward as they have extensive knowledge of tax laws and acceptable expenses, and they’ll pay for themselves many times over in the tax you’ll save you. 


5. Teamwork makes the dream work

A successful property investor never claims to be an expert in all aspects of property. All property investors need to lean on experts in the industry, for example, conveyancing solicitors, tradespeople, estate agents, letting agents to name a few. A carefully selected group of professionals who can advise on any given project will make or break your success. So remember the phrase: teamwork makes the dream work. Start building your team of experts in the industry early on. 


6. Risk vs Reward

While many investors look at property as a way to make big bucks, we need to always remember property can also come with risks. Think big wins, and big loses. Property is known as a method to grow wealth over time, so keep this in mind when starting out. Invest wisely: buy right and ensure you have a team of experts around you to support you on your journey. Complacency can be a killer, so be fully equipped with knowledge of all the risks involved.


By following the fundamentals we have discussed above, you’ll give yourself the best chance of long term success in property investment. If you’d like to get into property investing but don’t have the time or knowledge, book a call with me using the button below to discuss how I could help you on your journey.

Building Passive Income

Building Passive Income


Many of us have heard about passive income but are guilty of not knowing exactly what it means, or how we can build passive income. This article aims to cover different types of income and dive a little deeper into passive income through property.

First of all, we need to address what passive income actually means. Passive income is income earned through an asset that requires minimal input. Think of the concept of earning money while you sleep. The asset will produce an income for you whether you spend time on it or not. Passive income can come from one asset or many assets, with wealthy individuals normally having multiple streams of passive income.

There are many different ways to create passive income. I have compiled a short list of examples of passive income-producing assets:

  • Network marketing – products sold through word of mouth
  • Stock investment or trading – short term or long term income-producing asset through the stock market
  • Software – creating software, for example, an app that produces you income when it is bought or used on-going
  • Education – creating income through publishing a book, producing online courses etc
  • Affiliate marketing – creating income through promoting other peoples products that are sold by you
  • Franchising – payment of royalties or passive income by allowing an individual or party to operate their own business using your branding, systems and proven business model
  • Drop-shipping – generating income through advertising and selling a product that you don’t stock. You act as a middle person between the manufacturer and the purchaser and do not hold any stock or complete the shipping. 

Last, but by no means least, is property. Property is one of the oldest methods to generate passive income. Income can be gained passively through property when the rental income from the property covers all the bills and costs associated with renting the property and leaves you with money left over.

An example of monthly income from a typical property deal would include:

(Property purchase price £130,000 – a mortgage of 25% loan to value and interest rate of 4%)

Rent £800

Less expenses: Mortgage payment £325, Letting agent fee £80, Insurance £30

NET RETURN: per calendar month £365 

We can see from this example property deal how passive income can be built through property. Per year, the example above would equate to £4,380 in passive income. We always encourage our clients to think about what passive income could do for them, to build towards a target passive income figure. Whether it’s for holidays, expensive hobbies, or to tuck away for a rainy day fund, property is an excellent investment vehicle.

Whether you have thought about getting into property but haven’t taken action, or have a couple of properties already but would like to continue to grow your portfolio, we would love to hear from you. We can take all the hassle away from property investing, managing the entire process on your behalf.

Click the button below to book a call with me, to see how we can help you build passive income through property.

Hands-Free Property Investing Explained

Hands-Free Property Investing Explained


Here at Nichol Smith Investments, we offer hands-free investing for our clients. But what do we mean by hands-free? This article will talk you through exactly what we do as a property investment company.

Firstly we’ll source a property for you that matches your investment criteria, for example, a two to three-bed property with an estimated value of £130,000 to £160,000. We aim to find you a property at below market value. This ensures our clients make money when they buy.

Next, we’ll carry out any necessary works to the property ensuring a high standard of finish and optimise the rental value of the property. We manage this process on your behalf meaning no hassle for you or time commitment required. This means we have added value to our client’s property. We often recommend refinancing the property after a set period of time, normally 6 months, to the higher valuation, allowing clients to pull out some of the money they initially invested in the property.

We then hand the property over to a trusted letting agent to manage the property thereafter. They will ensure a tenant is vetted before the tenancy starts and will take care of any maintenance issues with the property on an on-going basis.

We provide a first-class service to ensure our clients reinvest with us year after year. Although we offer a portfolio building service for our clients, we also offer another property service. If clients don’t want to own property themselves but do want to invest their money in property, we can offer a fixed return on their investment annually. 

If you’re interested in investing in property but would like to discuss your situation further, click the button below to book a call with me. 

Brexit and The Property Market

Brexit and The Property Market


With daily updates on Brexit and whether we are leaving the EU with or without a deal, many of our clients are asking what impact Brexit will have on the housing market.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling like we’ve heard about Brexit for a long time now, to the point where many of us have become desensitised to the impact on our lives. But with the deadline around the corner again, we thought it would be an opportune moment to discuss the impact on the property market.

Once schools are back in session after the summer break, the property market usually picks up before the festive season, with many families looking to settle into their new homes before Christmas. This year (2019) has been slightly different, with many areas noticing a very slow increase in the market following the summer school holidays. Brexit is definitely to blame for the dampened activity in the property market.

There’s a lot of speculation in the media and in the financial sector that property prices are going to fall following Brexit. Percentages making the headlines are anywhere from 5 to 15% fall in house prices in the UK. While this sounds extreme, these figures will vary widely across the country. We also need to remember that the drop in house prices only has an effect on our finances if we’re looking to move home. So if we don’t need to move home, then we don’t need to be overly concerned about a potential drop in house prices.

Brexit can’t be all doom and gloom, can it? Depending on the outcome of Brexit, we’re likely to see a review of stamp duty, which could positively impact the housing market. The number of individuals who have put off moving due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit will be more likely to take action and move if a deal is reached, which could again put some life back into the property market. There have even been a few articles published that rave about the property market taking off following Brexit. While this sounds positive, only time will tell what exactly will happen with the UK housing market following Brexit.

With interest rates low and homes struggling to sell, it’s definitely a buyers market. There are deals to be found everywhere, and if you are keen to grow your portfolio and benefit from investing your wealth in property long term, it’s time to take action.

Nichol Smith Investments offers a hands-free investing service for our clients, meaning we manage the whole process from finding a property for our clients; managing the renovation or refurbishment of the property; to handing the property over to a letting agent. All hands-free and no time commitment required from our investors.

If you’d like to arrange a call with us to hear how we could help you with your property journey, click the button below. 

Property Staging: Everything You Need to Know

Property Staging: Everything You Need to Know


Property Staging is a relatively new concept in the UK, but our counterparts over the pond have been staging homes for years. This article aims to highlight some of the benefits of staging your home for sale or let.

Home staging, also known as property styling or property presentation, is preparing a home to looks its best. Usually, the aim of making a property look top-notch is to help it sell fast and for the best possible price. Sometimes homes that look great on the outside can sit on the market for months on end with little interest, but staging can go a long way in getting a lot of bang for your buck.

According to UK property analysts, mouseprice.com, homes that have been staged before selling can fetch up to 10-15% more than the competition. That doesn’t always mean investing more money on your home before putting it on the market; it can be as simple as decluttering and being smart about your choice of decor – if you have the time and ability something is always better than nothing.

If you don’t have the budget, you can still spend some time and effort making your home look its best. Clearing any clutter will allow the buyer to easily envision themselves living there. Try and tidy all non-essential items away into storage, whether that be an attic, garage or storage unit. Ensure any minor DIY repairs take place before viewers come round, like fixing any leaky taps or repairing any dents/scuffs in walls. This limits the number of jobs a buyer will feel they need to do when they move in. Give your home a deep clean if you can to ensure buyers attention is not drawn away from your beautiful home. In terms of decor, do your best to lighten your home for viewings. A few strategic lamps can help make your home feel bright and homely. Last but by no means least the area outside your home. Tidy this as best as you can, and if possible, make sure windows are cleaned, freshen up or replace any potted plants, and grab yourself a new doormat. First impressions are vital!

If this sounds like too much work, call in the professionals. We have used professional property stagers in the past for properties we were putting on the market, and they are worth their weight in gold. Not only will they save you a massive amount of hassle, but they will also make your home look fantastic. Property staging companies will discuss your needs, for example, requirements for furniture, and will often visit your home before providing a quote for their service.

Property stagers will bring everything from beds to lamps, to throws, to pictures to make your home look dreamy. Stagers tend to be qualified interior design experts, but they also rent you furniture and home accessories perfect for your home. You’ll not own any of the items they bring to your home; you will just rent them for a specified period of time. Often stagers will leave their furnishings with you for as long as you need them, typically 8-12 weeks. Some can provide you with furnishings for your professional photos only; therefore a top tip is to check the rental period with them when discussing your quote. 

In terms of cost, this will vary hugely depending on your individual needs. The number of rooms, soft furnishings required, and pieces of furniture needed will all affect the cost of the service. Also, the timeframe may come in to play. Deciding how long you need to rent the furnishings for and how soon you require their services will also play a part in cost.

Do we think it’s value for money? We would always recommend thinking about the cost of staging your property versus the risk of not staging your home. If you know it will help your home sell quicker, it should be factored in as an essential cost of moving home. In terms of achieving a higher sale price, we personally do not think anyone could ever be certain exactly how much value it could add to your home during the sale process. You will definitely attract more buyers to come and view your home, and that’s always a good thing when you’re looking to sell. 

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