An enterprising businesswoman is looking to change the way properties are presented in Tayside.
Catriona Bews from Carnoustie set up Presentingurproperty, which ‘stages’ homes to make them more appealing to buyers.
What is ‘staging’? Catriona explains: “It’s often harder to sell a house that is completely empty. Potential buyers just see empty floors and four bare walls. ‘Staging’ basically means furnishing a property like you would a show home.
“We put in everything from beds, tables, chairs and sofas to the little touches that make a house homely – cushions, throws, and pictures on the walls.”
Started as a sideline
Catriona began staging houses around two years ago and left her full time job three months ago to focus on growing her business.
The 55-year old began staging properties in her free time. “A couple of years ago the property market was in the doldrums and things were taking ages to sell. In more affluent areas like Edinburgh staging properties is much more common but no one was doing it around here.
“I made a few approaches and had a few referrals. My partner Joe works for Baillies and he was able to refer me to some of his clients.
“I staged a few properties and we found that instead of sitting on the market for months they sold very quickly.”
Growing the business
Presentingurproperty is now Catriona’s full time business. Having started small these days she requires three shipping containers to store her furniture and other staging materials.
Among Catriona’s clients are Discovery Homes. She staged the show homes at their Clepington Road and Aberlady Crescent developments.
Prices start at around £1,000 for staging a flat, through to several thousand pounds for large houses. However Catriona is adamant the cost usually more than repays itself.
“Back in February before the current property boom started we staged a house in Wormit which sold very quickly for £10,000 above valuation. I’m pretty sure having the house dressed up nicely boosted the valuation as well, so my client got a very good return on the £2,000 investment in staging their property.”
The property market is going through an unprecedented boom at the moment. Somewhat ironically this limits business opportunities for Presentingurproperty. “Houses are flying off the shelves right now and are going to closing dates really quickly.
“That does mean a lot of stuff sells without the need for staging. I’ve been around long enough to know that the market moves in cycles though so it’s just a matter of being patient.
“For me this year is all about growing brand awareness and expanding my client base.”
Below are Catriona’s top tips to prepare your home for going on the market:
- Declutter: nobody wants to see anybody else’s clutter.
- Clean, clean, clean and make sure the property smells lovely with scented candles, diffusers etc.
- Clear away any pet related items – baskets, feeding bowls etc. Lots of viewers don’t have or like pets and may find such items off putting.
- Make sure the garden is weeded, plants & hedges are trimmed and the front door and any fences are painted to give a good first impression.
- Final tip, call in the professionals to stage your property with quality furniture and soft furnishings to be sure to catch people’s attention, therefore increasing the number of viewers and (hopefully) the sale price!