SW France Home Staging is by Sarah Day, Owner at Maisons et Manoirs. She explains why home staging is important and how the French and English differ in approach.
Making that Sale
SW France home staging is all about turning your home into a stage, onto which future buyers can project themselves into their future home. Your property is one of many being viewed and should be a blank canvas rather than projecting your character. The minute buyers start looking at your carefully arranged photos, or trying to identify the sonata piping through your system, you have lost them. Buyers need uncluttered vision and sound to absorb the atmosphere of your house.
French sellers are quite happy to leave showings to the professionals. There’s a strong emphasis on the environment and economic efficiency, and running costs and quality materials feature highly. English homes are often bathroom-rich with state-of-the-art kitchens and sprawling, comfy living rooms.
Over the years I’ve found that French buyers like the British sense of cosy that comes from living 11 months inside before rushing out for the skin-searing BBQ season. The English love the French sense of outdoors which comes from living outside 6-8 months of the year, the indoor/outdoor spaces and prolific vegetable gardens.
On a first visit buyers just need peace. Nothing is more off-putting than a seller taking centre stage, telling them what they have done, or what they would have done. Your ultimate aim is that they imagine themselves sitting on your terrace, cooking in your kitchen, swimming in your pool, harvesting your tomatoes.
Opinions vary on how long it takes someone to decide they want a particular house, and range from 90 seconds to several visits. However, that first impression is vital and there are certain things you can do to create a good one as part of your SW France home staging.
Light: make sure each room is shown to its full potential with lights and lamps switched on and open shutters, it really does make a difference to a buyer’s sense of comfort.
Smells: you don’t need to bake bread. General cooking, herbs and spices are welcoming and homely.
Pets: most of us love pets but they aren’t necessarily a selling point and, if they are cute, they may be distracting. Food bowls and litter trays should go out for the visit.
Space: answer any technical questions in a comfortable area. Six people in the bathroom discussing photovoltaic panels is not the best place.
Of course it’s essential to mention things such as central heating, pool running, septic tank, age of roof, broadband speed, but don’t fill silences with superfluous facts. All nationalities like to feel at ease when looking at their new home and, for this this reason, less is always more on a first visit.
First published in the July/August 2019 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: Maisons et Manoirs and Shutterstock