Home staging is all about selling the feeling of a home to prospective buyers, but living in a staged home can be a little inconvenient. Here are some steps you can take to make your life easier during the selling process.

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of the emotional attachment and see your own home as a “product” to sell, rather than a place where memories have been made. Not to mention that keeping a house pristine and staged to perfection while eating, sleeping and living in it creates a completely new set of challenges.

Treat your home like a five-star hotel
According to Homestaged.co.nz, switching to “hotel mode” can help you avoid getting too comfortable and letting your cleaning habits slip. They suggest that to help keep your space clean, tidy and inviting all day long, you treat it “as if you are in someone else’s fancy home”.

Use as little space as possible
It’s rare that people use every space in their house all the time. Whether it’s a spare room, home gym or rumpus in the basement, some rooms can probably be kept locked and untouched – ready for the next open home. “The more spaces you can leave untouched after home staging, the fewer rooms you’ll have to clean when showing day comes up,” Homestaged.co.nz writes, adding that the same goes for extra bathrooms.

Get out of the house
It may sound counterintuitive, but the more you can make the property appear as if no one is actually living there, the better. “The best way to keep your house looking stage-ready is to avoid spending all of your time in it, especially if you have kids or pets,” suggests Homelight.com. If you have children, this can be a great opportunity to plan some fun outdoors adventures. And if your budget allows it, treating yourself to a few meals out can be a great way to keep your home smelling fresh and clean. On this note, unfortunately pets are not staged-home friendly. To ensure pet odours are dealt with in advance, you may want to keep your furry friends in one or two rooms – or board them in a kennel or cattery for a few days.

…or get organised
If you can’t leave the house, organisation is key. Realtor.com recommends creating a cleaning schedule, which starts with identifying which areas of the house are likely to get the dirtiest. Before each open home, a simple cleaning routine could include vacuuming the floors, dusting all furniture, and wiping down all kitchen and bathroom surfaces. To make things easier, it’s a good idea to create a last-minute cleaning list to double-check that countertops are clean, beds are made, and everything looks as tidy as possible. Daily items (like toothbrushes, toys or beauty products) can be kept in totes or baskets, ready to be hidden. In the meantime, you could even get a head start on packing, going through every cabinet and closet, and getting rid of the non-essentials.

Call in the professionals
While living in a staged home throughout the listing period can be stressful, it’s worth the hassle – even more so when working with expert home stagers. By understanding what needs to be done to make your home competitive in the current market, professional home staging is designed to help you sell the property faster and for a higher price. The good news is that you can advertise now and pay three months later with property marketing finance options from Lifestyle Finance. From home staging through to LIM, building and meth reports, they’ll work with you to provide the funds you need to increase the chances of a profitable sale. For more information on property marketing finance options, go to: lifestylefinance.co.nz/vendor-info

Whether you’re staging your home or not, house plants are a wonderful way to transform the rooms of your home. Adding greenery not only injects colour and structure into a space, it also creates a sense of relaxation and boosts mood. Plants can even reduce noise levels and improve air quality, so with all that going for them, what’s holding you back?

For those of us who don’t have naturally green thumbs, choosing the right plants is the key. Succulents are generally hardy and drought tolerant which is perfect for busy people. They also come in a wide variety of interesting shapes. Containers with good drainage and using succulent or cactus potting mix are recommended to keep succulents at their best.

Looking for something delicate for the bathroom or a bedroom? String of Pearls, with its delicate tendrils of round beads, look wonderful hanging or draping over the edge of a table or pedestal. For something more rugged, the Bunny Ear Cactus looks great, but take care when handling. With its irritating barbs, this is not the ideal plant for those with small children or curious pets.

If succulents aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other resilient plants that can add interest to a room. Snake plants are extremely hardy and make a great statement piece with their tall, contrasting coloured leaves. Philodendrons and Pothos are leafy, easy care options that are true survivors and make great hanging plants. For larger spaces, consider a Rubber Plant or for a lower maintenance option, try a Dragon Tree.

Harcourts New Zealand wins ‘Gold’ for the fourth year in a row

Harcourts is thrilled to have been awarded the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Gold Award in real estate sales, as voted by the people of New Zealand, for the fourth year in a row.

At Harcourts, our clients tell us they appreciate our expert local knowledge, the way we tailor our services to their needs, and our willingness to go that extra mile to make their property experience enjoyable.

“Whether you’re selling, buying, or renting, the process can be stressful at the best of times,” says Harcourts Managing Director Bryan Thomson. “To have been awarded Gold in a year as challenging as this one has certainly been extra special.”

“It is Harcourts’ consistent commitment to service excellence that has been instrumental in us retaining the Gold Quality Service Award for four years and the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Award for eight consecutive years. Our teams around the country always strive to be the best and offer honest, personalised service that our clients tell us they love.”

The annual Reader’s Digest Quality Service awards are based on four criteria: providing a personalised customer experience, understanding the customer’s needs, making the process quick and easy, and meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Market research agency, Catalyst, surveyed 1,500 people who were asked to nominate a service provider in a wide range of categories, including real estate sales. To qualify to vote in a category, the respondent must have used a service provider from that industry.

Reader’s Digest says it is confident that the Quality Service survey results for 2021 are a truly accurate measurement of New Zealand consumer sentiment.

Harcourts Cooper & Co win 2 awards at 2020 REINZ Awards for Excellence

Harcourts Cooper & Co was the winner of two awards at last night’s 2020 REINZ Awards for Excellence – the real estate profession’s annual national awards evening.

For the third consecutive year since the award was announced, Harcourts Cooper & Co won the Large Community Award (more than $1 million raised).

Harcourts Cooper & Co also walked away with the Medium Agency of the Year Award (5 – 20 offices) for the sixth consecutive year.

Other finalists in the Large Community Award were Barfoot & Thompson and other finalists in the Medium Agency of the Year Award were Success Realty and Eves Realty.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “Every year we have a significant number of high-calibre entries, many of whom have won their own local or agency awards making for some extremely tough competition. It has been great to be able to come together and celebrate success from across the country. To win one of these awards is to be the best of the best, and that is a noteworthy achievement.

“Congratulations to all our finalists and winners for your achievements – these accomplishments are something you can be extremely proud of. Thank you for helping to raise the bar of the real estate profession and for all your hard work,” she concludes.

The 2020 REINZ Awards for Excellence were held at the Cordis Auckland and saw 41 awards handed out to agents from different sectors of the industry.