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Check, check, 1, 2…


Thank you for joining us for a run down of some of the going ons in June - despite the fabulous weather it's been all go!




Firstly, lets start with a housing market update:


Rightmove


2023 has seen asking prices continue to increase month by month up to May. June however has seen the first drop in 2023 and this is also the first drop in housing prices since June 2017.


Compared to the 2019 sales levels, buyer demand over the last 2 weeks has risen by 6%, despite the increasing mortgage interest rates. Rightmove show a slight drop in agreed sales.


Rightmove’s new Mortgage in Principle service has seen an increase in daily visits by 53% since the unexpectedly high inflation figures, which has resulted in a lot of uncertainty amongst home movers.


This graph shows the current average time it takes to secure a buyer. For an un-staged property, this is sitting at 55 days. Staged properties on the other sell, sell much quicker and in as little as 14 days.



Source: Rightmove


Tim Bannister, Rightmove, says:


“Average new seller asking prices, the first and leading indicator of new trends in the market, have dropped slightly this month, signalling that the belated spring price bounce has quickly turned into an earlier than usual summer slowdown.
We expect asking prices to edge down during the second half of the year which is the normal seasonal pattern, and while we sometimes re-forecast our expectations for annual price changes at this time, current trends suggest that our original forecast of a 2% annual drop in asking prices at the end of 2023 is still valid.”




Zoopla


Zoopla research has shown that compared to the 5 year average, demand is currently significantly lower than supply. This is causing property to remain for sale longer than desired, so our staging services are imperative to get your property noticed and sold quicker.


Their data shows a decrease of 14% in buyers on the market in the last 4 weeks, compared to the last 5 year average.


Zoopla believe that anyone who is serious about selling in 2023, need to be realistic on their pricing. They expect house prices to fall by up to 5% for the rest of 2023.


During the first half of 2023, the falling mortgage rates had boosted sales, thus creating a firmer price on homes. This is not the case for the rest of 2023, as the rise in mortgage rates is causing sellers to have to accept lower offers.


Our Takeaway from Housing News


There have always been and there will always continue to be two factors (apart from location, location and location as well as wider economic considerations) that affect how quickly you sell - pricing and presentation.


Setting the sale price too high, means a property will sit on the market for longer and will become stale. Not presenting a property well can make the difference between selling or not selling, given that today's typical buyers want "walk in ready" homes.


It is now more important than ever to adopt these two factors to ensure a quick sale.






Check, check, 1, 2…


We are so excited about one of our achievements this month! Ceri Owen, our founder, talked to the fabulous Rachael Troughton of The Property Solopreneur about how to add value to property through staging.


Rachael says:

“It is a great episode, so much content and some fabulous nuggets for listeners to take away."

If you'd like to listen to From Staged to Sold: The Art of Property Transformation, this podcast is available on apple and spotify:


Ceri says:


“The magic of what we do through staging is transform a property into a home”


Pinner Lane


Considering that the market has slowed and is now in a normalised state, we are very pleased to say that Pinner Lane, a client property which was repaired, staged and photographed, has had incredible feedback from buyers, with multiple viewings and an offer already. Learn more here.




Titan's


We're constantly keeping up to date on the housing market and we do that in many ways. We've recently become VIP members of Titans. This brings together those who are involved in the property sector including architects, surveyors, financial experts, developers, investors, estate agents, builders and of course stagers and each meet there is a focus on a particular subject. Recently we learnt about buying property through action.


Sandra Orlando Payne, architect and VIP member of Titans, of Inhabitat Architects also gave a talk about changes to Building Regulations.


The expertise in the group is incredible.


Moving forward, we'll share more insight on some of the members and the discussion topics.




You may have noticed some changes to our website!


We are streamlining our services (as well as adding a few) to make things even simpler for you.


You can also see a list of some of our favourite companies, both large nationals and local suppliers and trades that we work with on our homepage! You will find a link to their website so please do take the time to check out what they offer.


See example below ...


Interiors


We've had a big focus on interior design this month due to growing interest from clients (both old and new).


Work is underway on a client project in Wokingham, focussing on the large open plan kitchen, dining and living areas. These spaces feel disconnected and are not connected through design. The focus for now, has been the living zone and we've been working on transforming the dated fireplace with separate storage for the TV and associated electricals. The plan is to transform this space by simplifying the chimney breast and adding bespoke built in storage, which uses similar material that the client has in their dining chairs. Intrigued I hear you. There's also electrical, lighting, décor and accessories to be added.


Here's what we've drawn so the client can visualise the upgraded fireplace and storage. Next month we will share the 3D version we've created.




This isn’t the only fireplace we are working on!


An interesting office turned snug project is underway, with floorplans and technical layout being decided. This property features a condemned gas fireplace, which will need to be removed and updated. Our client wants to include alcove shelving and storage around the fireplace, but there is just one problem… there is no chimney breast! So our wonderful team are working on building out an entire feature wall to include a full size faux chimney breast, shelving, storage, TV and electric fireplace! Decisions are being made on key furniture pieces and we are working closely with our clients who supplied a Pinterest board to show their desired style to come up with their dream design.


Keep your eyes peeled on our socials this summer as this is a project not to be missed!



Sorting and Styling


Last week we had a call to help an individual with turning their new property into a home.


Moving home is overwhelming and stressful, especially when it’s on your own. We helped our client by unpacking, sorting and styling, and by the end of the day, their two bedroom apartment had transformed from what looked like a storage unit full of boxes and bags, into a relaxing home where you can put your feet up and relax- all in 1 day!


Boxes were removed, unwanted items were taken to the local charity shop, all rooms were sorted including all the drawers and cupboards. Projects like this make what we do so fulfilling and rewarding, taking the stress away for clients so they can focus on what really matters.


Our client, Paul, says:


After my house move, I started to unpack but this got too much.
I called in Ceri at short notice.
She completed the remaining unpacking and found and organised a spot for everything. When she left later that day, my house was transformed into a home.
I’m super happy and highly recommend sort style and stage.”

Staging


Our new client has lived in her existing 3 bedroom Victorian terrace in Winchester for 20+ years. She is relocating and contacted us to help with staging. When Ceri arrived for her consultation, it was obvious, that the home needed more than staging, given our client wanted to add value. Ceri undertook a detailed consultation and at the end of the visit provided some recommendations to achieve that, the key ones were:


  1. The client has upgraded the kitchen but had not considered upgrading the dated family bathroom. Given the property's anticipated resale value (above £1.7m) buyers will also be expecting a modern family bathroom. Ceri recommended a new floorplan and suite, including the addition of underfloor heating and tiling.

  2. The primary bedroom has an en-suite although the sink is in the primary bedroom. This is not uncommon although today's buyers prefer not to have this. Ceri recommended that a wall hung sink be incorporated in the en-suite and this would be possible if the shower door was re-hung in the opposite direction. Tiling work and underfloor heating was also recommended so the quality in here mirrors that of the family bathroom.

  3. Replacing all internal chip wood doors and door furniture with solid oak and new handles.

  4. Once the above works were completed, including repainting all walls, ceilings and woodwork, stage the home.

A detailed set of recommendations were shared with the client and then Ceri had a follow up call to run through this. Ceri was delighted to hear that the client had gutted the bathrooms and ordered sanitaryware. More on this at a later date.



Virtual Staging


Virtual staging is such an incredible tool, for so many reasons.


One of our long term clients is preparing to re-let their previous long term home. They've updated some of the flooring and therefore to make the marketing collateral as impressive as possible, we've used images that we previously virtually staged (with the client's actual carpet) to create new virtual images (with a virtual copy of the hardwood flooring laid by our client). Take a look at one of the rooms we've transformed...




If you want any help with anything property related, please reach out to at info@sortstyleandstage.com, We're here to help.


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