The idea of cottage staging means different things to different homeowners. Sometimes, the word cottage is used to describe a tiny main house. However, for the purposes of this article, I will use the more common application of the terminology, which describes a secondary structure on the premises, that is used for rental purposes or as a guest house.
Multiple structure properties have incredible value to some home buyers, so as a seller, you must do everything possible to enhance the secondary structure and show just how useful it can be for day-to-day life and building increased home equity.
This essay provides guidance on staging a cottage as a rental unit or as a dedicated guest suite.
Cottage Staging Methods
Staging a cottage should be completed prior to listing the main property for sale.
Do not allow the clutter from the main house to spill over into the cottage, since this will have a detrimental effect on your entire staging design. Do not allow your accumulated junk to build up inside the secondary structure and make it a liability. Instead, give the cottage a distinct and recognizable purpose and use it as an asset when selling the property.
Remember that many buyers are actively looking for properties with more than one house of the premises. Whatever their particular needs are, having a cottage puts you at a distinct advantage when compared to single structure properties.
Cottage Staging Options
Cottages can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the best ways to stage a cottage include:
- Use by the primary resident as a separate home office.
- Use by the primary resident as a separate home gym.
- Use by the primary resident as a separate pool house.
- Use by the primary resident as a separate media room.
- Use by the primary resident as a separate guest house.
- Use by secondary resident as a rental unit.
All these options will provide variable benefits to your home marketing plan, depending on the needs of your particular buyers and the neighborhood in which the property is listed. Generally speaking, the best applications of a cottage include use as dedicated guest quarters or as a rental unit, followed closely by use as a home office or professional suite.
Cottage Staging Experiences
I actually lived in a rented cottage (also called a back house) for many years when I was a young man. This living arrangement worked out great for me, since it was so nice, quiet and the privacy was almost as good as owning my own home. Having lived in an apartment for a few years prior to this, I was ready for a change.
I remember how well the owner of the property must have made out financially, since he had converted the main home into 2 separate units, which he rented and also enjoyed the income from the cottage. This made the property an ideal investment, with 3 rental units.
If you are lucky enough to own a home with a cottage, make sure to spend extra time and effort making it a real highlight which will appeal to buyers of all types. Have your real estate agent mention in your listing the many potential uses for the secondary structure, so as to create interest in prospective buyers who are looking for a particular type of property.