Home staging on a budget
Home staging is not just for homes in the $500,000 + price range. Home staging is for EVERY home on the market. If you want to sell your home fast and for top dollar....read on....
Home staging is not just for the rich, nor is it reserved for creative women. Men and Women, Creative or Not...if you want to get the most money for your home, you need to start staging. Sometimes staging doesn’t take much money either. In fact, cleaning and clearing clutter are the two main Staging Tips for any market and any price point.
There are some staging tips that apply no matter where you live...here are a few to get you started:
What’s the best no-cost way to get your home sold?
Clean like you have never cleaned before! Vacuum ceilings and window sills, wipe down baseboards, clean the windows (inside and out), dust off the blinds, wash the drapes, clean inside the oven – dishwasher - and the microwave, wipe down cabinets (inside and out – kitchen and bathrooms), remove about half of the items in your linen closet and get it organized, wipe down the shelves in the pantry (you can organize that too), scrub the tile - everywhere. The list goes on and on. Think of it like this – when you buy a used car the dealership likely “detailed” the car. You need to “detail” your home.
We are finally done cleaning, what else can we do with no-cost to help get it sold?
Clear the clutter! Start with the counter tops (both kitchen and bath) and put things away. Have a coffee pot and espresso machine? Pick one and put the other away. Use the toaster once in a blue moon? Put it in a cabinet until you need it next.
Get a plastic tub/tote and put all toiletries in it and keep it under the sink, then get it out each morning when you need it and put it away before you leave the home each day. Keep only one bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and liquid soap in the shower/tub at any time. If you have upgraded the tile tub surround, leave the shower curtain open and show it off. While you are in the bathroom touch up any caulking around the tub, sink, and toilets if needed.
Divide and conquer the rest of the rooms. Go through each room and make everything fit into 3 categories. 1) Things you never use go directly to Goodwill or a Garage Sale. 2) Things you use rarely or seasonal items get packed and stored neatly in the garage. 3) Everything else goes into the closet.
Give each room ONE purpose. Don’t put your exercise equipment in your study. Don’t put your study in your bedroom. You can use one of the spare rooms for a study and it is OK to use the game room as a kids play area...just use each room for that one purpose.
You've heard it before, but it is really true, Less Is More. When staging a room in a home for sale, a few well-placed pieces of furniture are all that's needed to show the room at its best. Remove that extra dresser or chest. Remove that extra chair from the living room. Rearrange things to show the room to be large, light, and bright.
What's the best way low-cost way to get your home sold?
A fresh coat of paint, inside and outside, will do wonders to make your home show its best and make buyers want to purchase it. If your home looks tired, prospective buyers either won't make a purchase offer or they will highly discount it to allow for the fix-up costs, especially painting. Most buyers want to purchase a residence in model-home condition, so all they have to do is turn the key in the front door and move in.
If I decide to paint, what colors should you use?
Designer neutrals are in-style. Think warm beige, or a taupe color. Stay away from bold colors and go with muted lighter colors. Use furnishings for a pop of color if desired (such as red throw pillows) don’t put that bold color on the wall.
We are done with the interior, what about outside?
Clean the front entry exterior for a great first impression. Remember that the buyer stands at the door while the Realtor gets the keys from the lock box, so they have plenty of time to find any imperfections. Trim all bushes, shrubs, and trees. You don’t want them to block the walk way or over power the front of the home. Buy a new welcome mat for the front entry. Add a potted or hanging plant with flowers for a pop of color. Potted plants/flowers are great and as a bonus you can take it with you to your new home (or leave it as a welcome gift for the new owners).
Any other tips or tricks?
Help the buyer see themselves in the home. Place a mirror in the entry or in the main living room (it also makes the room look larger and lighter). Remove most of your family photos. You want the buyer to see it as a place they can call home – not as someone else’s home.
Replace light bulbs with higher wattage bulbs. Brighten up those rooms with more light. If you are home prior to a showing, turn on all the lights including lamps to make the home feel bright.
Open the drapes and blinds – especially if you have a fantastic view of a well-manicured lawn or beautiful landscaping. This makes the home feel larger, more open, bright, and spacious.
Keep it clean. Don’t let all of that hard work go down the drain by letting things stack up again or by falling behind on the house-cleaning.
Leave the home and remove pets for all showings if possible. Allow the buyers to have time to explore the home and see themselves living there. A buyer should feel comfortable talking to their agent while they are in the home. That’s hard to do when a home seller is in the other room or while the dog is scratching at the back door or barking in a crate in the laundry room.
Keep it smelling great. Avoid strong odors while cooking (garlic, onion, curry) if possible. Consider plug in air fresheners in a vanilla or fresh/clean scent. Don’t overdo it with air fresheners though – just one near the entry, one in a spacious room like the living room or hallway. Remember Less Is More.
For more information about buying or selling a home in North Texas, call Melissa Hailey at 214-418-0180. Melissa Hailey is a full-time licensed professional Realtor working with home buyers and sellers in Collin County and North Dallas County. Cities served include: Allen, Fairview, Lucas, McKinney, Murphy, Parker, Plano, Richardson, Sachse, and Wylie.