Staging Without Spending — One Key to Home Selling Success!
Effective staging is a tremendous benefit when needing or wanting to sell a home. But professional staging can be expensive. Don’t get me wrong — professional stagers do absolutely amazing jobs! But sometimes the money’s just not there to hire a stager, buy a bunch of staging materials or rent snazzy furniture.
Although the real estate market seems to be recovering slightly, most sellers still need to capture every penny possible from the sale of their existing home — perhaps to gain maximum sufficient funds to purchase a new place or perhaps to attract a sufficient price will keep their sale from falling into the short sale category.
Simple clean-up and rearranging of furniture can do wonders without spending much more than the cost of soap and water, a few boxes to store extra clutter and possessions, and maybe the short-term rental of a storage unit.
Removing worn throw rugs, dingy pillows and bedspreads is a tremendously effective tool. Sometimes merely washing and ironing (yes … that word) is sufficient. A bottle of bleach and a can of my favorite “Barkeepers Friend” can make kitchens and bathrooms really shine. Remove all of those refrigerator magnets, canisters, coffee pots, grinders, toasters, etc. as they just look like clutter when photographed. (And a good listing agent should take lots of photos of your house to show off its best features.)
A seller and I often spend less than $250 when preparing a home for sale. For less than about $50, I always buy a few brand new thick fluffy towels, color-appropriate shower curtains, and candles to work wonders in bathrooms. Add a couple of ribbons around the towels for a model-home look.
A visit to the local thrift store can provide a couple of big toys (scrubbed sparkling clean, of course) to add personality to an empty bedroom. A gallon or two of mis-mixed neutral-toned paint and a couple of hours can freshen up a stale entry. Don’t forget the discount stores such as Big Lots!, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods when shopping for linens and impact art pieces. Check out the clearance aisles at Home Depot or Lowe’s if you need to replace or update light fixtures or cabinet pulls. I’ve picked up small tables and then spray painted them for entry accents.
And don’t forget the front door. My favorite is to paint the door a deep charcoal or black. Then put a couple of pots of live flowers near the front door. Not just greenery (of course it depends on the time of year), but some nice yellows, reds, or purples sitting on the clean front porch near that freshly painted front door — just does wonders.
I wish I’d have taken more “before” pictures from some of the homes I’ve sold, but did scrounge up a few before and after photos. Maybe these few photos will give you a few ideas.
In almost every house, rearranging furniture and gathering all of the collectibles into a single “themed” room also goes a long ways. Prior to listing, walk through the house and notice how many things you’ve gathered that are similar — little ceramic boats, boat pictures, metal sailboats. We all tend to have things we love, but then we spread them out all over. Gather them together into a boat-themed bathroom or bedroom.
Sometimes you can Stage Without Spending — One Key to Home Selling Success!