Staging Your Home on a Budget

Tracy Sterling —  February 22, 2018

Did you know that staging your home can not only give you a competitive advantage in the market, but add 10-15 percent to the price you get for your home? For some clients, home staging is just not in the budget, but there are many things you can do yourself to get your home ready to sell- and for under $100! Here are 5 tips for staging on a budget:

1. Pack up, Clean up, and Pick Up (Price: Free): Pack up your personal items and photos. Also, pack all excess clothes only leaving essentials. The less you have cluttering rooms, closets and storage space, the larger that space will appear. And space sells.

Remove knickknacks and minimize your accessories to groups of three items or one large item, remove rugs if stained or worn, toss dead or overgrown plants and remove miscellaneous clutter from all rooms. Leave space for a buyer to imagine filling with his/her own furniture.

Finally, clean, clean and then clean some more! When we say clean, we mean taking a toothbrush and a q-tip where the toilet meets the tile, the baseboards, the  faucets, the refrigerator, doorknocker, and even the top closet shelf. And don’t forget to clean or power wash the outside of your home as well. Pull weeds, lay fresh mulch, and hide outdoor toys.

2. Lighten Up (Price: Free): Open the curtains and turn on all the lights (at least while you are showing the house). Light makes a space seem bigger and less claustrophobic. It lets the space breathe! Add lamps to dark areas of the house and having less clutter also makes a room feel lighter. Remember the light feeling when painting or adding accessories as well.

3. Patch Up (Price: Under $10): Repair all cracks, holes, and dings with caulk and spackle. The buyer will only see neglect if these tasks are left undone. Go through the home with a friend and ask them to point out any problem areas. Be sure to pick a friend that will not spare your feelings, but will be totally honest. They will notice things that you won’t, simply because you see it every day and tend to overlook problems. And remember, if your friend notices a problem area, your buyers will too!

4. Cover Up (Price for Paint: $10-$30/gallon): Cover up the walls with neutral paint. Neutral does NOT mean white. Paint the walls in a light gray/greige shade. If it’s a smaller room that needs a fresh coat, you can find paint that was not quite the right color for a buyer at your home improvement store. It’s usually called “oops” paint. Look there first before buying paint at full price. Another person’s “not quite perfect” could be your “just right”.

5. Draw up (Price Free): Before you move the furniture back into rooms, draw a graph to figure out where to place items to take advantage of at least one focal point. If there is no architectural focal point, create one with a piece of furniture (i.e. TV) or art. And be sure to move the furniture away from the walls. Ensure that buyers have a clear path to wander through your home. No furniture or miscellaneous “stuff” should block access to walking lanes. Stage furniture with easy conversation areas and plenty of light.

Staging your home may not guarantee your home will sell, but taking these steps will increase the chances buyers will have a positive impression of your home. And if this all seems a bit overwhelming or you just don’t have the time, that’s what we’re here for. Give us a call or shoot us an email to set up a consultation where we will measure, take pictures and estimate rental furniture and accessories and we will prepare a staging action plan and proposal for you. If needed, the consultation report will include suggestions such as specific items to be decluttered and paint colors if fresh painting is necessary or light fixture replacement recommendations among others.

Article adapted from The Spruce

Tracy Sterling

Tracy Sterling