For the first-time home seller, staging a home that is for sale may seem like an unnecessary expense. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
A National Association of Realtors study revealed that professionally staged homes sell quicker and for more money. If a professional decorator isn’t in your budget, take heart: some staging projects can be inexpensive and easily performed by the homeowner.
- Clean it
Study after study finds that a primary homebuyer “hot button” is a turnkey home – one that appears to be move-in ready. Buyers need to feel an emotional connection when they tour the home, according to Paige Earles, president of Pearle Staging and Design, and that connection is impossible in a dirty, cluttered home.
So the first steps, before you run out to buy staging materials or hire a pro, is to thoroughly clean and declutter every inch of the house, including the insides of cupboards and closets.
- Set the Stage
Unless you live in a palatial luxury home, you’ve no doubt experienced living in a house where there just isn’t enough room for all of your “stuff.” This is how exercise equipment ends up in the study and baby paraphernalia gets parked in the living room.
Go through the house, moving anything that doesn’t advertise a room’s purpose into the appropriate room. If you have an extra room, stage it as an exercise room and stick the treadmill and yoga mats in it. If you have an office, remove anything that doesn’t fit in an office environment and rearrange the room so that when buyers walk in they know exactly what purpose the room serves.
- Go Shopping
Of course it’s always a good idea to reuse existing decorating items, if at all possible. Sometimes, though, a shopping trip is in order.
Lighting is one of the items you should pay close attention to. New lamps, shades and high-wattage bulbs should be the first items on your list if your house is lacking lots of light.
Matching bedroom linens add an instant decorator’s touch. Check eBay and Craigslist for bargains on used but still attractive linens and curtains. Discount stores are another place to look for these items. Don’t forget some coordinating throw pillows to add additional color and sophistication.
Bathrooms are easily and inexpensively transformed with the addition of a new shower curtain and coordinating or contrasting rugs and towels. A stunning silk flower arrangement as the only item on the counter creates the model-home look.
- Need Ideas?
Speaking of model homes, if you need staging ideas, take a quick tour of new construction in your area. Builders hire professional decorators to stage these homes to emotionally appeal to a broad range of buyers. Many of the designer’s tricks can be copied by purchasing similar but inexpensive items at thrift stores, garage sales and on Craigslist.
I'm always available for advice and suggestions so feel free to reach out.