Stage Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

If you’re in the process of preparing your home for the real estate market, get ready to roll up your sleeves and make your home as irresistible as possible!

While this may sound like an enormous undertaking that you don’t have the time or energy to tackle, remember one thing: When you put your home up for sale, there’s a lot at stake!

Generally, the longer your house stays on the market, the less marketable it becomes. If potential buyers learn that your house has been on the market for longer than, say, a few months, one of the first questions they’ll ask or think will be “What’s wrong with it?” Once questions like that start arising, the overall appeal of your home begins to decline. As you can imagine, your ability to get the highest possible price for your house also weakens over time. That’s why it’s important to do everything possible to enhance the look and feel of your home.

Home Staging Counts

Although effective home staging can be a crucial aspect of selling your house quickly, there is a point at which diminishing returns may come into play. Few home sellers have unlimited time and money to invest in staging their home, and it’s easy to go above and beyond what’s actually necessary to secure a buyer.

There are dozens of variables that affect a house selling strategy, including the real estate market and the condition of your home. If it’s a “buyers’ market” and there are a lot of comparable houses for sale in your neighborhood, then you might have to work a little harder to make your home stand out and attract offers. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a desirable area and not facing a lot of competition from other home sellers, then the law of supply and demand should work in your favor! However, it’s still important to make the most of your property’s curb appeal and the overall appearance of your home’s interior.

The cost of home staging can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, but your real estate agent can provide invaluable guidance on how to cost-effectlively maximize the “eye appeal” of your house and property. While perfection is generally an unattainable standard in home staging (or anything else), optimal results only come from putting your best foot forward.

Several words to remember and be guided by when preparing a house for sale are “immaculate”, “spotless”, “manicured” (lawn), “fresh” (looking and smelling), “updated”, “well-maintained”, and “charming”. If prospective buyers are using those words and phrases to describe your home, then you know you’re on the right track! Your agent can provide you with helpful insights and suggestions for making a great impression on potential buyers — without having to spend more on home staging than necessary!

Staging Your Home on a Budget

If plans for selling your home are in the near future, you’re going to want to start strategizing the most cost- and time-effective ways to make your home irresistible to potential buyers. One of the most proven ways of giving your home the edge it needs to stand out from the competition is good photography and attractive staging.

In today’s post, I’m going to share my tips on home staging that can be achieved on a budget and in a short period of time. That way you can focus more time on finding a new home and stop worrying about selling your current one.

Tip 1: Start packing

Before you start worrying about arranging furniture, it’s important to make sure you have a clean slate to work with. Start by packing personal effects into boxes and labeling them accordingly.

Staged homes are homes that look appealing to the widest audience as possible. Having personal reminders, like family photos, trophies, etc., makes it harder for viewers to picture themselves living in the home.

Most of us keep our homes arranged in a way that is convenient to our lives. And. let’s face it–life can be messy. But, when it comes to staging, less is usually more.

Not only will this cleaning process help you reduce clutter and make the home look better for staging, but it will also make your moving process easier since many of your boxes will already be organized and sealed.

Tip 2: Color scheming

Expertly staged homes tend to have one thing in common–a cohesive color scheme. Think of choosing your color scheme like creating an artist’s palette. You want a few colors that compliment one another and that will work together to brighten up your home.

If you have any furniture that appears worn, dated, or that clashes with the scheme of the room, it’s a good idea to place them in storage while you prepare for photographs and visitors.

Tip 3: Decorate sparingly

Now that you’ve packed away your family photos, you might be wondering what to put on the walls in their place. The best answer is often nothing. However, that doesn’t mean the walls need to be completely bare.

For smaller rooms, you can make them appear more spacious with the use of hanging mirrors (just make sure you can’t see yourself in any of those mirrors when you take your photos!).

Tip 4: Don’t forget the outside of your home

The value of curb appeal can’t be overemphasized. The exterior of our homes, along with our yard and driveway, are essentially what we show the world about our lives. Since most home buyers want their house to look nice, fit in with the neighborhood, but have its own unique flair all at the same time. They want to know that your house has that potential.

Furthermore, the driveway and yard are two of the first things people see when they visit. You’ll want to take advantage of this moment by making a good impression.

Cost-Effective Home Staging Strategies

When it comes to making a good impression on prospective home buyers, small details can make a big difference! Not only do you want prospects to see your home as being clean, neat, and well organized, but it should also leave them with a good overall feeling.

Even though it can be a bit of a hassle to continually prepare your bathrooms for house showings, there’s no bigger turnoff to prospective buyers than a grungy bathroom! Generally speaking, if people cringe at any aspect of your home (especially the bathrooms or kitchen), then they’re probably not going to make an offer on your property.

In addition to making all fixtures and surfaces sparklingly clean, winning over potential buyers also involves making your home look inviting.

One thing many home sellers overlook is the condition of their bathroom towels and washcloths. If they’re wet, bedraggled, or ragged looking, then that’s going to send the wrong message to buyers. There are a variety of ways to overcome that, including putting out brand new, colorful towels that have never been used before (Just make sure to take off the store tags before putting them on display!).

If they’re neatly folded and strategically placed, then they’ll convey an impression of freshness, cleanliness, and neatness. Those are among the key qualities people want to see when they’re considering buying your home. By making sure your house is well organized, uncluttered, and tastefully decorated, you’re also giving the impression that you and your family take pride in the appearance and upkeep of your home. This is sure to score many Brownie points with potential buyers!

Besides ragged-looking towels, another subtle, but powerful turnoff for buyers is old-looking curtains. Although you may be so accustomed to your old curtains that you don’t even notice or see them any more, there’s a good chance they’ll stand out like a sore thumb to other people! If the appearance of your curtains degrade the rest of the room, then that one aspect could literally be a deal killer. As the expression goes, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” People may not know exactly why they weren’t favorably impressed with your home — even though it met all their basic requirements –but it could be something as simple as grungy, faded, tattered-looking curtains, rugs, or towels. It’s often an easy, relatively inexpensive fix, but you have to be aware of the problem before you can take corrective action.

Working with a real estate agent to help you present your home in its best light can make the process go much more smoothly and result in a faster sale. Experienced agents will also provide you with valuable advice, guidance, and marketing assistance that can favorably affect the actual selling price and the length of time your home remains on the market.