8 Critical Steps to Stage Your Home on a Budget

January 26, 2016

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, which is why sprucing up your home is crucial.

You’ve decided to sell your home, and you want to get top dollar for it. Because the way we live in our homes is not the way we sell our homes, staging can be an important part of the home selling process. Staging can mean a lot of different things, depending on the house. It can range from decluttering and cleaning to rearranging furniture, from basic outdoor maintenance to pruning and planting seasonal plants.

right_arrow-512Clean, clean, clean – then clean some more | Wash all the windows, wash all the doors (interior and exterior), clean the cobwebs out of the corner and scrub the grout in the tile floors. Even though you’re not selling your furniture, clean that as well because it adds to the overall impression you’re trying to give.

right_arrow-512Make Repairs | Make any repairs that are necessary. Look for issues such as light switches that don’t always work, loose tiles, squeaky hinges, doors or windows that are misaligned. Even small defects can contribute to a potential buyer’s perception of the condition of your home. Generally, a buyer doubles (or more) the cost of repair in their head when negotiating inspection items. To take it one step further, get a pre-listing home inspection – marketing your home as pre-inspection can really set it apart from other homes that are on the market.

right_arrow-512 Spruce up the entrance | Add a new doormat, new house numbers and maybe a new mailbox. Paint the front door. Paint the trim around the front door and windows. Update old porch lighting. Make your foyer inviting. It’s the little stuff that matters here.

right_arrow-512 Refresh your landscape | Clean up the flower beds, add fresh mulch and plant flowers. Make sure bushes and smaller trees are trimmed and neat. Add any coordinating colors you can.

right_arrow-512 Paint | In some cases, you’d be wise to paint the entire house inside and out. In other cases, touching up and painting the trim might be enough. Paint over your kids’ purple walls with a neutral color. If your kitchen cabinets look old and dated, paint those. You can never go wrong with white, cream or brown, but you should pick a color that matches the rest of the kitchen decor.

right_arrow-512Declutter and Depersonalize | My stager, Jennifer, calls this pre-packing. Pack up all personal pictures, remove small chotzkies that are 3 inches or smaller- they don’t make a big impact. Pre-pack half of the books on your shelves. Box up clothes from the seasons you are not currently in, to give the impression there is plenty of space in your closet. Look at your home with a critical eye and throw away or donate any items you no longer have a need for.

right_arrow-512 Clean or replace light fixtures and cabinet hardware | It’s not a really expensive undertaking, but it really makes a difference in how the home is presented. If you don’t currently have light fixtures, Lowe’s or Home Depot have inexpensive lighting and fan options.

right_arrow-512Daily Chores | Make a list of daily items that need to be addressed before leaving your home, in case of a last minute showing request. Remove dishes out of the sink, put the paper towel holder, soap dish and any other counter top items under the sink, make all beds, throw all wet and used towels in the dryer for 20 minutes, hide all toiletries under bathroom sink. Take a few minutes each day to review your list and make sure it’s show ready for any appointments.


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