How to stage your home for sale without professional help
Consider All Buyers Perspectives
When selling a home it's important to make it appealing to all potential buyers. One thing to do is visualize the home through a buyers eyes, and make changes as needed, this is called HOME STAGING. Regardless of the property type (single family home, condo, a loft in the city, modular home, farmhouse, mobile home)...try to keep in mind what your target buyer may be looking for in a new home and stage accordingly.
The very first step to home staging is getting rid of clutter! To many things in one space give a "claustrophobic feel" they also don't help a buyer visualize the property being their home. Pack up your collection of framed photos, get rid of worn out items, pack up all nick knacks, and if your home is flooded with furniture, get rid of it! Doing so will help make spaces feel larger and prevent you from looking like you belong on Hoarders!
Now that you have all the clutter removed, you can really give the house a good cleaning. Wipe down all the walls. You probably have not done that since you moved in any way and you'd be surprised how fast stains and dirt accumulate on walls in the kitchen and bathrooms. Clean out your appliances. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders on appliances! Including washers and dryers...seriously...these things are amazing and make ancient appliances look new!
If you can borrow a friend or families carpet scrubber do so. Give the carpets a good cleaning (if you have carpet), if not, polish up the floors. Keep all entryways to the house organized and clutter free.
When cleaning, always remember to work in this fashion "top to bottom, left to right, and work from the inside of a room outward" You will get professional results every time.
Potential return of investments
The Three R's-repair, replace, re-purpose
If you are not upside down on your mortgage and have some breathing room financially to make some quick changes consider the three R's.
REPAIR, REPLACE, RE-PURPOSE
First, make a thorough check in all rooms, check for missing or damaged baseboards, light fixtures, outlet covers, door knobs...the basic "details" These items when damaged or broken really bring down the "finished" feel of a home and are very important. Small details go a long way.
Repair what you can that is broken. Sometimes a simple tube of super glue and duct tape can do wonders! Just kidding. Don't do a shady repair job, it's better to not bother if you won't make a correct attempt to fix things. All you will do is create more work for your buyer.
Replace what you can that is missing. This may be a floor tile, missing light covers/bulbs, switch plates, furnace vents, etc... most of these items are very inexpensive
Re-purpose. Re-purposing could be as simple as moving a telephone table to become a plant stand which emphasizes a great feature of the home, such as a sunny window. Consider spray painting a few unwanted picture frames for display, or using dishes you won't move to your next place to stage a table setting (be sure to disclose what is and what is not included with the purchase if you plan on keeping any items).
Staging promotes a quick sale
DIY? Or Hire A Professional?
If possible, repaint neutral colors in the home. And replace blue or red carpet also with basic neutral floors. Staging a home is not so much about decorating as it is "depersonalizing" a home. Again...you must envision the home through a new buyer's eyes. They need to be able to "see" the home as their own.
Ask friends and family for their thoughts. It's very hard to be objective when selling your home, especially if you are emotionally attached to it.
Furniture rental places can help you stage the home, I'd go this route with expensive properties (500k+) because chances are you can afford to spend the monthly fee on furniture renting. If not, you can always stage for a short term, say a week or two to get really good "staged" photos for advertising purposes
If you have a lot of belongings you've packed up that are swallowing up the storage space of your home, consider renting a storage unit. Buyers want to see that the home has ample storage, if all your "stuff" is in the way, you should consider moving it.
Cost Value is a great resource to determine what kind of savings you will recoup when making changes to a home for sale.
Less is more is a key thought here! If you find your mind is not creative enough for this task then consider calling a professional.
If you have extra money and feel a professional should be called in to do the staging for you, by all means, call and find one.
You can typically find home-staging professionals through a local Real Estate Brokerage. Just make sure they can supply credentials and multiple references.
Lastly...Curb Appeal and Landscaping
The basic rules for the interior apply to the exterior.
Pick up your trash!
Check for anything that is broken or damaged that can easily be repaired or replaced. Broken non-latching doors and screens stand out like sore thumbs.
Make sure walkways are clear and easy to navigate
How about the address numbers on your house? Make sure they are in good shape and easy to see
Clean up the yard, mow the lawn, remove lawn décor and clutter (flags, garden Gnomes, broken solar lights, goofy looking tacky junk you may have).
Trim hedges and clean up flower beds if applicable
You can even spray paint brown spots of grass! This is a "golf" trick, but it can work in a pinch. You can even add artificial flowers to garden beds, hows that for no maintenance!
Is Staging Worth the Work?
According to some pros, a staged home can bring in 6 to 20 percent more than the same home without staging, home staging can even help avoid price reductions. Real-estate agents usually recommend lowering the home price about 3 percent after a few months. 91% of homes staged by professionals sell in one month or less!
© 2013 Rebecca