15 Top Tips For Staging A Home For Sale (On A Budget!)
Haley Smith | February 15, 2021
Staging your home for sale is necessary to make the best first impression on potential buyers. How your home is presented can go a long way towards selling your home fast and at a great price. Professional home staging is wonderful to use when possible, however, in a hot market, professional staging isn’t always needed. Sellers today can use inexpensive techniques to upgrade their home and make it look it’s best for showings.
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Top 15 Inexpensive Home Staging Tips:
1. Boost curb appeal
Draw buyers in with a great first impression. When buyers search for homes online, their first impression of the home is often a photo of the exterior. From there, they will often decide whether it is worth a look inside. Make sure your home gives a great first impression with these tips:
- Hang house numbers
- Plant flowers and fresh greenery
- Mow lawn
- Remulch your flower beds
- Wash windows
- Repaint or stain your front door
2. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch
Create an welcoming atmosphere for your potential buyers on your front porch. Make your potential buyers feel at home with a ‘welcome home’ doormat. Put out potted plants in bloom and if you have room, add a couple pieces of porch furniture.
If you plan to show your home in the evenings, add solar lights to your walkway. Turn on your porch lights in case potential buyers drive by.
3. Make your home sparkling clean
From gleaming windows to shining floors, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest way to help your home make a great impression on potential buyers. Don’t forget to clean some of these often-missed things:
- Floor grout
- Cabinet handles and shelves
- Kitchen and bathroom sink faucets
- Refrigerator water/ice dispenser
- Interior of appliances – refrigerator, stove, microwave
4. Clear the clutter
Many buyers move to find more space so it’s important for them to envision this in your home. This may require moving some items either to your car or to an offsite storage temporarily but it is well worth the trouble.
Closets and the garage are prime locations for clutter. Consider going through your clothes and seasonal items and donating any items you don’t plan to move with you. Avoid leaving personal items such as family photos, memorabilia, and knick knacks in plain view. Clear surfaces, floors, cabinets, and closets to create a visual of more space. Put away extra appliances (microwaves, toasters, bread machines, etc.) in your kitchen to show off your abundance of counter space.
5. Style your dining room table
Find centerpieces that will make your table stand out. Add flowers or a bowl of fruit to the center of your table. If you have the space, put out 2-4 place settings. Skip the silverware, serving dishes, and salt shakers- you’ll want to avoid clutter here as well. Consider adding a new light fixture above your table.
6. Patch and repair
Now is a great time to tackle the holes, nicks, scratches, and other damage that may signal neglect to buyers. Start with a melamine foam eraser and go room to room to remove any scuffs from walls. Throughout the process, keep an eye out for any areas that could use a little TLC and spackle as needed. Buyers like to see homes that appear to be well maintained.
7. Go with neutral paint
This is often one of the most time intensive staging tips but it can make a big difference when it comes to selling your home. Bold colors can make rooms appear smaller and can distract from a room’s assets but that doesn’t mean you need to go all white! Try neutral colors such as beiges and grays to create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.
8. Put away toys.
House hunters may have children but they may envision a home with more possibilities for organization. Show them that in this house, it’s possible to have an organized space. Consider putting toys in a toy trunk, on a shelf, or under the bed. Help potential buyers imagine a fresh start in your home.
To avoid having to rush to clean-up for those last-minute showings, pack away any toys that don’t get used much. Leave only a few favorites so that kids can continue to play but clean-up is fast.
9. Focus on fresh
A few healthy, well-placed plants and flowers can add freshness and life to your home. Place a vase full of flowers on your kitchen island, some small succulents in the living room, and perhaps a large potted plant in the living room.
Another essential in creating a fresh space is getting rid of odors. If you have pets, its always best to have your carpets steam-cleaned before putting your home on the market. Some buyers may avoid homes with pets due to allergies. During showings, put away your pet’s food bowls, litter boxes, toys, etc. to reduce smells. Consider installing a small, scented plug-in in a couple rooms – go for scents like fresh linen or rain to bring in that fresh, clean smell!
10. Let there be light
Dark rooms can make your home feel smaller and less inviting. Before leaving your home for showings, open up your blinds and let the light in! Turn on lights in bedrooms, closets, and on your porch. Open closet doors to make the space look larger. Check to make sure that all light fixtures are cleaned and not missing any light bulbs.
Since light fixtures are considered permanent fixtures that go with the sale of the home, many buyers will check to see if they like these. Light fixtures are the accessories of a home – you’ll want these to be updated and well-lit to best accentuate your space.
11. Rearrange your furniture
Create a space that allows your buyers to easily navigate from room to room, while making stand-out pieces such as fireplaces more accessible to view up close. Avoid placing furniture in ways that will block doorways or windows. If needed, utilize an off-site storage unit to store extra furniture.
Professional home stagers often look to slipcovers when staging. This is often a cost-effective way to hide any mismatched or stained fabrics on furniture. Avoid bright colors and wild patterns and stick to neutral solids in colors like linen, sage green, coffee, and cream.
Consider using mirrors placed strategically throughout your home to make your rooms appear larger and brighter. A mirror over your kitchen sink can create the illusion of a window that opens into the room beyond. Tall mirrors are great for small rooms because they draw the eyes upward, making the room feel more spacious.
12. Create a gender-neutral master bedroom
Appeal to everyone with a clean, clutter free master bedroom. Put away any personal belongings in drawers and consider adding neutral touches to the space. You can’t go wrong with clean linens, tasteful art, and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
13. Use extra rooms wisely
Each area in your home should have a clearly defined purpose. Utilize any awkward spaces that buyers may be wary of furnishing. If possible, forgo moving out any furniture from these locations so that buyers are not stumped as to how to utilize them.
Consider transforming your storage bedroom into a new space such as an office, spare bedroom, or kids playroom. Before covid-19, at home offices were popular. Now they have become an essential for many professionals. An office space can be put together quickly by adding a simple desk, office chair, and bookshelf.
14. Think seasonally
If you plan to put your home for sale in the spring or summer, consider planting flowering annuals that will be in full bloom when potential buyers view your home. If you have a pool or a fire-pit, make sure these are cleaned and ready to go so that your buyers can envision using them.
During cooler months, take advantage of the cozy vibe and build a fire in the fireplace. Use scented plug-ins relevant to the season such as evergreen or apple cider. Play soft music and create an inviting atmosphere for your potential buyers.
15. Create a lifestyle people are looking for
People don’t just buy the home – they buy the lifestyle too! Use your home’s location to your advantage.
If you live in a neighborhood known for its large yards, play up that aspect by creating a great outdoor space. Put up string lights on your patio, place a couple comfortable chairs around a firepit, and considering hanging a hammock. If you live in a lake community, add some lake aesthetics to your home such a shells in centerpieces or a ‘lake life’ sign above your backdoor.