Looking to sell your home but unconvinced its current condition will attract buyers? These days staging is basically unavoidable: preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate market. Although there are professionals that specialize in staging, we’re going to help you save money by following professional tips to do it yourself.
The purpose of staging is to increase the appeal of a home to make it sell more quickly. According to the website, Dear-Home-Stager, the longer the house is on the market, the less it will go for Statistically, the website claims staged homes sell faster than those that are left unstaged- in fact, up to 400% faster! The website also explains that staging accentuates the home’s best features, while moving the eye away from the home’s less appealing ones. When staging, it is important to remember 95% of buyers buy on emotion, so creating the right mood is critical.
Kitchens and Baths...
According to Kathy Peterson, Design/Lifestyle expert, Author and TV personality, the most important place to start staging is with the bathrooms and kitchen. You should make sure the counters, faucets, lights fixtures and window treatments are updated. If you are on a tight budget, look for affordable countertop and cabinet paints, such as Rustoleum.
Proof the Paint...
Next, Kathy suggests focusing on the walls and painting them in neutral colors. She recommends getting rid of wallpaper, especially those with dated prints. Once removed, she suggests cleaning the surface, patching any imperfections, including cracks in the ceiling or walls, and painting and priming with oil-based paint. If the fireplace doesn’t appear in the best condition, Kathy recommends just painting it!
Inspect the Floors...
In addition to the walls, Kathy reminds us to examine the floor. She believes any dirtied or dated carpets should be replaced, and that you can find very affordable ones at Home Depot and Lowe's. However, Kathy says the cheapest carpets aren’t always the most plush, so she recommends spending a bit more for quality.
Diane Keyes, award-winning author of “This Sold House,” suggests removing throw rugs. According to Keyes, “If a potential buyer trips, they become self-conscious and start thinking about themselves instead of the house."
Use What You Have...
If you don’t have funds to spend on new pieces, Kathy believes slipcovers, in particular, soft suede stretch, are a great way to make old furniture look new. Diane suggests placing the furniture at an angle in the corner to make the space look larger and facilitate easier traffic flow when showing potential buyers the home.
Don't Forget the Outside...
Although it is important to focus on the inside, Kathy reminds us not to forget about the outside, especially front and back porches. “Clean them up, remove or trim shrubs and trees, and slip cover or paint outdoor furniture,” Kathy advises.
Although we want you to be able to stage your home by yourself, Kathy explains, “Most people don't SEE what needs to be updated. Ask a friend or hire a designer for an hour to help you develop a list of "to-do's." Kathy also explains that many people forget an important step- to conceal personal items, such as family photographs. The Dear-Home-Stager agrees. Here are its 3 D's to DIY home staging:
- Detach: Detach yourself from your home so you are most apt to sell
- Depersonalize: Remover your personal items so that viewers do not get caught up in your own tastes (remove specific art, family photos, shoe racks, storage baskets, trinkets, kids artwork, etc.)
- De-clutter: De-clutter the space so your buyers can see what they are supposed to (clear off countertops in kitchen, clear out cabinets, remove or temporarily hide furniture that is too large)
In addition to de-cluttering, Kathy asserts, “A clean house sells--dirt doesn't!”
For more great tips, visit Kathy’s website!