How much can you spend on staging? You know; all of that stuff that is done to help your house look much more marketable and appealing to your anticipated buyers. According to Jennifer Radice, a real estate professional in Florida, the average costs for a "pro" are from $50 to $150 per hour!
Naturally, few people want to even consider what this will mean to their budget if they need an expert for a few days, or even a week, and so we'll consider some savvy strategies to keep that money in your wallet and yet still give your home a competitive edge.
Fundamentals of Staging
You may love the way that you have decorated your living room, but even if it looks like something straight out of a home design magazine, it may actually prevent you from selling the house.
Why? A lot of potential buyers want to see a blank slate. They don't necessarily want empty rooms, but they certainly don't want to see your family photos and other personal belongings all over the place. Again, you may want to know why, and the simplest answer is that it is much easier to "picture" yourself living in a new home when you don't see the pictures of the current owners scattered around.
The strategy to use is simple - go through the house with a few empty boxes and carefully remove all of the photos that you have hanging in every room.
Cut the Clutter
This leads to another major staging strategy that you can do "cheap", and that is to go through all of your clutter and get rid of as much of it as you possibly can. From the boxes in the attic that have gathered dust for a decade to the packed shelves in the garage - do a total clutter removal. Experts say that packing up and decluttering around 90% of the contents is good.
Change the Palette
If you want to be triply sure that visitors can see themselves in the home with tremendous ease, consider repainting many rooms in a neutral palette. Not only does this give a sense of fresh and clean, but it also provides the viewer with that oh-so-desirable blank slate. It does cost money for paint, supplies, and your time, but it is often the simplest way of improving the odds of a faster sale.
Clean Like Crazy
If you are going to invest any extra funds in staging, think about directing them to a professional house cleaner. This is someone who will tackle all of the chores you may not even remember to do - the windows, the dusting of the mantel, etc. Top to bottom cleaning is a wonderful way to improve your chances for a sale, and it leaves the home smelling and looking amazing.
Don't Skip Outdoors
Everyone who looks at the home will also see the outside - be sure you work on "curb appeal" as well as interior appeal. Tackle lawn work, trim shrubs and trees, and generally get it in tip top condition.
When you use these strategies to stage, they will cost very little and generate amazing results.
Neiman, Melissa. "5 Dirt-Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home to Sell." 2012. BankRate. 2013 <http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/5-dirt-cheap-home-staging-ideas-1.aspx>.