Low and No-Cost Staging Tips

Don’t make buyers take their shoes off for showings unless you’re listing a muddy country property in the middle of winter. This goes back to disconnecting from your home emotionally and allowing a buyer to feel comfortable and welcome so that they feel as if they’re walking into their new home and not your old one. In this post, you’ll find more low and no-cost staging tips that will help you sell your home for top dollar.

1.  Move it.
Simply rearranging the furniture can re-energize a room. Add and remove furniture, lamps, rugs, and other accessories from different parts of the house to create a whole new look. Mirrors are particularly useful when it comes to updating a room. Try one out in different rooms to see where it fits best. Even just moving a mirror to a different wall can create a more welcoming feel.

2.  Plan it.
Houseplants are a generally undervalued design component that can add texture, warmth, life, and color to any room. Just drop plants in their store containers into decorative planters. Small plants can be moved easily and regrouped to change a room’s look, while larger ones make a statement on their own. Stay away from faux plants or flowers, which almost always look cheap. Instead opt for live plants like orchids, which last many months with very little upkeep.

3.  Paint it.
Paint is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to make a substantial change. Use more dramatic colors in powder rooms and dining rooms, and more neutral colors in living spaces. When selecting colors, be sure to ask yourself: “What am I trying to do? How do I want this to feel?” And always, always do a test before you paint the whole room.

4.  Organize it.
Clutter = chaos. And nobody wants to deal with chaos, especially someone else’s chaos. Hooks and shelves inside the door give people a place to hang coats and keys, while canvas bins and natural baskets help contain magazines and mail. Decorative trunks are also a great tool when it comes to hiding clutter.

5.  Hide it.
What do you do about a banged-up wall? I say: Hide it! Paintable wallpaper is god’s gift to anyone trying to sell their home. It’s usually available for as little as $16 a roll from stores like Creative Wallcovering, and it will smooth out an uneven wall, or hide minor dents and dings. Disclaimer: Your intent should never be to mislead buyers. Be sure to disclose flaws that would affect a home’s value.

6.  Replace it.
Cabinet handles, switch plates, and other small pieces of housing hardware can update a home in mere minutes and for just a few dollars a piece. Inexpensive quick-connect faucets can make upgrading the look of your bathroom a snap. Just be sure to measure before you go to the hardware store. Some sinks are drilled for an eight-inch spread. Others require just four inches.   Oh, and don’t forget the toilet seat! Fresh towels and a new toilet seat can go a long way toward making a bathroom feel fresh, clean, and new.

7.  Light it.
As any Hollywood actress will tell you, it’s all about the lighting, baby. Lighting can have a major impact on a home’s look and feel. Whether a room seems too dark or too bright, try “layering” the lighting by adding accent pendants and lamps. Make sure they have independent controls, so that you can turn them on and off at will. And don’t forget to showcase the house’s natural light as well.

8.  Clean it.
Nobody wants to walk into a house and see a dirty floor. Turn a critical eye to the flooring to make sure it’s up to snuff. Grab your broom, mop, or vacuum, and get to work. Rub out scratches and nicks on wood floors with a basic scratch cover. Scrub the grout and seal any natural stone. Get down on your hands and knees and detail those floors!

9.  Mood it.
Music can have a profound influence on people. I like to have soft jazz, classical, or easy listening music playing any time I show a home. It’s relaxing and helps to put buyers in a buying mood.

10.  Disconnect from it.
Even though you’ve spent hours and hours on your hands and knees cleaning your home, don’t make buyers take their shoes off for showings unless you’re listing a muddy country property in the middle of winter. This goes back to disconnecting from your home emotionally and allowing a buyer to feel comfortable and welcome. Requiring them to remove their shoes is not comfort inducing. Who wants to walk with bare feet on someone else’s floors no matter how clean they are? Besides, it can be dangerous if heels are left at the door leaving inches of pant leg to slide around on hardwood floors.

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