Sometimes people can focus a lot of staging that involves renovation, staining of kitchen cabinets, etc. The key word here? Money.
According to the National Association of Realtors, around 96% of home buyers reported being either affected by or somewhat affected by home staging. But not all staging involves shelving out large chunks of your potential home profit.
Here are some excellent staging tips that you may have missed that will cost you less than you think, as well as increase the dollar you see on the back end with the sale.
12. The yard, the yard, the yard — remove any political or “no soliciting” signs, trim the bushes, trim the driveway, remove homeowner cars from the driveway, rake leaves, mow the lawn, etc. This is the first impression people will see when they drive up, and you want to ensure you are providing an inviting atmosphere.
11. Clean off your stoop and wipe down the exterior of all your doors — this includes cobwebs, people. Potential buyers will look down, up, sideways — they’ll peek behind pots. Clean everything you can, and declutter, as well. Keep it simple, yet comfortable.
10. Use WD-40 on the hinges of any door in the house, especially the front door — people love to open pretty much any door during an open house, so nothing is really off limits here.
9. Smells — all houses have them, but not all of them are ideal. A good deep clean will take care of any unwanted odors, but also think about any scents you are adding to the home. Be consistent in any aroma you are placing in the home (candles, plug-in scents, reed diffusers, etc.), but also be considerate of people who are sensitive to smells. Choose something comforting and common, but not overbearing. You don’t want someone to walk in and be turned off by a house that smells like cheap cologne.
8. Declutter and remove almost all personal items — reduce any clutter in the house (tip: trunks and decorative storage, such as ottomans, are great for hiding clutter), especially personal items, such as photos, family albums, and yes — the cross-stitch tapestry your grandmother made you for your birthday last year. Don’t forget drawers!
7. Consider the weather — is it raining? Snowing? Are leaves everywhere? Is it cold? Hot? Provide a space and atmosphere that comforts anyone coming in from that weather. Provide lemonade or sweet tea on a hot day, have a place for people to store umbrellas (or even provide umbrellas with your logo on them), have the fire roaring and lounge music playing if it’s snowing outside, etc. You can be creative here, and if you’re a stealthy DIY person, you can usually do this on a pretty low budget (tip: advertise your open house accordingly, e.g. saying you’ll have the fire roaring and s’mores gift bags as a to-go gift).
6. Color consistency and mood — think about the style of the house, and the colors that would complement the home. Is it modern? Traditional? Georgian? Craftsman? Tudor? Also consider what’s “trending” — don’t go too far and do something wacky, but is moroccan in? What about a certain color? A specific flower or set of coffee-table books? Adding little pops here and there of something that is hot at the moment can be a real attraction.
5. Don’t make assumptions about your buyers — don’t assume that everyone coming to an open house is male, female, family-oriented, single, etc. A variety of potential buyers could come through, so keep things classic and generic, without being bleek. If your kids room is plastered with Superman or Rolling Stones posters, you should consider temporarily housing those items until they can debut in the new home.
4. Deep clean everything in the house — we can’t stress this enough (and we already have earlier). If you want to get top dollar for the home, pay someone (or a team) to come in and perform a DEEP clean in the house. People can be turned off immediately by any grime in the bathroom, kitchen, garage, and the laundry room. People can see grime as a pending project, and they can get curious about what else hasn’t been maintained. This may even include cleaning off the AC unit or the HVAC — just giving them a wipe down and making them shine can make them appear newer, even though they’ve been there for a while.
3. Temporary coverings work wonders — this could be anything from inexpensive and temporary blinds or valances (here are some DIY valance options), reorganizing books by color (see here for this eye-pleasing trend), or covering books with classic, color-coordinated wrapping paper. Pinterest is great for this kind of stuff, and you can get plenty of ideas just browsing through decor magazines.
2. Play up the backyard — the backyard can be a huge selling feature, especially if you have good weather or live in the city. Ensure that the patio or deck is power-washed and clean — this includes the furniture! Also — are you having an open house on a beautiful sunny day? Consider hiring someone to grill out on the back deck (or partner with a local restaurant — you could even get them to come for free) — give buyers a vision of what it would be like to entertain on the deck. They’ll also be fed in the process.
Our top recommended staging tip?It is imperative to market the home online — most agents and homes don’t advertise enough online, and when it’s advertised, it can be in a disorganized and confusion fashion. We live in an age of technology and self-knowledge. According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 home staging profile, nearly 46% of buyers are more willing to walk through a home that they viewed online. For less than many monthly gym memberships, create a custom site for your home and easily advertise within social media, on websites, and more!