Staging on a Budget

Real Estate Agent with Cooper Spransy Realty

I finally read some REALTOR magazines from this past year, and there were some good articles in the April issue.  One was about staging a house on a small budget.  Here's a quick summary:

EXPAND THE CLOSET - Remove the clothes you rarely wear.  Try to create some space so the closet doesn't look cluttered

CREATE A BED - If you have a vacant bedroom, you can "create" a bed by putting some empty boxes together and covering it with nice bedding

CLOSE IT UP, EXCEPT SUNLIGHT - Close all the drains, sinks, toilets.  Close closet doors.  But leave the shades open for sunlight!

GO GREEN - If you have some "green" features already (like energy efficient appliances/mechanicals), then continue the theme throughout the house with strategically placed soy candles, homemade guest soaps, green cleaning products under the sink, etc. 

ADD SOME LIFE - Put a large plant in the most visible corner.  Silk trees are a good option.  Even think about putting a spotlight behind the tree. Also, place fresh flowers in the kitchen for open houses, or if you know you have a couple showings coming up.

SET UP A CHAT ROOM - Position the living room furniture for conversation as well as entertainment. 

ADD BATHROOM ELEGANCE - Get some decorative hand towels, tie a sheer ribbon around them, and place them on towel racks in all the bathrooms.  Perhaps try doing it with your current towels if you think it looks good enough.  For the towels that you use, buy new ones if they don't look new/clean.  Buy a nice soap dispenser to go next to the sink.

NIX THOSE PERSONAL PHOTOS - Put most of the personal pictures away.  Try to get the buyer to focus on the house, not you!

REDO THE DOGHOUSE - Freshen & consolidate pet areas.  Buy new food & water bowls.  Choose one place for beds, litter boxes, etc - and try to put them in out-of-the-way places.  And clean before all showings! 

BRIGHTEN IT UP - Replace the lightbulbs in the home with higher wattage bulbs (remember to stay within the guidelines of your lamps, though!).  You want your house to be "Light & Bright."

FRAME A LOCAL SCENE - Put a few pictures up of local scenes.  You don't want buyers thinking about other cities or vacations...keep them focused on their mission of buying a home - hopefully your home!

GET THEM AT THE ENTRANCE - Pay attention to the details of the entrance.  First impressions are important!  Re-stain, paint and/or varnish trim & doors.  Make sure the doors open and shut correctly, and knobs aren't loose.



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Carrie-Lynn Macleod
Remo Valente Real Estate (1990) Limited - Windsor, ON

I recently started using a home stager and I think the service these professionals offer is well worth the money.  You do have  some great tips here though.  I also have a little hand out for all of my listing clients which has some tips like this on it too. Anything to complete the sale these days.

Oct 24, 2009 08:55 AM #1
James K Barath, CMPS
Canopy Mortgage, LLC - Crown Point, IN
FICO Pro, Certified Military Housing Specialist

One area that is often overlooked by the home seller and the listing agent is the windows. Make sure to clean not only the glass, but also the window pane, window sill and window treatments. It has been my experience that home buyers always want to see what they will be looking at while living in the home.

Oct 24, 2009 09:00 AM #2
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Seth Peterson

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