Janice Ankrett wrote this amazingly articulate, yet blunt, post regarding one of the most common objections Home Stagers hear regarding our services.
I am an avid reader of her blog due to the fact that I find we share many of the same ideas and philosophies.
I won't ruin her post, so please read it, and pay special attention to the last line.
In these tougher financial times, I hear that there is no budget for Staging.
The Seller thinks they have no budget for preparing their home for sale so that is the end of the story. Their home will go on the market as is and that's it.
What a mistake!
Because so much of Staging is sweat equity! All it takes is some effort on the part of the seller. There is little to no cost involved. Preparing your home for sale is not just about renting props, buying pillows or updating lighting and taps. It is about presenting a well cared for home to the buyer.
Can't afford room fresheners or candles? Well the best scent in a home is clean! Clean bathrooms and kitchens are a must. Make them sparkle. Vacuum those carpets daily and mop the floors. Dust and polish that furniture. Wash those windows and keep after the finger prints.
A tidy room looks far bigger. That is why we de-clutter when Staging. Put away the abundance of toys or the majority of your collection of china cats. Make sure the clothes are in drawers and closets. The less 'stuff' out on display the larger your home will feel.
Go through the closets and cupboards. It's time to toss out those things you don't use and may be out of date now. Buyers value storage space.
If it's snowing, shovel the drive and walkways. In the fall season rake those leaves. Trim those shrubs and cut the lawn. Keep those eaves cleared. Keep after weeds.
How's the traffic flow in your home? Is there too much furniture in that room? Remember the buyer doesn't need to see the TV without moving a chair. The buyer needs to have easy access to the room. They need open spaces to mentally place their furnishings in your home. A home that flows well from space to space feels comfortable.
If you have left over paint, do those touch ups. If you can't afford to paint a whole room consider painting the wall with the most damage. It will blend better than a small touch up here and there.
Call on friends and family. They can be a great resource for borrowing art work or a table and chairs etc that will increase the appeal of a room.
Don't know where to start? Get a Staging consult. You may not have the budget to pay for this but there is a way around that too. Look for a Realtor that includes a Stager in their team. Many offer a consult as part of their package.
No budget is no excuse for presenting an ill prepared product. Show the buyers that even within your tight budget you maintained and cared for your home.