What If You Can't Afford to Update Your Home to Sell? Home Stager Minneapolis

Home Stager with Rooms With Style

What If You Can't Afford to Update Your Home to Sell?

Realtor's and Home Stagers alike will tell you to update your home whenever possible, especially in the key areas like the kitchen and bathrooms.

But what if you just can't do it? 

My recent client lived in her home 45 years and had done nothing to it. She had moved to a Senior Living Complex and needed to sell her home but had very limited resources to do any updates. 

So what should you do??

First, bring in a professional Home Stager and an Experienced Realtor to help you determine what is the best use of your funds. 

Prioritize that list, do what you can but all in all make is sizzle and make it appeal to the buyer!

In this home, the buyer was most likely going to be a first time homeowner thus someone young. If you can't do much....make the retro look hip and cool!

This 1950s rambler was tired. Very, very tired. Very few actual updates were done but they knew they needed to LET IT SING!!

Old brick, old paneling, old drapes.

LR Before

LR Before


LR After


LR After


Old cabinets, yellow counter tops, old paneling.

Kitchen Before

DR before



Kitchen after


DR after


Remember these built-in planter boxes that were sooooo cool in their day? Fake greenery stuck in there is not going to cut it for a young buyer.


fireplace before


fireplace box before


But hey...hip cool twigs will!! 

Fireplace after


fireplace after


Use your limited budget wisely. Do what you can but most of all..... Make Your House Sizzle, Pop and Sing!

Sounds like a group from the 50's! Perfect. 


Make Your House Show At It's Full Potential no matter how many updates you can afford!

UPDATE: This home sold in 11 days with multiple offers. 


 Originally Posted in: Rooms With Style Blog. 

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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You are truly amazing!  Always with some clever ideas!

Jun 21, 2012 10:12 PM #2
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH TEAM REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Brokerage, Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

Incredible, Shar! Love your style and I'm sure that little lady will be singing all the way to the bank!

Jun 21, 2012 10:34 PM #3
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Agent

Shar~ It's incredible what some fresh paint, new furniture and accessories can do.  As you said, it's all about prioritizing!  Great job!  I'm sure any first time buyer would be tempted to make an offer!

Jun 22, 2012 02:48 AM #4
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

A really amazing transformation here, Shar!!  Well done!  All your beautiful additions really take the attention off the dated features and really show the possibilities!

Jun 22, 2012 03:33 AM #5
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

Nice transformation.  Question though, how do you get the sellers who like their home packed full of their stuff to see this as an option?  I have one terriby dated home listed but underneath the old carpet and wallpaper is a very nice home.  People cannot see past the old furniture, the old carpet, the old counters, or the ugly 1970's vintage wallpaper.  Seller is also a pack rat and every nook and corner in the house is packed full of stuff, 30 years worth.  She likes her crowded dated home just the way it is and she isn't about to let anyone touch it.  Any ideas to overcome this?

Jun 22, 2012 03:59 AM #6
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

If it wasn't a group it should have been Dorie! Thank you and thank you for the 'suggest'.

Thanks Roger! That's me...Miss Clever. :)

I hope so Kim and I hope it sells quickly for her.

Thank you Donna, it is amazing what some modern furnishings can do to a space. And yes paint, light fixtures and take down the old draperies!

Thanks Sharon. When it is vacant or has old furnishings it just looks old. New furnishings can make the buyer see what it can be even in the short term until they get it updated.

Oh Sandra, that is a tough one. I do find with elderly people it is best if they move out to their new spot first if at all possible. It is emotionally so much easier. If not....she has to get at least the old carpet and wallpaper out. Period. Along with her hoards. If she doesn't, let her know that you hope she really likes it because it won't be selling!

I first thing I had them do in this house was rip out all the old carpet. I didn't care what the floor underneath looked like it had to go. She didn't spend the money to refinish the wood floors underneath and that was okay. At least the buyer could see the wood floors instead of the germ filled dated and matted carpet!

Jun 22, 2012 06:42 AM #8
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Shar....HUGH improvements!  I recently had a "fake" planter box from the 50's in the entryway of a ranch home!  Had black smooth river rock brought in and added a large vase with sticks....WOW!  Looked so retro-chic....just like YOURS!!!

Jun 22, 2012 01:00 PM #9
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer


I said - Holy Dinah!!! - when I saw the living room transformation.  Wow.  The room looks like a million dollars.  I like the idea of twigs - so much more current.  Good job!

Jun 23, 2012 12:24 AM #10
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Oh that was a great idea Kathy! And thank you. 

Holy Dinah! I love that Valerie! :) Plus I have a good friend who's name is Dinah! Thank you for your kind words. 

Jun 23, 2012 12:50 AM #11
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Shar, what a amazing transformation on a budget and full of advice, details, and twigs!!!! And by the way, I've heard that 50's song! LOL

Sorry I wasn't around yesterday....my son's graduation in the HEAT!

Jun 23, 2012 01:43 PM #12
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Shar, You certainly showed the homes potential! Excellent as always Shar!

Jun 24, 2012 09:25 AM #13
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Great examples, Shar!

Congratulations. Your home staging is being featured in the group Staging Before and After Pictures.


Jun 25, 2012 06:10 AM #14
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Thank you Ellen. And I hope you have recuperated.

Thanks so much Janice. So I did my job? LOL

Thank you much for the feature Kathy! 

Jun 25, 2012 07:05 AM #15
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Shar - How did I miss this?!!  I love how you turned a tired, dated, granny home into a cool, hip, contemporary home that a young family would love to live in.  The furniture and accessories are perfect for someone more youthful, and it actually makes the dated panelling look kind of cool!  Great, great job!

Jun 28, 2012 05:31 AM #16
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

How did you miss it Sally?? LOL. And thank you....it ended up looking kind of retro cool! 

Jun 28, 2012 09:54 AM #17
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager

Hi Shar,

Fantastic transformation...  and outstanding recommendations!  With new paint. light fixtures and taking down the tired draperies the home came to life and with your "Just the Right Touch" staging buyers could see past all the paneling and anything 50's that remained.  I just love the twigs too!

Jun 28, 2012 11:39 PM #18
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years
Great staging job on this house. Yes taking the mid century and making it look it is an artform that helps the seller. Michelle Carr-Crowe
Jul 28, 2012 02:26 PM #19
Shanna Day Team Leader AZ & UT - Call 480-415-7616
Keller Williams Realty EV (AZ) & Keller Williams SLC (UT) - Mesa, AZ
Top 1% Of 155,000+ KW Agents Worldwide!

This was a great post to read and great photos.   I too just watched my young daughter take a 1970's home and re-do it retro and it actually sold for 15% more than what we ever thought it would/could.  Retro is in!  

Jul 28, 2012 02:33 PM #20
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Shar I love your post and your pictures.  It makes me want to buy a home and I hope it makes other people want to too.

Jul 28, 2012 02:53 PM #21
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Sometimes just the small things make a huge difference Linda.

This wasn't a 'cool' mid-century Michelle, ha. But we got it looking cool!

It is Shanna. You just have to put a hip current vib to it and it can be so fun.

Thanks Gene. Well go out and buy one! lol

Jul 29, 2012 12:21 AM #22
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