To Stage or Not to Stage? 

Getting your home prepared to sell is imperative and can make all the difference in how quickly your home sells or how long it sits on the market. When buyers walk through your door, they want to see a clean, crisp home with limited furniture and personal items. Aside from the most obvious items to get completed on your pre-list checklist, such as decluttering and painting, performing some level of staging is recommended and often yields a higher sales price. Before you say, “I can’t afford to stage my home,” let us look at some different options that are available to you.

Self-staging while still living in your home

This can be as simple as a VERY thorough decluttering, cleaning, and thinning out of the items that you currently live with. Examples include: 

  • Remove all small appliances, decorations, and rugs or mats from your kitchen. Clear off the countertops and any magnets, kids’ drawings, etc. from the refrigerator.
  • Remove family photos, religious artifacts, and personal belongings from all the rooms in your home.
  • Remove larger pieces of furniture from your home, such as curio cabinets, reclining chairs, exercise equipment, desks, and dressers. You might be able to store them in a garage (if available) or consider renting a storage space while showing your home.
  • Make certain all beds have proper and clean bed coverings and pillows. Consider refreshing your old bed comforters with new ones and adding a few throw pillows. Lots of discount stores, such as Target, TJMaxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls, have great items on clearance.
  • Bathrooms should be free of personal items in the shower and countertops, as well as hide scales and step stools. Purchase new, light-colored towels for the photo shoot and showings.
  • If you have pets, hide their personal beds and toys, as well as their food dishes, in a closet while showings are going on.
  • A few new blankets and throw pillows for couches, as well as a fresh new plant or vase of flowers in the kitchen can make a significant difference with minimal cost.
  • Make sure that the lightbulbs match, and all are in working order. If a room is dark and has no overhead lighting, consider purchasing an affordable floor lamp to brighten up the room.
  • Intake vents should be clean and free of discolorations. These can be replaced for minimal cost but make a dramatic difference. Check your floors vents too! Do they match and are they clean?
  • Check your outlet covers and switch covers. Are they mismatched or dirty? Either clean or replace them to give a cleaner look.
  • Consider removing heavy drapes and blinds. This makes the space open and brighter. If you are having your home painted, this is a wonderful time to remove any window coverings that may be outdated or discolored so that the holes can be properly patched and painted.
  • Outside, consider power washing your home and any walkways. Patio furniture should be clean and set up properly. Decks should be clean and in good condition. 
  • Make sure to weed and mulch any beds, as well as putting a fresh pot of flowers on the front stoop. Clear out areas under the deck or on the side of your home where you may be storing yard equipment or kids’ toys.
  • Highlight areas in your home that are top sellers, such as a beautiful fireplace, a sunroom, gourmet kitchen, or spa-like bathroom. Hardwood floors are always a seller, so make sure to have them shiny and uncovered.

Staging on a budget when your home is vacant

If you have already moved out of your home but do not want to spend money hiring a professional stager, consider focusing on the most popular spaces – kitchen, living room, primary bedroom, and bathrooms. Bring just a few items back into your home so buyers can visualize those spaces as they tour your home. You can do this by renting furniture for a brief time or borrowing items from friends or family temporarily. Add a few throw blankets and pillows to add some pop and you will create some lovely spaces! Also, scour the web for options for furniture rentals, such as MarketReady, located in Alexandria, Virginia. You can visit their showroom, pick out some pieces and accessories, and have them delivered to your home at an affordable price. 

Professional home staging for your vacant home

Sometimes you just want a professional to handle all the details, and that’s great! There are many options for hiring professional stagers and the level of service and cost output is entirely up to you! Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with some great referrals to find a good match. Expect to pay anywhere from $1500-$3500 for a typical home staging. However, understand that prices can vary a lot depending on how large your home is, how many rooms you choose to stage, and where you are located. Professional staging will ensure that you have that “wow” factor and often yields a faster sale at a higher sales price.

As you can see, your options for staging your home as you prepare to list it for sale are entirely up to you! YouTube and the internet are great resources for further ideas on how to get your home ready on a budget while still yielding top dollar!

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