They call it ‘puffing’ – the old trick of exaggerating or playing up the best qualities of a product or service and ignoring the not-so-great ones. You see it in every advertisement, TV commercial, banner ad, book cover, and movie poster. You will also hear it from the mouth of every spokesperson. As long as people have been selling things, puffing has existed. This is often true in home sales, as well; we call it home staging. For the uninitiated, home staging is the preparation of the home for viewing by potential buyers – basically making your home look as nice as possible so it will appeal to people during showings. It can be an effective sales tool and may lead to you fetching a higher price for your home.
Naturally, home staging is a big business; there are many professional companies who will set up and stage your home for a fee. It doesn’t come cheap; one local company charges up to $300 just for a consultation! A baseline price for home staging starts at $2,500, and the costs can be even higher if you opt to buy or rent new furniture to spruce up the place. When you tack that cost onto all your other home selling and moving expenses, it can really add up. Make no mistake- home staging is important, but it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Here are a few tips to help you economically stage your home on a budget:
The first tip is so obvious that you might have overlooked it. Scrub, dust, wash, clean, wipe down, disinfect, and scour every part of your house. Don’t just do a “the-in-laws-are-coming-over” cleaning; do a deep “I-want-someone-to-pay-top-dollar-for-this-house” cleaning. You might want to take a full day to tackle your home from top to bottom. If prospective buyers see dirt, they are going to worry about the dirt that they don’t see.
A Fresh Coat of Paint
A professional home stager might insist that you wallpaper, install new floors or a fresh carpet. Unless the room looks really ratty and rundown, big steps like that are unnecessary. It is amazing how nice a room can look with a fresh coat of paint. This is something that you can do yourself and will add a nice, new sheen to your home.
Good staging is all about visuals; people want to be able to see your home. So, do what you can do bring in more light to your living space. When staging, keep all drapes and shades open. Replace light bulbs, where needed, and keep the place bright. Consider purchasing a few new lamps to add light in dim areas.
Replace the Little Things
Another tip for keeping things looking new and fresh is replacing little elements here and there. Instead of a new door, install a new door knob; put new light fixtures in the rooms; paint the tiles in your bathroom instead of replacing them; stain your kitchen cabinets. It is the small details that can make a big difference.
Kitchens and bathrooms can often seal the deal, as they are the most expensive areas to correct or renovate. Put your focus on those areas of the house when preparing for home staging.
Don’t Forget the Yard
Your focus is going to be on staging the inside of the home; but don’t forget the first part the potential buyers are going to see: the front yard. Take some time to clean up any garbage or other items that may be in the front of your house, to increase curb appeal. Take down any stray Halloween or Christmas decorations that may be still lingering. If you have a lawn, mow it, and consider buying some lawn furniture which can be inexpensive and add character and atmosphere.
Since you are moving, you will be getting rid of the clutter in your home anyway; so you may as well start now. Move any excessive and unnecessary items out of your home. This can include extra furniture that you might not be using, pre-packed boxes, seasonal décor and supplies, and clothing you might not wear for a few months (ditch the sweaters in summer and give the idea of a larger closet!). Doing so will create the look of extra space in your home and the nice, open feel will appeal to potential buyers.
All of these things can be done inexpensively and by yourself without hiring a home stager; however, one area you do want to leave to the professionals is the act of moving. Your moving service should be fully bonded, licensed, and insured. More than that, they should be professional, efficient, and always deliver what they promise. You won’t find a better moving company than Five Star Movers. Serving Toronto, Mississauga, and the entire province of Ontario, Five Star movers offer moving, storage, and packing services. Contact us today for more information!