Simple inexpensive Home Staging techniques
will help get you top dollar in the shortest amount of time
when you're selling or renting your property
Home Staging generally helps properties sell (or rent) an average of 2-3 months FASTER! It ALSO helps to attract more qualified, serious buyers or tenants!
Home staging is the act of preparing a home to sell (or sometimes rent), by maximizing it's appeal and accentuating best features. Whether hiring a Home Staging professional, or taking it on as Do It Yourself... make no mistake.
These efforts WILL make a big difference in how potential buyers (or renters) perceive and view the property.
It's all about rearranging and redecorating to maximize space, and to appeal to the broadest mix of potential buyers/tenants. There are MANY things you can do for FREE and/or very affordably yourself, if you chose not to enlist the services of a pro.
Just getting started?
Start out with these Home Staging tips below!
Great curb appeal. Clean, new-looking, well maintained first impression.
Professionals usually charge by the square foot.
The average price charged for a 1500 square foot home = $1000.
Address your Front Exterior Curb Appeal First
There's no sense home staging the inside UNLESS AND UNTIL the front exterior curb appeal shines. Why? Because your potential buyers will make their first judgments on your property by what they see first!
Curb Appeal is the FIRST IMPRESSION MADE. Make sure your lawn remains well kept... make sure grass is always mowed, bushes and trees trimmed, no weeds, walkways and bedding is edged.
Your buyers/tenants will develop a perception of the property, how it's been maintained and it's overall condition and how they like it within SEVEN SECONDS of looking at it from the outside!
CLICK HERE for more Curb Appeal tips
CLICK HERE for a Home Staging Checklist
A well-manicured lawn and yard are the first indication to potential buyers that you keep up and maintain your home well. And pressure clean that driveway, walkway, garage door and front house trim!!
Mailbox and Front Door should be
freshly painted or super clean.
They are vital parts to your
curb appeal and overall look!
MOST critical two features before walking into your home are the mailbox and MOST ESPECIALLY the front door! Make sure they look freshly painted, work perfectly (no loud creakiness, holes, instability etc.). If possible, make sure they are updated and relevant to this decade's trends. Every ten years or so, any trendy type mailboxes will go out of fashion. IF they re classic, or standard, they should be fine.
But if you purchased a Manatee concrete mailbox twenty years ago when they first came out because they were new and cool... and now he has chips in his head and he's the color of cement... it's time to retire him. Invest $60 and get a standard post and mailbox.
The condition of your mailbox and front door will create an instant impression/perception of the rest of your home.
Great home staging tip: One quart of good door paint usually covers the mailbox and front door well.
Make them match, and create the perception of good upkeep and maintenance. What's door paint? It's fairly new, awesome paint that we can't get enough of!
We love white. But a color to match or compliment the house trim will also work. So many to choose from, check out their Modern Masters door paint app - take a photo of your door and see what different colors would look like!
The VERY FIRST impression comes from your home's smell.
The best home staging starts with creating first impressions. SMELL, SCENT, FRAGRANCE is a huge part of that. When the front door opens, is it a smell, scent or fragrance hitting you first? Yes, there IS a difference between the three. The first impression after opening the front door should be pleasant. If you live there and can't tell what that impression is... ask a friend or neighbor to come over and describe the first thing that comes to mind.
Does the inside SMELL???
If the first smell, after stepping into the property, is musty, old, like dog, or cat, fish fillets or other strong foods or spices... you'll need to fix it. Those are smells. You DO NOT want smells.
Smells usually don't evoke pleasant emotions or pleasant memories. Make sure no areas or rooms in your house "smell". Pay special attention to: cat/litter boxes, garbage disposals, hampers, bathrooms, closets.
ALWAYS change AC filters regularly. Looking for a tropical, whimsical, fun or Florida-looking candle, try www.floridabalm.com. We give them as gifts to our buyers and sellers and they love all the fragrances!
Scents can be positive or negative. They are generally less intrusive than a "smell", and won't evoke as strong a reaction in most people. Scents can be something as subtle as the floor cleaner you used a few days ago. And if it gives the general perception of "clean and fresh", this scent is a keeper!! If the scent is Pine Sol or Lysol trying to cover cat litter smells... that scent needs to be neutralized, and a GREAT FRAGRANCE needs to added in its place.
Fragrances are pleasant, can usually evoke certain moods or feelings. They are generally not long lasting. They can come in the form of strongly scented candles, reed diffusers, air freshener sprays, fragrance bead jars, potpourri, and flowers. Adding fragrance to a room or section of your home is so easily done, and very inexpensive. Choose positive, pleasant, clean fragrances. They will increase alertness and interest from your buyers and visitors. Science has proven this!
Properties that offer great, positive fragrances get more favorable attention from buyers and renters.
Ever hear of Real Estate Agents baking cookies before an Open House? There's a reason! It's not to give out cookies (though they may...). It's to EVOKE emotion! Baked cookies reminds people of the feeling and memories of home and family.
Be strategic with fragrance. Want to emit the feeling that the house is very spacious and open and light? Use an ocean or rain water, green cucumber and aloe, bamboo type of fragrance. Family room should have a very subtle clean, airy, pleasant fragrance that appeals to both men and women. The master bedroom/master bathroom can have a more exotic and feminine fragrance. The kitchen should have a citrus-y, clean fragrance. Strongly scented candles and/or reed diffusers work wonderfully. Tip: reed diffusers work great in small spaces (bathrooms, small bedrooms, foyers, closets). For a larger space, candles give ambiance in addition to great fragrance. But choose a candle with a wider diameter (larger surface). The wider the better, as this will emit fragrance to a larger area.
Properties with nice fragrance get more favorable attention, and tend to be remembered more by buyers. Many realtors bake cookies right before open houses. Why? Not to give away, though that's always a nice thing to do. It's to give the house a feeling of "home".
As South Florida Realtors, we get the most success from lighting strongly scented candles in several strategic locations/rooms throughout the property. We do this for our open houses AND before important showing appointments. There's a reason! It makes a HUGE difference and it's part of every home staging we do. Reed diffusers also work great in smaller rooms. Make each room an experience when the buyer walks in. Great scents last in the minds of visitors, help solidify the perception that the property is clean and well taken care of, and will be a joy to move into. Clean, fresh scents in our opinion, work the best in South Florida properties.
Keep it Neutral
Paint walls neutral. White or light beige walls are THE BEST colors for sellers to use. Why? Light neutral colors make spaces feel LARGER, lighter and brighter. And, these colors appeal to the largest number of buyers. Out of 50 potential buyers, only one is looking for a red wall (if that!). But all 50 ARE DEFINITELY looking for a space that they can make their own. It's easiest for potential buyers to envision their own personality, family, furniture in spaces that are neutral and not overwhelmingly someone else's personality.
Keep trim and doors white and clean. No one has the same tastes in colors, but the vast majority of all buyers like to see white trim. Make sure your walls and coordinating trim will appeal to the most people.
Some buyers ARE going to be turned off by those bright red or blue walls you may love... but you're moving, so it's time to remove your style and personalization. Go neutral! This also works best for rentals too.
Let Light In!
Lighting is a HUGE part of home staging. For ALL showings or open houses, make sure to open all the blinds and drapes. Bring outside light in. The lighter your home appears to be, the more spacious and clean the perception will be. Dark windows/rooms will make the rooms seem smaller and more closed off, which is NOT the perception you want your potential buyers to have. Pay special attention to make sure any views to pretty gardens, the pool, or a big beautiful oak tree, etc out back are very visible and unobstructed.
A great source for ideas, and to get a better idea of what buyers are looking for... watch shows on channels like HGTV, or read magazines on the topic.
There are tons of no or low cost DIY things you can do to spruce up and update your property. Make it appeal to more people, and you'll get higher amounts in less time.
Remove all clutter, trinkets, family photos and refrigerator magnets!!!
Clear off all countertops and tabletops.
Buyers are trying to picture THEIR furniture, THEIR style, THEIR belongings in the property. Help them! Great home staging tip: Box up and remove all trinkets, family photos/frames, magazines, tea cup collections, and other miscellaneous objects on all flat services, walls, tables. We always recommend putting a few boxes piled up by the front door. It shows potential buyers/renters you're definitely serious about moving out soon.
Create one focal point in each room, group like things
Group two chairs with a small table, place near a big window to bring attention to that space. Add some fresh flowers to the table.
In bathrooms, group a 3-4 similar bath/spa items and place them on the otherwise bare countertop, or corner of the bathtub. This small grouping should have similar sized products, similar colors. an added bonus is if they add fragrance to the space!
Add fresh flowers
Home staging by professionals usually includes at least one fresh flower arrangement. Place strategically in either the dining or breakfast rooms and you'll add a splash of color and warmth your potential buyers are sure to notice.
If you can't get fresh flowers, find a simple pretty flower silk flower arrangement and place on the dining room table and in the master bedroom. It will add warmth and color.
Each room should have one main purpose
EACH ROOM should have ONE MAIN PURPOSE.. and ONE PURPOSE ONLY! A good home staging means completely de-cluttering every room. Remove furniture that isn't needed like that chair in the corner, or plant shelf by the front door. Remove extra wall hangings, trinkets and those magazines collecting dust. The function of each room should be clear. If it is a family room, make sure there is not a desk, and remove any extra nonessential tables, footrests etc that are taking up space. If it is a Master Bedroom, make sure to clear out the computer, hide the ironing board and any extras that detract attention. If it's a bathroom, take out the toys and shoes and hide the laundry basket.
Take a fresh look at each of the spaces in your home.
By cleaning, re-purposing, and minor re-decorating and interior design efforts...
you are sure to succeed in wowing buyers/renters and getting
top dollar in the quickest amount of time!