Selling your home is stressful on so many levels: it’s emotional, bewildering, and expensive. Whether you’re selling your home for the first time or your tenth time, it’s never easy. If you talk to 5 real estate agents you get 5 different recommendations on everything from price to paint colors. But, the one thing they all agree on is that you have to “stage” your home.
Professional staging has turned into big business, and it’s not cheap. On HomeAdviser professional stagers cost anywhere from $508 to $1,881. There are a couple of problems associated with this trend.
The first one is HGTV. Watching HGTV can be fun and entertaining and you’ll pick up some valuable redecorating tips, but these programs make homeowners (and buyers) think that staging involves ripping down a wall or two, adding bathrooms, and giving the kitchen a complete remodel. This is a bit misleading.
The second problem is that most of today’s buyers aren’t able to look past the paint colors and design the way they used to. They can’t wrap their brains around the idea that buying a home, in most cases, doesn’t mean that you keep the furniture and live with the paint. So they want everything to look like the “after” on an HGTV set. If you want to sell you home quickly, you have to do at least some minimal staging. Even if you can afford a professional, wouldn’t you rather DIY your staging and spend that money on something for your new home?
Staging can be done without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips and tricks to guide you in getting your home ready for buyers with a little help from your self storage unit.
Use Self Storage to Help You Stage on a Budget
- Begin by Decluttering – Remove all clutter from living areas. Newspapers, magazines, paperwork, and empty soda cans need to go. Keep closets from overflowing by removing half the clothes and miscellaneous items. You can put all of these items into a small storage unit to keep them safe until you need them. The same goes for your kitchen cupboards and linen closet; get those areas organized with baskets and containers and put the overflow into storage.
- Remove all Personal Items – It’s easier for potential buyers to visualize themselves in your home if you remove your personal items. Family photos, trophies, awards, and memorabilia need to be stored so that they don’t distract buyers from the task at hand.
- Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning – Before you put your home on the market, you need to give it a deep cleaning. If you’ve neglected certain tasks, it’s time to get them done. Baseboards, corners of ceilings, window blinds, and everything else from bathrooms to basements has to be thoroughly cleaned.
- Keep it Fresh – Place a vase of bright, fresh flowers in the center of your kitchen table, and place a few healthy plants in areas that may need a little boost. If you don’t have time to maintain your plants, artificial ones should do. Speaking of freshness, make sure there are no odors. Empty trash daily and use some scented plug-ins in a few spaces. You don’t want your buyers being hit with offensive odors.
- Paint and Repair – Don’t let buyers pick up on signs of neglect. Remove scuffs from walls with a foam eraser pad, spackle and caulk as necessary, and do touch ups where paint is chipped and cracked. Another thought – your favorite colors may be a turn off to prospective buyers. It may be a bit time and cost intensive, but a coat of neutral paint helps buyers to understand that they have options when it comes to colorful accessories.
- Rearrange the Furniture – This is where you really need that self storage unit. It makes no sense to rearrange furniture if you’re going to shove it into the garage or another room, making that part of your home look crowded and chaotic. You want to show as much open, navigable space as possible. This will help your buyer to visualize their own furniture and possessions in each room. Store over-sized and/or damaged pieces to make your rooms look as spacious and appealing as possible.
Set up the dining room table to look like a special family dinner. Arrange plates, cutlery and napkins on pretty place mats, and don’t forget an attractive centerpiece with clean, simple lines. Use fresh comforters or duvets in the bedrooms, and don’t forget the extra pillows and throws to make these rooms look tranquil and cozy. Use fresh white towels and a few plants in the bathrooms.
- Keep it Light and Bright – Your home should look bright and welcoming. Open drapes and blinds, and turn on all the lights, including lamps and closet lights, for showings. This will not only make your home seem bigger, but it will keep buyers and agents from having to search for light switches and lamp controls when their focus should be on your home.
- You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression – The first thing the buyer sees when walking up to your house is the front entrance. Start the showing off right by removing any seasonal decorations (they should be in storage by now), adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to your door, and power washing the front porch. A simple doormat and a few potted flowering plants, will add a welcoming touch.
- Not All Rooms are Equal – The rooms that hold the most importance for a buyer are the living room, master bedroom and kitchen. Don’t forget about the entryway. If you have a large entryway with a grand staircase, be sure to keep the decor simple and the paint neutral.
Don’t forget about the secret weapon to staging your home. Self storage is your solution for decluttering and presenting your home as an appealing, spacious place to make memories and enjoy family and friends. Now get to work on staging your house, and spend the money you save on something special for your new home!