As time moves on and technologies continue to develop, the way we sell homes has evolved. Most potential home buyers are looking for their next house online through pictures or virtual tours, so staging your house when putting it up for sale has never been more important.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2021 Profile of Home Staging Report, the median amount of money spent on staging a home for sale was $1,500 through a specialized staging service and $300 if the real estate agent handles staging.
These may not seem very expensive to some, but remember that expenses like closing costs can quickly add up! Saving money where you can is usually worth the effort, especially when your house spends 33-50% less time on the market and sells for 20% more than not staging your house at all.
Clean, clean, and clean again
Needless to say, cleaning your house from top to bottom and back up again is a non-negotiable necessity, whether you choose to have in-person viewers or simply wish to take the best pictures possible for your online housing market.
Making sure that every nook and cranny of your house is polished to an almost blinding shine is one of the cheapest things you can do to improve your home’s market value and help your house sell much quicker.
Even if you don’t have the newest and greatest appliances in your kitchen, ensuring that the current ones are impeccably cleaned will help impress potential buyers.
Lighting changes everything
Natural light from the outside world does wonders to help make a room or the house as a whole feel spacious and welcoming, so open up all your curtains and blinds to maximize the daylight savings!
Even if you have plenty of natural light during a showing, it’s still important to turn on all the lighting fixtures. This is especially true for any lights you may have in large closets or other storage spaces.
While recessed lighting will always be in style, there is no need to remodel and include these fixtures if you can avoid them. Most outdated or broken lighting features can be easy and cheap to replace. Just make sure that anything you keep is properly dusted!
Declutter your personal belongings
Sometimes you can’t afford to stage your entire house or live elsewhere while showings are ongoing, especially with continuing mortgage payments if your house stays on the market for too long. A simple solution is to just remove personalized items so that potential buyers have an easier time imagining themselves in your rooms.
Anything that screams your style, including family photos, unorthodox accent wall colors, and hobbyist items, should be packed up or replaced.
Even things as simple as clothes in a closet should be hidden or packed as much as possible to increase desirable space and not emphasize your family as the current occupiers.
Give rooms their purpose
One of the things that buyers often struggle with is fully imagining how to fully utilize each space during a house showing. By guiding people to the suggested use of a room, you can expedite their imaginations and fill in the gaps in their creativity.
Make sure that your master bedroom looks like a master bedroom. Likewise, if you have a spare room you can stage it for a home office with a simple desk and computer.
The ideas are bountiful; you need only choose to stage what makes sense for your market and the availability of items to keep your costs low.
Stage what matters
This point goes hand-in-glove with giving your rooms a specific purpose – you should focus on staging what truly matters to most home buyers.
The most commonly staged areas are the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom (at 93%, 84%, and 78%, respectively according to the same NAR report).
This makes sense because it was also found that buyers sought after well-staged living rooms, master bedrooms, and kitchens (in order, 46%, 43%, and 35%). The moral of the story here is to not waste time or money on areas that people don’t feel strongly about.
Don’t empty the house entirely
Trying to sell a completely vacant house is quite challenging because buyers struggle to picture how a room should be put together or how their family would inhabit such a space.
Naturally, when there is nothing else to look at in an empty room, viewers are much more likely to notice flaws, no matter how insignificant they are, and will likely deduce that a house needs a lot of remodeling and repair work than it does.
It may be counterintuitive, but having empty rooms can make them feel smaller than they are as well. Of course, most people don’t like to feel enclosed and cramped into their living spaces, so this negatively affects how a house will sell and will likely sit on the market for long.
Combining just two or more of these tips can help you on your DIY journey to sell your house for as much as possible while keeping your overheads as low as possible.