Kathleen Fitzgerald, REALTOR®'s Blog
For home sellers, staging a house can help you transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one. And even though it may seem like an expensive process to stage your property, there are many cost-effective ways to do just that.
Here are three cheap house staging ideas that every home seller needs to know.
1. Put Away Your Personal Belongings
Although you may display many treasured antiques and photographs throughout your home, you'll want to put these items in storage before you show your property to potential homebuyers.
Remember, your goal as a home seller is stir up significant interest in your residence. If you keep personal mementos on display in your house, it may be tough for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they purchased your home.
When it comes to home staging, putting away your personal belongings is a must. Lucky for you, if you place your personal items in storage, you can boost your chances of a quick home sale. Plus, you may even be able to speed up the process of relocating to a new address, as many of your personal belongings will already be packed up and ready to go.
2. Remove Clutter
Let's face it – clutter is an eyesore that most homeowners can live without. However, many home sellers may have large book, CD or toy collections that can take up a lot of space.
Removing clutter is essential for home sellers who want to stage their residences properly. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to eliminate clutter with ease.
For example, you may want to host a yard sale before you add your house to the real estate market. A yard sale enables you to get rid of excess items as well as earn extra cash.
Or, if you are desperate to get rid of clutter quickly, you may be able to donate various items to local charities or dispose of these items altogether.
3. Clean and Deodorize Your Home
Pet odors and other unpleasant smells won't do you any favors, especially if you want your home to make a positive first impression on prospective homebuyers.
Cleaning and deodorizing your residence usually requires hard work and patience. On the other hand, you likely won't have to worry about breaking your budget to keep your property neat and tidy.
With a fresh, clean home, your residence may stand out from others in a crowded real estate market. The pleasant aromas that fill your house also can bolster your house's chances of making a positive first impression on potential homebuyers.
Staging your home may seem difficult at first, but expert real estate agents are able to help you prepare your residence for the housing market. Real estate agents can offer recommendations about how you can enhance your property quickly and effortlessly and ensure that you can stir up plenty of interest in your home as soon as it hits the real estate market.
Collaborate with a real estate agent, and ultimately, you should have no trouble staging and selling your house.
Whether you're staging your home to sell it faster or preparing for a big family gathering, there are a lot of easy, inexpensive things you can do to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.
While one or two small touches may not guarantee making a great impression, a handful of upgrades and improvements should tip the scales in your direction. Here are a few ideas and possibilities:
- Clean carpets: If you have pets, children, or teenagers in the house, there's a good chance your carpets have some ugly stains on them. Fortunately, there are relatively easy solutions ranging from hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to renting a steam cleaner machine from your local hardware store or supermarket. In some cases, you may need to pretreat the stains with a cleaning spray. Keep in mind, however, that pre-treating carpet stains can be risky. First of all, there's the potential for certain cleaning solutions to permanently fade the color of your carpet. Secondly, some cleaning chemicals are toxic, so it's important to read the label and use them with caution. Fortunately, more and more professional carpet cleaning services are using non-toxic, "green" cleaning products, so look for companies that are environmentally friendly in their practices. Depending on the extent of your carpet stains, a good vacuuming and thorough steam cleaning, alone, might produce the desired results.
- Upgrade door knobs: You probably never paid attention to the quality of your door hardware, but it's not uncommon for homeowners to have very plain-looking doorknobs throughout their house. Visitors will probably notice them, at least on a subtle level, if the knobs are either exceptionally cheap or -- on the other hand -- very stylish and distinctive. Granted, replacing a bunch of ordinary doorknobs with $40 antique-style or crystal glass hardware could get rather pricey! A more economical alternative would be to get moderately priced doorknobs that would achieve the desired result without costing hundreds of dollars. If you're going to continue living in your home and are looking for ways to add extra style and quality to your decor, then doing an extensive doorknob upgrade is an option to consider. On the other hand, if you're staging your home for sale, then a more conservative approach might be appropriate.
- Replace light switch covers and outlet plates: Many homes seem to have run-of-the mill, plastic light switch covers, which serve the purpose, but don't enhance the decor at all. While it may be another subtle aspect of your overall decorating scheme, it's one of the many features people may notice. Metallic or artistic-looking switch covers make a much more positive statement about your attention to detail and quality.
- Remove smudges from windows and mirrors: Crystal clear windows and mirrors help bring out the best in your home. It's one of those small touches that can make a big difference in the impression you make on family, friends, and -- if your house is on the market -- potential buyers.