Getting ready to sell your home? Appearance is everything. That’s where home staging comes in. But hiring a professional “stager” to prepare the home for prospective buyers can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. Fortunately, homeowners can take matters into their own hands.
Here are five expert tips for staging your home that cost next to nothing.
1. Pack away personal items
Packing away personal items is one of the simplest — and cheapest — things you can do to sell your house or condo quickly. The reason you want to ‘de-personalize’ your home is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home. Prospective buyers won’t be able to picture themselves in the house if they’re surrounded by dozens of photos of your children and grandparents.
2. Clear away clutter
Ridding your home of clutter is another simple way to get buyers to focus on the bones of the house, not the titles in your CD collection. This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. Remove items from countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have kids, get rid of the toys all around the house.
3. Rearrange and neutralize rooms
Rearrange the rooms in your home to reel in prospective buyers. Make sure each room has a distinct, useful purpose. Closets should be neat and organized. If your home has been painted recently, consider yourself ahead of the game. If not, take a paintbrush to the rooms that need it most. Sellers who paint the interior of their home will see a large return on the investment. Fresh, neutral paint on the walls, trim and doors is worth its weight in gold — it makes everything appear clean and new.
4. Scrub and deodorize
No one wants to look at a dirty, smelly home — especially not prospective buyers. So make sure your house or condo shines from top to bottom. Cleaning and deodorizing a home before every showing should be first and foremost. Bake cookies in the oven, bring cinnamon sticks to a slow boil in a pot of water or use air freshener to mask smells before each showing. Ridding the home of litter boxes is also a must.
5. Enhance curb appeal
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Curb appeal is just as important as cleaning the inside of the home — it’s the buyer’s first impression of your home. Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris, and ensure the house number is easily visible. Mulch is cheap and it makes everything look neat and trim.