Staging your home is an essential part of getting it ready to put on the market. Although it can seem intimidating and expensive at first glance, there are actually a lot of cheap staging techniques that you can use to appeal to more buyers and sell your home quicker! Here we’ve compiled a list of the top 9 inexpensive ways to get your home looking as though it was professionally staged.
1. Bathroom Cleanliness
Bathrooms can make or break the sale of your home. If you’re sink and shower just aren’t up to par in the cleanliness department, it’s a big red flag for buyers. Luckily, this is a cheap and relatively easy fix that you can do yourself, all it takes is a bit of elbow grease.
We found some great tips on HGTV’s blog for a variety of bathroom problems. For example, if you’re bathroom is susceptible to surface mold, just spray the areas with a mix of one part bleach and one part water and start scrubbing. Scummy shower door? You don’t need to buy a new one, just mix one part muriatic acid and 10 parts water and scrub with steel wool until it’s sparkling clean. Another quick way to get your bathroom floors (or backsplash) looking brand new is to re-grout. It will have your bathroom looking like you just renovated!
Once you’ve scrubbed and scoured your bathroom to a show home standards, top it off with spa-like accessories, like a matching white towel set, candles and flowers and don’t forget to get all the clutter off the sink and surrounding counter tops.
2. Buy New “Jewelry”
People love the little details that make a home special. Instead of renovating, buying your home new “Jewelry” like faucets, hardware and door knobs, is a quicker and less expensive way to make it feel like you’ve updated the whole room. This one mostly applies to the kitchen and bathrooms but you can do this throughout the entire home for a completely unified look.
If you’re looking to go the extra mile and spend a bit more cash, nothing dates a kitchen faster than old cabinets. Refinishing or staining them is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to breathe new life into older spaces, and you should be able to do it for around $200. Another thing buyers go nutty for is stainless steel appliances. Don’t panic if you don’t have them. There is stainless steel stick-on covering that can instantly update your dishwasher or oven for around $20!
3. Patch Things Up
This one is kind of a no brainer, but sometimes we stop seeing things that we walk by on a daily basis. Make sure to scan your home from top to bottom, looking for any little dents, dings or holes in the walls or any other surfaces. That socket that’s been hanging free without a plate on it for 3 years? Time to fix it. Exposed wires in the basement? Time to deal with those suckers. This is a great time to catch up on all those little and fairly easy fixes that have been cast to the wayside over the years.
4. Curb Appeal
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – curb appeal is key! And the great thing about curb appeal is that there are a lot of low cost options that are guaranteed to attract potential buyers. Simply mowing the lawn, getting rid of weeds and adding some mulch to the garden will make it look like you spent hours toiling away in the dirt. Adding in some in-season flowers will brighten things up even further and add a much needed pop of colour to the front yard. If you’re willing to splurge on a can of paint or two, painting the front door a contrasting shade will draw a lot of added attention and re-painting the trim along the porch or entrance way will keep things looking fresh and new.
5. Add Light
Buyers are attracted to light, airy and spacious rooms. So what if you don’t have an open floor plan or large sized bedrooms? Let light in! Opening the curtains, turning on lamps and having all the lights on in your home will make it look bigger, brighter and more inviting. Get rid of any heavy or light-blocking drapes and replace them with thin, gauzy ones that are left open. Adding light coloured furniture and light paint will further brighten the space and make it appear more open.
There are few things more off-putting than walking into a very strong smelling home. Whether it be food, pet or smoke smells, it’s not an inviting atmosphere. Instead of covering up the smells with other scents, work on deodorizing your home room by room. Find out what’s causing the smells (like litter boxes or left over food smells) and get rid of them either by removing what is causing the smell or getting fresh air flowing through your home. You can also use products that deodorize carpets and fabrics to get an extra deep clean. After your home is odour-free, add a welcoming scent by baking fresh cookies, boiling cinnamon sticks in water or lighting a fragrant candle.
7. Clean Out Your Closets
Decluttering your home is probably the most important thing to do before showing. This may be harder than it seems because what could be seen as clutter to others may be seen as as a necessity to you. Most of the time, we don’t even realize how much clutter we have filling up our homes until it comes time to move or get your home ready for sale. A couple quick and easy ways to identify and remove clutter are getting rid of anything on counter tops, cleaning up and hiding away all children’s toys and storing all paperwork, mail or newspapers in a drawer or cupboard. Make sure everything is tidy when you are putting it away as well because people will snoop in every nook and cranny of your home when they are interested in buying it (this includes your closets, so clean them out too!). Pack up all your extra things like pillows, linens and clothing in boxes and store them off-site or even in the garage (neatly!). You also may want to consider editing your furniture. Get rid of any non-necessary pieces like extra side tables, rocking chairs that are never used or an old love seat. Create as open and clear of a space as you can!
Staging your home essentially means depersonalizing it. You’ve probably spent years making your house feel like a home, but that’s not what potential home buyers are looking for. In order for someone to really picture themselves living in your home it needs to be neutral, not distracting and clean. While you may love looking at all the photos of your loved ones, it makes it hard for potential buyers to see themselves living in the home and therefore makes it less appealing. Keep everything show home-like by getting rid of any books, knick knacks, photos and art work, it will make it easier for each potential buyer to envision themselves living there and how they could personalize it.
There are a few more inexpensive and easy ways to give your house that extra appeal. Now that you have a neutral backdrop you can do things like add strategic pops of colour, brighten up rooms with fresh flowers, make everything seem bigger with well-placed mirrors and create a welcoming environment with a well set dining room table. Remember to keep everything simple and sleek.
The number one goal when staging your home is to depersonalize it and make it as neutral as possible. When moving things around, keep a show home in mind and use that as your guide. Would you find a large collection of porcelain angels in a show home? Probably not, so pack them away. Would a show home have a bright pink bedroom? Chances are no, so maybe try a warm beige instead. Staging doesn’t have to be an expensive process, simply use what you have and work within your budget to create the most appealing spaces that you can.