If your home is currently on the market, staging is a great way to increase the chance of a faster sell, possibly at a higher price. If you think staging comes with a hefty price tag or you must have an eye for design, think again. The findings in a 2015 study conducted by the National Association of Realtors was that the median budget for staging is approximately $675.
It’s important to make room in your budget for staging; it will help buyers see potential in your home. If you’re taking pictures of your staged home for the purpose of posting them online, you’ll see better odds of potential buyers coming in for a walk-through. Once you’ve established the focal points and decluttered your home, you’ll be selling your home in no time.
With that in mind, we asked award-winning show home designer Ana Cummings, of ANA Interiors, and Robyn Navarro, founder of Upstage Design, for their best tips and tricks to stretch your staging budget.
All the Small Things
Many sellers feel like what they have is too old or outdated for what buyers might be looking for and think it’s necessary to purchase new furniture. Cummings, who’s been staging homes for 10 years, says she has worked with many sellers who couldn’t buy new furniture yet still had great results. “All clients are on a budget, so even hiring a designer for an hour to get their expertise, even if it’s just to give the home owners a to-do list, it’s worth it. Using existing furniture in a better layout, editing and suggesting paint colors is a great start for a fresh look.”
Some simple ways to freshen up your place include putting out new towels, shower curtains and fresh flowers. Cummings adds, “The littlest details can make any room feel luxurious and cared for.” One little detail Navarro says is imperative: deep clean every room. “Painting and carpet cleaning go a long way toward making a home appear updated. Removing all clutter and personalized objects such as family photographs create a clean slate where potential buyers can really see themselves living in the space.”
Since it’s unrealistic to stage every room in your home, it’s better to have focal points in the following areas.
Curb appeal says everything about your home, and although a welcome mat is a great touch, it’ll only get you so far when selling your home. It’s crucial to make the entry as inviting and warm as possible. First, make sure the front porch is as clean as can be. Sweeping, power washing and tidying up are all steps in the right direction.
Seasonal wreaths are another quick-and-easy way to freshen up the entry. Cummings says that the best way to wow buyers is always with your front door: “A clean and tidy exterior is paramount. A welcoming and properly functioning front door painted in an accent color will add instant curb appeal.” She also suggests adding decorative elements or potted plants to create a positive memory for buyers.
However, try not to go overboard with décor; it can become visually overwhelming to the buyer and seen as clutter instead of style.
Cummings says the best way to stage your foyer is to add homey touches: “The point of entry is a space that needs to say this house looks great, it’s clean, it’s inviting, there’s a place for everything, and it feels like this could be my home, too.
“Clear out the shoes, jackets
and piles of mail on the console table. For a welcoming entry, I try to have these three key elements: a mirror that does not face the door, a piece of artwork in the colors of the home and a console table or wall shelf to set down your keys. A bench to sit down on when putting on shoes is a nice bonus.”
Living Rooms and Family Rooms
It’s one of the first areas buyers will see of your home and tends to leave a lasting impression. “Staging works because it creates a neutral, yet inviting, look,” says Dooley. So be sure to make sure all personal touches are out of site from these rooms.
When people walk into the kitchen, they want to feel like they can entertain there, cook there and live there. The kitchen can also be the most prone to small details left undone.
Be sure to take out the trash, empty the dishwasher and clean out the refrigerator before any potential buyers stop by. “It’s called the heart of the home for a reason. Make sure that no crumb is left behind; buy canisters and decorative bins for utensils as well as a cookbook with a stand. These simple and easy tricks will instantly draw buyers in and leave an impression,” says Cummings. She also suggests baking fresh cookies to add a delicious smell to the room.
The Master Bedroom
The master bedroom tends to be the most personal to both buyers and sellers.
Things can get a little complicated when staging this room. Cummings says, “It is such a personal space, and we want to take that element out. We want it to look like you are walking through Pottery Barn or into a boutique hotel; dress it to the nines. Have matching linens and layer it for a luxurious look. Take away the photos and personal items.” It can be really distracting for buyers to walk into a home and see things like family photos, clothes or even college degrees. It will no longer feel like a potential blank canvas for buyers.
Buyers eat with their eyes, and if you make staging a priority, buyers will see the potential. Even the simplest things can make a difference. Staging will help you sell your home faster, and buyers will feel at ease knowing they can make a home out of your house.
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.