Affordable Home Staging Ideas
Pricing your home? Realtor’s job. Marketing your home? Realtor’s job. Preparing your home? Your job.
In an ideal world your home would be tickey-boo from top-to-bottom. Closets would be organized, corners would be cleaned and garages would be purged of boxes and leftover furniture pieces.
However, I like to think of myself as ‘well-rooted’ in the real world (well most days anyways) and the reality is that not many people have the time, energy or budget to create a home that is 100% ready for the real estate market.
So, that being said I’ve created a list of the 5 Key Rooms, that come hell or high water, need to be in tip-top shape when it comes time to list your home.
Here are the 5 Key Rooms for you to focus on…
These rooms are ‘The Deal Breakers’. If one of these room is off, then potentially – so is the deal.
These are somewhat in order of importance as it can change from home to home.
Key Room #1 The Kitchen
As you probably know, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is absolutely VITAL that your kitchen is in it’s best condition possible. Whether it’s outdated or brand new it needs to be CLEAN and DECLUTTERED. It’s amazing what cleanliness does to an outdated space.
Key Room #2 The Living room
While most people spend their time in the kitchen or funnily enough in the family room, it’s still the living room that they look to when they envision relaxing or entertaining their friends. Find your Focal Points, declutter and define. Take away anything that deters from the architecture or features of your space.
Key Room #3 The Master Bedroom
While you can get away with spare bedrooms that aren’t stellar or perfectly staged (although I’d prefer you spent time on them) you CAN NOT get away with a bad master bedroom. The key is to depersonalize the master bedroom. You can get away with personal pictures in other parts of the home (in a very small degree), but not in the master bedroom.
Key Room #4 The Entryway
This is the first room that potential buyers see when they enter your home – it is also the last room they see when they leave. Your entryway will provide clues to the buyers as to what they can expect in the rest of the home. If your entryway is outdated and dirty, then the buyer will expect that in the rest of the home – whether that’s the case or not. You need to make sure that the first and final impressions are positive. Remember, your entryway is a transition area, not a living area and decorate it accordingly.
Key Room #5 The Bathroom
Just like the kitchen – cleanliness is King. It can be outdated, it can be downright fugly but it can’t…be…dirty.
Here is a to-do list that you can apply to these 5 spaces.
I don’t mean sweep/vacuum – those are things you should be doing every 2-3 days when you are selling your home…I mean you need to CLEAN baby, CLEAN!
For most of these things, all you need is a clean cloth (that has a nice nap to it to really pick up the dirt) some soap and some water.
Grout. If you have tiles/grout, you need to give them a good scrub with cleaner and brush. If they don’t come clean then consider a commercial grade cleaner like Zep. Pay particular attention to the area immediately in front of your front door, infront of your toilet/tub and around your kitchen sink/stove/fridge
Baseboards and trims. Wipe down the tops of your baseboards and in the corners. Wipe your trims down, concentrating on the area from the floor up to 4′ which is where most of the wear and tear happens
Walls. Walls can take a real beating in a home where there are young kids living. Concentrate on the wall space from the floor up to 4′. Be sure to use soap and water – not just a damp cloth, otherwise you will wipe the finish off your wall. For marks that are a bugger to get off, use Mr.Clean Magic Eraser.
Window Sills. The older your windows are the more likely it is that they have mould in the corners. You need to get q-tips, bleach and a cloth and clean these up. Mouldy windows are a great way to remind the viewers that maybe it’s time to invest in new windows.
The Front door. Your front door can get pretty grungy and it doesn’t always get noticed when it comes time to do your clean routine. Clean your door inside and out using soap and water and a cloth that has a nice nap to it so you can really dig into that dirt.
I don’t believe that you need to spend anywhere near 1-3% of your listing price (which is a popular belief) to get your home in showing condition. However I do believe that if you spend ‘smart money’ that you well reap the benefits – so don’t be cheap – buck up for these small expenditures and sell your house!
Update Your Lighting
Change outdated fixtures in your 5 key rooms and give buyers the impression that your home has been maintained structurally AND esthetically.
Here is a list of lights that are considered ‘outdated’…
Boobie lights (yes, you know what they look like)
Semi-flush fixtures from the 70’s and 80’s
Light bars with bulbs showing (bathroom)
Any fixture with tinted amber glass fixtures
- Ceiling fans with brass and/or exposed bulbs
Read more: Budget Friendly Lighting Update Ideas (Graphic Content)
Update Your Cabinet Hardware
If your cabinet hardware is brass or wooden or white then you need to change it to black, oil rubbed bronze or nickel based on what best suits your home. Be sure to include closet door handles as well.
For cabinet hardware tips, check out this blog post… 4 Ideas – How to Update Oak/Wood Cabinets
Update your Door Hardware
From the front door to bedrooms doors, update your hardware style and finish – and don’t forget the hinges!
Read more: Top 6 Update Ideas for Your Home
If it’s broken – fix it. Whether it’s a closet door, cabinet handle or broken blind – if it’s broken and a buyer will see it / touch it – then you need to fix it or replace it. If people see a few small things that are broken they can easily assume that if the little things are broken then what about bigger things?
So, there’s some general ideas that you can apply to your 5 Key Rooms, now on to a few specifics…
Here are the surfaces that need to be decluttered. Yes, you may like these things but are they being sold with the home? No. So you need to put your personal feelings and tastes aside and start showcasing the features that actually come with the home.
- Windowsills – there is never a reason for anything to be on a window sill
- Mantle – 1 to 3 key pieces are fine if they suit the style of the home and don’t distract from the fireplace
- Hearth should be plain
- Side tables/coffee tables/buffets/sofa tables/dressers – lamps and coasters are fine. Having 1 or 2 accessories on your side tables is fine as long as they aren’t tchochkes, TV Guides, remote controls, etc… In otherwords a candy dish, vase, jewelry box or framed picture are all fine.
- Bathroom countertop – Soap and 1 decorative accessory are fine to have out. Everything else, put it in a basket and tuck it under the sink. If you have no space under your sink then you need to declutter under your sink and throw out anything unncessary (like the past date sunscreen and old empty tampon boxes) and make room for that basket.
- Kitchen countertop – You need to get back to basics and here are the acceptable items…
- 1 blender, toaster (not toaster oven), container holding large utensils, fruit bowl, coffee maker, tea pot, microwave, paper towel holder. Everything else…you know the drill.
- Floor Space – Anything unncessary should not be on the floor. Things like fans, space heaters, recyclables, misc. unnecessary furniture pieces, boxes, etc…
- So if you bust your butt and work your way through this list then don’t be afraid to apply these same principles to the other rooms in your home. The more you do the more you are increasing your chances of getting your home sold at the right time for the right price.
If you would like a personal consultation, check out my affordable E-design services!