Cheap ways to stage your home like a pro
If you’re selling your house, the place has to look its best so buyers can see its potential and imagine themselves living there. That’s what home-staging is all about.
A professional homestager
will cost between $50 and $150 per hour, says Jessica Page, a broker with Innovative Real Estate in the Denver area.
The good news is that you can get it done for a lot less money.
Page and real estate veteran Jennifer Radice of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Boca Raton, Florida, share expert tips for staging your home at almost no cost.
Cheap ways to stage your home:
1. STASH PERSONAL ITEMS
Packing away your personal stuff, such as pictures, sports memorabilia, even religious items, is one of the easiest, cheapest things you can do to stage your house.
“The reason you want to depersonalize your home is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home,” Page says.
Prospective buyers may have a hard time envisioning themselves in the house if they’re surrounded by photos of your family.
“Pictures are extremely distracting,” says Radice, who also recommends removing religious items from view.
The cost: $2 to $3 for a roll of packing tape. You can pick up free boxes at stores in your neighborhood.
2. CLEAR AWAY CLUTTER
Decluttering is another simple way to get buyers to focus on the bones of the house.
Radice recommends clearing off kitchen and bathroom countertops.
She suggests packing that stuff in boxes and neatly stacking them in a corner of the garage. Anything extra should go in a small storage unit. Even better, ask a friend or relative to stash your items at no charge.
The cost: The price of a storage unit varies (around $50 a month for a 5-by-5-foot unit).
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3. REARRANGE ROOMS AND GIVE THEM PURPOSE
Rearrange the rooms in your home and make sure each room has a distinct purpose. Page suggests touring builders’ models to see how the rooms are furnished.
If your house hasn’t been painted recently, 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, Page says.
The cost: Anywhere from $12 to $50 per gallon for paint, plus another $10 to $50 for other painting supplies (primer, brushes, dropcloths, etc.). You can get back some of that money as a refund on your taxes for any items you donate to charity.
4. SCRUB AND DEODORIZE
No one wants to visit a dirty house, especially prospective buyers. So make sure your house is squeaky clean.
“When buyers see an unkempt home or smell something when they first walk in, they become turned off immediately,” Page says.
The cost: Varies by the location and size of the home, but expect to spend at least $100 to clean a four-bedroom, 2,500square-foot home.