Home staging is a serious business! The first impression people have of a house makes more of an impression than you may realize, and that is why professional home stagers are able to charge so much for what may seem like a superficial fix. The truth is, people pay more for a house that looks good. Plain and simple.
Here are some great DIY Home-staging tips so you can get the look without breaking the bank!
Sparkle and shine
Clean clean and clean some more. The very first step in making your house appear great to potential buyer is to make sure every single surface is spotless. Vacuum, sweep, scour, scrub, and polish your way through your entire house. Go to your local hardware or dollar store and pick up some scuff-remover and wood filler pens to refresh the look of older furniture and hardwood floors. Clean all grout and tile in the bathroom and kitchen – and don’t forget about the fridge! Nothing can make a kitchen look more cluttered than a fridge door covered in magnets, photos, and notes. Take everything off the front so the fridge looks new, and give it a wipe with some windex so that it shines like new.
Keep it super simple
A cluttered house always appears smaller, and it also makes it more difficult for a potential buyer to envision their own belongings in the house. Take out as much as you possibly can, and pack it away. If you can, rent a unit in a storage facility for a month, but a garage or basement filled with boxes is not unexpected when you’re moving, and the difference it will make having the main floor and upstairs clutter-free is well worth it when it comes to the bottom line. Keep only the absolute basics in terms of furniture – this will make rooms appear more spacious and bright. Remove family photos, trinkets, children’s toys, the excess of books that have accumulated on shelves over the years, etc. Remove everything from your kitchen counters, stash the blender and the toaster in the cupboard unless you’re using them. It will give the impression of more counterspace.
Low-key and Lovely
Make your home appealing to every taste by keeping the colour palette very neutral. Beiges, pale greys, creams, and white trim. Strong colours can really make a statement, but it may be a statement that disagrees with some people. Colour has a big impact on emotion, and (as silly as it may seem) mere paint colour can give someone a bad feeling about a house. This is one of the smallest – yet most important – things you should invest in to increase the value of your home. Paint every room the same neutral colour, and paint all trim white. This will give your home a nice flow that carries right through the house, and will also help potential buyers envision the way they would decorate the house for themselves. Keep furnishings neutral as well. Make every bed in the house with white sheets and blankets. Don’t have any white bedding? Spread a white sheet over top of your bedding, and pick up some low-quality cheap white pillowcases, as well. Furniture covers are an inexpensive way to refresh your furniture and keep things neutral. Hang a white shower curtain in your bathroom along with a white hand-towel. Are your window coverings dated? Pick up some cheap shower curtains to use as temporary drapery. Again, stick with white or a light neutral colour to brighten the room.
Now that you’ve got a perfectly clean and neutral house, it’s time to start bringing in some decor. The first tip in decorating: pick an accent colour and stick with it. Every room should have a little splash of that colour in it somewhere – be it a cushion, a throw, flowers, a decorative vase, or a book. You’ve cleared the books off your bookshelves, now put back two or three nice hardcovers on some of the shelves, a picture frame on another. Keep the decor sparse – small clusters of items work well, best is in threes. For example, the candles of differing heights. A vase, a book laying flat, and a pair of glasses to the side. These little things still manage to make a house feel like a home.
If your current decor is really out-of-date, or simply just too bold, you might want to make some bigger changes. These are the cases where decor can really hurt your home’s value, and a bit of an investment can remedy that and more. For instance, those mustard yellow tiles on your backsplash can be covered up with the new and inexpensive peel-and-stick backsplash tiles found in many hardware stores now. This is a simple way to refresh your kitchen or bathroom to give it a renovated feel, without the mess or expense. Peeling linoleum can also be quickly and easily replaced with peel and stick vinyl tiles, or, with a large area rug that is almost the same size of the room. The area rug trick can be used over existing carpet, as well. Just ensure that the area rug goes almost all the way to the corners of the room.
See the difference for yourself: go on a real estate listing site, and look through the pictures. The houses that are beautifully decorated inside always sell at a higher price than their poorly decorated counterparts. Now you can have that professionally staged look, without the professional stager budget.