I’m not sure if I told you yet, but a HUGE thing for me is how to stage a house on a budget. Staging can be an investment, but I get a sense from my clients that they or their friends and family watch HGTV–which I love, by the way!–and have a reality TV image of staging and stagers and not a realistic one. I have actually saved my staging clients money, time and energy because they were under the false assumption that when staging a house, they needed to do work or make changes that just weren’t necessary. Not to mention how much cash they saved by getting their house on and off the market superfast!
As a Stager, I do my best to understand who your target buyer is, what your strengths and weaknesses are in the market, to work with what you have all while being as minimally invasive to your house as possible. Here are some true tricks of the staging trade that can really help you save money and stage a house like a pro!
Don’t Paint Trim
If your trim is in good condition or only slightly warn, save yourself time and money but only painting walls if necessary. If there are a few chips here and there in your white trim, good old fashioned whiteout (that’s from the typewriter days, kids!) is great for touching up.
Don’t Refinish Hardwoods
Hardwoods are a HUGE selling point even if they are not in the best shape. Giving them a good cleaning and minor touch ups with stain are all that you may need.
Don’t Buy New Furniture
I had a client that lived in a house that had last been decorated in 1984. To say there was tons o‘ formica and polished brass is an understatement! The house had been on the market 3 times with no offers so the seller thought that she would need to buy new furniture to update the look of the house. I completely disagreed with her and we worked with her 80’s finery adding updated artwork and accessories. After we staged the house for a quick sell, the house sold in under 3 weeks with a bidding war! The seller saved on both ends of the selling equation–nice!
Don’t Replace Outdated Appliances
If your appliances are in good condition and look OK, don’t update them with thee newest, stainless steel variety. When we moved into our house, one of the selling points to me was that I got to put in exactly what appliances I wanted to rather than paying for what someone else had put in. If they are worn, or old, ignore this advice and head to Lowe’s immediately!
Don’t Automatically Update Outdated Lighting
When you start getting into changing light fixtures, it can totally put you into more work than you think. You never know what you are going to find when you take down a fixture so a lot of times it is just best to work with what you have and update the look of everything around the room so that the outdated fixture isn’t the only focal point. Spray paint is also a wonderful thing and now that it comes in metal finishes, you can really take a dated fixture into the new millennium easily and inexpensively. One big exception to this rule–If you live in a luxury home/community and you still have builder’s grade fixtures on your first floor and the „first impression“ rooms, change them out! It will totally be worth it!
Don’t Change Out All of Your Brass
A quick fix for polished brass is Brass and Bronze Aging Solution. For under $10 you can update your bathroom fixtures and with way less hassle