No Money to Stage? Five Simple Tricks to Make Your Home Sell-Worthy

Written by Posted On Friday, 12 October 2018 15:47

When you’re looking to begin the process of selling your home, you might take the time to make the exterior look as good as possible. After all, catching a buyer’s eye on curb appeal is a major part of the challenge, right? While that’s true, it’s equally important to invest time and money into making your home’s interior look as inviting, clean and homey as possible. Doing so can help interested buyers see themselves in your space. If they’re tripping over your clutter, creating a path through your children’s toys and looking at your wedding portraits on every wall, it can be difficult for them to visualize their own life inside your property.


To this end, many sellers hire a professional home stager when they reach this point of the journey. This person’s aim is to make your home look as designer-friendly, up-to-date and appealing as possible. This might mean swapping some of your personal mementos for a few pieces of framed wall art, bringing in a few high-end pieces of loaner furniture to complete an otherwise empty room or simply tidying up your space. While there is no doubt that this is a valuable service, it can also be a costly one. If you’re working with a tight budget, the good news is there are many staging tips you can do on your own. Today, let’s take a look at five.


1. Clean up all the clutter.

This one is first on our list because it is the most important. No one will notice your fancy couch or your gorgeous ceiling tiles if they have to wade through a mess to get from room to room. While you don’t necessarily have to remove every speck of personality from your house (you still live there, after all!), it’s a good rule of thumb to clean up as much as possible, especially before every showing or open house.


In a pinch? Invest in a few pretty storage containers to quickly conceal messes when you don’t have time to put everything in its place. Today, you can find gorgeous storage ottomans, craft containers and even rustic metal buckets that help contain your clutter so no one is the wiser.


2. Float your furniture.

It’s common to want to push all of your furniture to the walls. That way, your home will look bigger, right? The truth is that when furniture is grouped into logical pairings, the spaces actually flow better and indeed look more spacious. This means, instead of placing your long sectional right beneath the windowsill, consider bringing it into the center of the room. Then, place two matching arm chairs across from it to encourage conversation. This simple change instantly elevates the look of your home without requiring you to spend a dime.


When considering how to place the furniture, think first about where you want the main flow of traffic to go when guests are traveling around your rooms. Then, make sure those pathways are clear and design conversational points from there.


3. Rethink empty spaces.

Do you have a junk room full of storage? What about an empty nook in your living room or office that serves as a general catch-all? If so, now is the time to rethink and repurpose those barren spaces. You don’t have to go out and buy an entirely new suite of furniture and turn your junk room into a spare bedroom, but a simple area rug, armchair and bookshelf turns it into a quaint and cozy reading spot.


As for that corner that’s going unused, consider adding a lamp and a small desk and turning it into a makeshift workspace. Any time you can help interested buyers see the functionality your rooms have to offer, you’re doing your home a great service. Thankfully, most of these low-budget accent pieces can found online or through in-person retailers and often for much less than their heavy, larger counterparts. Be strategic with your purchases and if possible, find things that can work just as well in your existing home as your next.


4. Upgrade your lighting.

Are you still lighting your home with outdated fluorescents? Upgrade your bulbs to LED ones and you’ll instantly see a difference in both your ambiance and your monthly utility bill. Another way you could be dimming the switch on your home’s potential is by keeping your lights too low. Consider leaving most of your canned overheads off and instead relying on warm and bright lamp lighting to illuminate your spaces. Amplify the wattage in each lamp to make sure it’s doing its job. Not sure where to start? Most experts recommend aiming for around 100 watts per 50 square feet.  


5. Play around with paint.

Now isn’t the time to make tons of drastic changes to your wall color. Considering a bright orange for the powder room? Save it for your next place and go with a more neutral, expected colorscape in your current one. You don’t have to paint every wall a simple beige, though. Try a darker neutral on one wall as an accent or swap a few off-white walls for modern, trendy greige (grey/beige) tones.


This is a great way to bring your home into this century, especially if you’re still living with wallpaper that was installed in the mid-1980s. It can also help you conceal minor cosmetic damages with drywall, baseboards or ceilings.


Staging Your Home on a Dime

While a professional home stager will be able to help you truly bring your home to life and maximize its potential, there are many steps you can do on your own. After all, you’re the only person who truly knows how special and useful your spaces are. Take the time to walk around them and consider how they can be beautified to attract the eye of someone new. Resist the urge to shell out tons of money on redecorating, though. Your best bet is to keep it neutral and let the next buyer make his or her mark on the place. While it’s still yours, however, play around with furniture placement, clean up the messes and make sure the lighting is up to speed. Then, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your handiwork.

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