2 weeks ago, I discussed how I put my home for sale by myself. This was an important decision to make since my wife and I were a bit scared of doing everything by ourselves. On the other hand , I couldn’t get my head around paying over $16,000 in commission to someone who will simply fill out paperwork and take a few pictures of my house!
Speaking of which, taking pictures of your property is a major step when you put your house on the market. Since 85% of potential buyers start their research through internet, your sale starts with great pictures of an exquisite environment. I know you probably like your house the way it is but it doesn’t mean that a little bit of home staging won’t hurt you! I don’t think you need a pro to do a good job, there is a pro inside each of you. Here’s how I did mine:
Home Staging Rule #1: Don’t Spend too Much
It is very important not to overspend while staging your home. The goal is to make your property interesting for potential buyers. They need to be able to see themselves living in the home. This is why you don’t need to go all in with crazy renovations. Just a simple touch of decoration with fresh paint can be a great makeover. A rule of thumb when doing home staging is to not exceed 1% of your property value. I was selling at 340K and only used $1,550 since the house was already in good shape. If we would have used the full $3,400, we would have done a few more miracles but the first goal of home staging is to sell your house faster, not convince you to stay in it! The less you spend, the more you keep in your pocket for your next house!
Home Staging Rule #2: De-Clutter!
If you want potential buyers to picture themselves living in your place, you need to de-clutter each room. This is a great way to start packing a few boxes and selling unnecessary goods that you have amassed over the years. It may be the good time for a garage sale and donations! We also removed most of our family pictures as we want to show a house that is relatively neutral. Another great piece of advice is to take off all “extravagant” furniture, paintings and collectibles. I once visited a house with at least 50 wooden hens and roosters in the kitchen. You can tell that there were old people selling their house .
Home Staging Rule #3: Fresh Paint Required
There is nothing like fresh paint to have a new feel in a room. We previously had some “strong” colors such as red and green in our house. We bought a few gallons of white paint and did a real makeover. I thought that my house was lacking lighting, I was wrong! The dark colors were creating this ambiance. With all walls in white, it had created a whole new pattern as you could see in the pictures. The rooms were suddenly wider after a few hours of painting!
Home Staging Rule #4: Trend is Your Friend
Since we had painted several rooms in white, we had to add a special touch to them. Palatable tones are perfect for painting but you need to give a little punch to each room. This is where trendy decorative articles come into play. We bought a few colorful and trendy paintings along with 3 exotic plants to set the mood of our house. It gave a fresh new look to each room.
Home Staging Rule #5: Focus on Important Areas
It is obvious that you can’t go all over the place with a 1% budget. This is why you need to focus on important areas such as the kitchen, dining room, living room and master bedroom. You might want to consider refreshing a “bonus” room that some may fall for, like a conservatory or a at-home office. Bathrooms are very important too but I would not advise you to start modifying your shower or bath. Fresh paint and a few trendy articles should be enough to make them look better. Don’t try to change your house completely. Identify where your property needs a little bit more love. We invested most of our budget in the entrance (along with the wall beside the staircase to the second floor), the living room along with our master bedroom.
Here’s the Result of what we did
Below is the before and after pictures of your house. You’ll notice that furniture is not the same in most cases. This is because we took the previous owners “before pictures”. We wanted to show the big difference between when we bought the house and when we put it up for sale:
Living Room Before:
Living Room After:
Master Bedroom Before:
Master Bedroom After:
A Word of Warning About Home Staging
While I truly appreciate the work we did, it was also a lot of work! It is exciting to enhance my property before putting it up for sale. Unfortunately, this is also an additional work load you put on your shoulders right before moving… and eventually paint again in your new house! We did everything in 3 days but it was quite a challenge!
Readers, have you done any home staging at your place? Would you like to send me pictures? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org