Selling your home is stressful on so many levels: it’s emotional, bewildering, and expensive. Whether you’re a newbie to selling a home or this is the 5th time you’ve gone down this road, it’s never easy. If you talk to 10 real estate agents you get 10 different recommendations on everything from price to paint colors. They can all agree, however, that it’s an absolute must to stage your home.
Professional staging is big business, and it’s not cheap. If you check HomeAdviser, you’ll see that professional stagers cost anywhere from $500 to $1,800. Part of the problem is that today’s buyers have unrealistic expectations. This is the result of spending too much time watching home renovation shows on HGTV.
This HGTV trend has today’s buyers unable to look past paint colors and design. They want the home they purchase to look like the end of an HGTV show, where everyone walks around saying, “Wow, I can’t believe it. This is amazing. It’s so beautiful. I love the paint and look at that headboard made out of the shingles from the original roof. I’m so happy. This is my dream come true and all for only $25K.”
It does not work that way, but that’s a story for another time. You can stage your home and give it that HGTV “after” look without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips and tricks to guide you in getting your home ready for buyers. All you need is a little help from a well-maintained, convenient, affordable, climate-controlled self storage unit at My Storage Plus.
Use Self Storage to Help You Stage on a Budget
- Begin by Decluttering – Remove all clutter from living areas. Newspapers, magazines, paperwork, and empty soda cans need to go. Keep closets from overflowing by removing half the clothes and miscellaneous items. You can put all of these items into a small storage unit to keep them safe until you need them. The same goes for your kitchen cupboards and linen closet; get those areas organized with baskets and containers and put the overflow into storage.
- Remove all Personal Items – It’s easier for potential buyers to visualize themselves in your home if you remove your personal items. Family photos, trophies, awards, and memorabilia need to be placed in self storage so that they don’t distract buyers from the task at hand.
- Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning – Before you put your home on the market, you need to give it a deep cleaning. If you’ve neglected certain tasks, it’s time to get them done. Baseboards, corners of ceilings, window blinds, and everything else from bathrooms to basements must be thoroughly cleaned.
- Keep it Fresh – Place a vase of bright, fresh flowers in the center of your kitchen table, and place a few healthy plants in areas that may need a little boost. If you don’t have time to maintain live plants, artificial ones should do. Speaking of freshness, make sure there are no odors. Empty trash daily and use some scented plug-ins in a few spaces. You don’t want your buyers being hit with offensive odors.
- Paint and Repair – Don’t let buyers pick up on signs of neglect. Remove scuffs from walls with a foam eraser pad, spackle and caulk as necessary, and do touch-ups where paint is chipped and cracked. Another thought – your favorite colors may be a turn-off to prospective buyers. It may be a bit time- and cost-intensive, but a coat of neutral paint shows buyers that they have options when it comes to colorful accessories.
- Rearrange the Furniture – This is where you really need that self storage unit. It makes no sense to rearrange furniture if you’re going to shove it into the garage or another room. Treating other rooms like storage will give your home that crowded and chaotic look. The idea is to show as much open, navigable space as possible. This will help your buyer to visualize their own furniture and possessions in each room. Store oversized and/or damaged pieces to make your rooms look as spacious and appealing as possible.
- Make it Appealing – Set up the dining room table to look like a special family dinner. Arrange plates, cutlery and napkins on pretty placemats. Remember to add an attractive centerpiece with clean, simple lines. Use fresh comforters or duvets in the bedrooms, and don’t forget the extra pillows and throws to make these rooms look tranquil and cozy. Use fresh white towels and a few plants in the bathrooms. Remember to pack all of the extra linens and put them in your self storage unit.
- Keep it Light and Bright – Your home should look bright and welcoming. During showings, make sure drapes and blinds are open, and turn on all the lights, including lamps and closet lights. Lighting will make your home seem more spacious. This way, buyers and agents won’t have to scramble for light switches and lamp controls when their focus should be on your home.
- You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression – The first thing the buyer sees when walking up to your house is the front entrance. Start the showing off right by removing any seasonal decorations (they should be in storage by now), adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to your door, and power washing the front porch. A simple doormat and a few flowering, potted plants will add a warm touch.
- Not All Rooms are Equal – The rooms that hold the most importance for a buyer are the living room, master bedroom and kitchen. Don’t forget about the entryway. If you have a large entryway with a grand staircase, be sure to keep the decor simple and the paint neutral.
Self storage is your solution to get your home staged and ready so that potential buyers can visualize themselves in your beautiful, spacious surroundings. They’ll be eager to make memories and enjoy family and friends. Now get to work on staging your house, and spend the money you save on that trip to the spa!