The best strategies for home staging on a budget
Home staging is one of the best returns on investment you’ll find. According to the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), “85% of staged homes sell for 5%–23% over list price.” But home staging can get pricey if you and your Sellers aren’t focused on the right things. Here are the five best strategies for home staging on a budget.
Depersonalize when home staging
It’s rare to hear “depersonalize” as a good strategy for real estate agents. We’re often trained to focus on personalizing our interactions with Buyers and Sellers, because that’s usually what Buyers and Sellers want from agents. But when it comes to home staging, you must resist your training to personalize.
The goal of home staging is to help prospective Buyers picture themselves in the home. If there are too many personal touches in how you’ve staged the home, it can make it harder for Buyers to picture themselves in it.
For example, Buyers who see the Seller’s family photos on the wall might feel like more of a guest than a future homeowner. Though it may seem quaint and welcoming, reminders of the current homeowner can make it harder for Buyers to view the home as potentially “theirs.”
With so many potential Buyers of various backgrounds, it’s impossible to personalize for every single one. The better strategy is to personalize your home staging for no one. That way, the home looks more like a blank canvass than a place the Buyer is just visiting.
Here are just a few things to look out for and remove or hide away when home staging:
- Family photos
- Sports memorabilia
- Political paraphernalia
Remember: You want to make the home as appealing to as many potential Buyers as possible. By depersonalizing, you cast a wider net AND set the foundation for Sellers to understand that soon, the house won’t be theirs anymore. That’s an important, sometimes jarring, realization for Sellers, but one they must be comfortable with.
Maximize the amount of space
Space, or at least the illusion of space, is a huge selling point. It was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will likely remain a driving force after the pandemic. This doesn’t mean the house needs to be entirely empty. Instead, it means you and your Sellers must be strategic in your home staging.
When maximizing space, consider some of these ideas:
- Remove clutter from closets. A spacious-looking closet can be a game changer for Buyers. If the closet is cluttered with clothes and shoes, it can create a feeling of claustrophobia. Consider boxing up clutter or, if that’s not possible, tastefully rearranging the closet.
- Hang mirrors on the wall. Reflections of the surrounding space can make a room seem roomier than it really is.
- Carve a path with furniture. Creating a sense of flow is important. Younger Buyers especially want a sense of seamlessness when moving from one room to another. You can create that by smartly positioning any furniture to create a smooth path.
Keeping it clean is the core of home staging
Home staging must focus on cleanliness, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But more generally, no one wants to live in a dirty house.
While it’s important to deep-clean everything, you’ll want to focus most on the bathrooms. Buyers will have the eye of a hawk when it comes to the cleanliness of the bathroom. It’s crucial to clean the grime off showers, sinks, toilets, and countertops.
Do your best to make it modern
There’s a big difference between timeless and dated. Though you may not need to replace every dated thing in the house, you can make small changes to make it look more modern. For instance, you might replace gold-colored cabinet handles with brushed nickel handles. If the house has wallpaper, you might consider removing it and repainting with more modern colors.
When in doubt, use neutral colors
The flip side of the modern colors coin is to play it safe with neutral tones. Not all Buyers will want bold paint colors or accent walls. Whites, grays, and light blues are safe, comforting colors that you can use to thread the needle between depersonalizing and being boring in your home staging.
Set the stage for a happy home with a home warranty
At its core, home staging is a good way to put a home in the best possible light. Another way to put the home in the best possible light is by enrolling all of your homes in home warranty coverage from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW).
A home warranty can help ensure that when a major system or appliance breaks down, Buyers and Sellers can keep moving forward.
For Sellers, that means more time dedicated to home staging and selling than trying to solve a major breakdown. Few things are scarier to Buyers than a house with a faulty furnace or a rogue air conditioner. Those kinds of problems can stall or stop a transaction. With Seller coverage from 2-10 HBW, Sellers get peace of mind that if something breaks down while the house is on the market, they’ve got a solution. That can mean quicker and more lucrative sales.
For Buyers, home ownership is expensive right out of the gate. When you protect them with a home warranty from 2-10 HBW, you’re taking the financial burden of systems and appliances breakdowns off their shoulders. Plus, a home warranty connects Buyers with a network of quality, approved, local contractors. That means less time figuring out what to do about a breakdown and more time settling into home ownership.
2-10 HBW offers comprehensive systems and appliances home warranties to help protect your clients from unexpected repair and replacement costs. Contact us to learn more.