6 Simple, Low-Cost Staging Tips

Former Home and Studio of artist Jasper Johns. Simplicity / “less is more” rules the day in staging.

Photo: HTV / Michael Steele

Selling a home can be stressful, from choosing a realtor and attorney to planning for the next moves. It can be a bit overwhelming for some, but there are ways to reduce the stress and increase your odds for a successful sale. After nearly a decade in the real estate brokerage business, I can say with confidence that staging your home in advance of listing helps reduce stress; it not only begins to help you with your eventual move, but also increases the odds for successful showings and a potential higher selling price, as opposed to an unstaged home.

What do I mean by staging? I don’t mean placing fluffy throw blankets across the corner of each couch or taking the latest design trends from Pinterest or Instagram; I mean doing more substantive and meaningful actions.

Here are 6 simple, low-cost staging tips that will help you sell your home faster, for more money and with less stress!

  1. Exterior: Cut the grass, trim the shrubs, blow the leaves, plant some flowers mulch the flower beds. Powerwash your walkways and siding.
  2. Garage: clear the garage of everything except for the absolute necessary items: yard tools, a bicycle or 2 and your vehicles. Blow and sweep the floor. If you want to go one step further, you can bring in a garage floor painting specialist to epoxy paint or floor paint the garage floor.
  3. Reduce items: Simplicity rules the day in staging; less is more. Unless your home is completely bare of personal items, there is improvement to be made. I typically tell people, try to reduce your personal items by about 50% or more. This will help depersonalize the space – giving the potential buyers an opportunity to feel themselves in the home – but also goes a long way to helping you pare down or pack for your move.
  4. Paint: Paint/painting is cheap and quick. Paint obvious areas where walls are dirty, scratched and stained. It’s an opportunity to pick chic, historic or timeless colors and ditch the 20-year-old fad color. I’m a huge fan of Benjamin Moore’s historic color line.
  5. Deep Cleaning: Hire a professional cleaning crew to deep clean the entire home. Steam clean tile floors, wash windows and clean carpets. Nothing is worse for a showing than a home with obvious grime visible to the eye.
  6. Handyman Fixes: For a couple of hundred dollars, you can have a local handyman fix loose door handles, running faucets or toilets, cabinet doors and more, to make a positive impression of a well-maintained home. Buyers want to know that a homeowner has stayed on top of basic repairs – if not that they can worry about the larger stuff too.

These small tips and small expenditures of time and money will make your property sell faster, for a higher dollar amount and reduce your stress after you list your home.