There isn’t enough that can be said about the term ‘Presentation is everything.’ The reality is, no matter how good something is if it doesn’t present well it will be grossly undervalued. If you’re selling your old bike on craigslist, losing out on an extra 10 bucks due to poor presentation may not be the biggest deal, but when you’re selling a house, poor presentation (staging) can result in losing out on tens of thousands of dollars. Who can afford to lose out on that kind of money?
This is why any knowledgeable real estate agent will push you to focus on staging so that your house presents well. In fact, there’s an entire staging industry where expert stagers doll up your house to ensure you get top dollar. However, between the stagers fee, furniture rentals, and touch-ups, it can cost more money than is in your marketing budget. This leads many to undertake frugal projects on their home to maximize their homes’ presentation value.
Before frugal projects are executed, however, the best path is to first execute staging strategies that don’t cost any money and then assess with your real estate agent what the next steps are in prepping your home for live showings.
1. Reassess Your Furniture
We’re not suggesting taking money out of your pocket to buy or rent new furniture, that wouldn’t be free. Rather, we are referring to eliminating certain items and adjusting furniture layouts. To make our homes comfortable and livable, we often hang on to comfortable furniture that may not look nice and have more pieces than necessary. In staging, less is more, the first step is to assess which are your nicest pieces and storing the rest elsewhere. Next, you should arrange your furniture in a way that flows rather than what’s most comfortable or convenient.
Clutter not only makes rooms look less appealing, but it’s also distracting. Selling your home is a great time to rid yourself of all the clutter you don’t need. As for the rest, find somewhere to stow it away so that it’s not visible. As mentioned before, less is more, you want to use a minimalist approach when staging your home and keep the look as clean and fresh as possible.
3. Remove All Personal Items
For a buyer to consider a home, they have to visualize themselves in it. Family portraits and items on the fridge or corkboard all make it very difficult to achieve that endeavor. This doesn’t mean leave your walls bare, tasteful art is ok. However, any item that traces directly to you (mainly family photos) should be taken down and stowed out of sight so that prospective buyers can fully visualize themselves there and fall in love with your house.
4. Remove Extra Storage
There’s a little hoarder inside all of us. As we accumulate more items we implore creative storage solutions. These include hanging shoe racks on your closet door, plastic storage bins, and a whole host of other solutions. If prospective buyers see these eyesores, it will subconsciously tell them that the house doesn’t have sufficient storage to meet their needs. Eliminate all storage solutions that aren’t built into the fabric of the house.