Home staging has become something of a minor craze for real estate professionals in the past few years, and the actual science behind how best to set up a home for an open house seems to be changing all the time. However, one thing is unlikely to change: Homeowners and agents don’t want to break the bank when it comes to getting everything squared away. As a result, it’s wise to look into the best ways to stage a home affordably.
Staging a home for an open house certainly isn’t an exact science, and there are plenty of schools of thought about lighting, furniture placement and the like. However, many of the universally accepted truths about what potential buyers like to see during an open house are fortunately inexpensive or even free to implement, according to RIS Media. For example, one of the biggest issues here – and it only costs a little elbow grease to fix – is to stow away all personal belongings like family photos, kids’ sports trophies and so on.
“You cannot believe how long potential buyers will stop and stare at people they do not know in photos,” says one long-time real estate agent to the site.
Other steps to take
The principle of working around the house to clear up things buyers might not want to see extends to clutter that can build up in any home, the report said. Going through a house and clearing off packed countertops and old boxes out of basements and garages – at least temporarily – will likewise go a long way toward making a home look more attractive. And once that’s done, other things pro home stagers tend to recommend – like rearranging furniture – becomes a lot easier.
Finally, it’s often a good idea to also make sure a home smells “neutral” before prospective buyers arrive. That means cleaning everything a few days in advance and waiting for all the smells of cleaning to fade. And for those who really want a home to smell like something, some agents recommend baking a batch of fresh cookies for the open house so visitors have something to snack on and because it makes a whole house smell fantastic.
Don’t overdo it
However, when going through these steps, sellers and their agents may also have a tendency to go overboard as they try to spruce up a home, according to HGTV. Some may decide it would be wise to re-tile an entire bathroom or completely redo the area around a fireplace. This kind of effort usually isn’t necessary, and can be quite expensive and time-consuming. Instead, simply painting can go a long way toward making an old feature more attractive at a low cost. This also applies to kitchen or bathroom cabinets to freshen up the space and give it that “new home” feel that buyers want.
And for those who are willing to go a little more in-pocket, taking the time to buy new smaller appliances like microwaves or dishwashers can make a kitchen seem a lot more modern even if other features are a little bit old-fashioned, the report said.
This is just a cursory list of the lowest-cost steps to getting a home looking as good as possible for its upcoming open house. Your real estate will also be able to impart plenty of wisdom to you about things like curb appeal, lighting and more. By combining all the different ideas about what makes a home staging successful, it should be easy to arrive at the best possible end point to home buyers happy.
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