|A DIY home stager needs to know her competition. Otherwise she|
won't know if countertops should be granite and appliances
stainless, or whether laminate counters and white appliances
are just fine, as in this photo from Better Homes and Gardens.
Or a mother-in-law who will loan you her antiques.
Or an interior designer friend who will take your hand.
Or a husband who loves fix-it projects and has the time to tackle them.
You can do your own staging and you can do it inexpensively. There are only two tricks to it.
Prioritize: Decide What’s Important
- Left undone, would this task or purchase give me black marks on an official home inspection?
- Is this something I have wanted to do almost from the time I moved into my home?
- Can this be accomplished without a reconfiguring of plumbing or electrical systems?
- Is this something family members, visitors, and others also think is a good idea?
- Is it a change I can take with me when I move?
- Does it offer good return on my investment?
- Do these changes represent features many buyers want, such as an eat-in kitchen, updated basement, or a modern outdoor living space ?
- Do other homes in my market, at my price point, offer this kind of feature?
- Does the improvement expand usable square footage?
- Does the improvement make the home easier to maintain or conserve energy?
|A home office is something most buyers want. If you can tuck one|
into a narrow space, you'll be ahead of the game. If you can do it
on budget, you'll get good return on investment. Photo:LampsPlus
These are the projects that should take your time and money. Either eliminate or place low on your to-do list those items to which you answered “no.”
It’s always reassuring to know that statistically you’re within guidelines. That means if you plan to list your home for $250,000, your staging budget should be between $2,500 and 5,000. You’ll want to spend it wisely. That’s where the second trick comes into play.
Source Right: Make Economical Purchases
Ask people who do work for you if they give discounts for paying with cash, or if you pay an invoice within the first week of receiving it.
|The rocker is a thrifted deal find I painted white.|
The side table is an old tv tray stand that
I upcycled by DIYing a mosaic top.
The planters are dollar store resin pots.
And the pansies are Walmart six-packs.
It all adds up to thrifty curb appeal.
Ask if the item is going to go on sale. Watch for sales. Print or clip and use coupons. Even if you don’t have a coupon for a store, ask the salesperson if you qualify for one.
Stores will often discount the last item in a line of bedding, or the end of a bolt of fabric, or a chair that's been a floor sample, or a dishwasher missing a manual, or a lamp with a chip you'll never notice. But only if you ask!
Shop where you have a discount or loyalty card, whether online or at brick and mortar stores. Shop discount stores and outlet stores.
Sometimes buying direct means buying local, and sometimes it means shopping nationwide for the best deal.
Furniture from places like Salvation Army and ReStore have frequently been donated by people with money and taste. Garage sales are a source of deeply discounted furniture, appliances and accessories for staging because sellers are usually motivated. Your purchases may need minor repairs or just a coat of paint to make them perfect for staging your home.
|Mike Row has personally spoken to Congress and|
trade associations about his mission to change
perceptions of blue collar work. His foundation
awards trade school scholarships to people
willing to pursue a trade. Photo:Listal.
When I first began studying real estate, one of my teachers used to tell the class, “If you will do what others are not willing to do, you will have what others do not have.” It was just a new way of saying, “Work hard.” Or as Mike Rowe, one of my heroes, likes to say, “Work smart AND hard.”
For example, buy heating fuel in the summer. Buy patio furniture and grills in October. And hire the heating and cooling guy in the spring or fall.
Keep the big picture in mind, and don’t expect to make a huge profit by selling your home.
Selling a home is like running a small business, so think like an entrepreneur and make all your staging decisions cost effective ones. Time and money both have to be budgeted if you’re going to stay sane and get the job done. These are the simple techniques I’ve used and I’ve seen others use to make home staging cost effective, and you can do it, too.
There's more of this kind of sanity-saving advice in my home staging eBooks. You can download them instantly and begin staging your own home today. They’re only $4.99 each!
Top Photo: BHG