Fighting Stage Fright

Posted by Mary Sweigert ~ June 19, 2008


To stage or not to stage?

To hire a professional home stager, or do it yourself?

These are just some of the questions that plague the minds of individuals in the market to sell their homes. Just how worth it is home staging though? Before you spend the money, it would be nice to know if you could count on a return on your investment, right?

The trouble is, home staging is a loosely defined art at best. There are some common sense tips floating around out there, but what kind of measurable result will forking over the cash for the professional contribute towards your home's resale value? The answer to this question is subject to debate naturally, but if you ask this blogger, if you've got even a bit of the do-it-yourself-ing spirit, this is one area where you can save yourself some money.

Photo Credit: The Home Stager


Where should you start to stage it yourself? Think in terms of marketability: what colors, patterns, features etc. are going to appeal to the widest possible audience while still making your place seem 'homey?'

You don't have to be afraid anymore, here are some tips to get you started:

Get curb appeal: clean up the yard, put down new sod, new house numbers, welcome mat etc.

Fresh Color: Paint to make your home feel newer and more open and inviting

Purge: 86 anything old or worn out, this includes carpeting, furniture, tile etc. This also applies to anything that personalizes your house. For example, family photos and fridge magnets should be out in hurry. Potential buyers won't be able to visualize themselves living in your home if you're still there.

Naked Windows: get rid of window treatments. All of them. You want your home to seem bigger and more open. Nothing shrinks a room more than giant valances and heavy drapery.

Smell the sell: Seriously, bake some chocolate chip cookies and let the warm fuzzies do the selling for you. Ok, so maybe your place dosen't have to smell like freshly baking cookies, but it couldn't hurt, and it certainly shouldn't smell bad. Double check that everything is clean and fresh, and keep Fido outside. As much as we may love our furry friends, buyers may not dig the dander, or the odor that comes along with them.

Size matters: The furniture you use should appropriately fit the space without overwhelming it.

Lighten up: Never underestimate the power of good lighting. This might bring out the warm fuzzies even more than the cookies. For a really simple way to apply this tip, just turn on all the lights, even if you're showing your house during the day.


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