Home Staging – 10 No Cost Ways to Add Value to Your ‘For Sale’ Property

There’s no doubt about it, property markets around the world are going through the hardest times seen in decades. And here , the situation isn’t a great deal different. Our Realtor Marana property market too, is in the doldrums.

But guess what? In all that doom and gloom there is some good news for homeowners trying to sell property in a buyers’ market. With these 10 no cost home staging tricks, you can add significant value to your ‘For Sale’ property and boost your property’s selling price.

The First Impression

Why?

Because chances are buyers will drive past the outside of your place before they inspect the inside. If they don’t like what they see, they won’t come back. Once buyers are ready to inspect the property, the look of the front yard will set the tone for the inside of the house.

What you can do:

Trim trees and shrubs, pull weeds, sweep pathways and porches, and keep your driveway clean and accessible on inspection days. Keep the front and clear of the kids’ toys, bikes etc and remove cobwebs from the eaves. Make sure your doorbell works and any paintwork is in good condition. Don’t leave a collection of shoes outside your doorway for buyers to stumble over.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Why?

It’s a no brainer. Everybody wants clean. Anything less is distracting to buyers who can’t get past it to see the home’s features. A property that’s anything less than clean inside and out, is a red flag to all but the most determined of buyers. Ignore this at your peril.

What you can do:

Clean everything! This means wash, scrub, mop and dust. You need to clean to a standard beyond what you’d normally do. You’ll need to scrub down behind the toilet, wipe out the oven after each use, while the home is on the market. Pay special attention to kitchens and bathrooms. Dirt and grime in these two areas of a home will cost big bucks.

Basic Maintenance

Why?

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then the devil is in the details when it comes to home maintenance. A light that doesn’t work or a door that doesn’t close properly may be something you no longer notice. But your buyer will. If buyers notice basic maintenance problems they will suspect there is more that they can’t see. And you can bet that a buyer will take the cost (and then some) of doing those repairs, off your asking price.

What you can do:

Check everything. We’re talking every light, every hinge, every surface and every tap. Make sure every access point is that – accessible. If it involves electricity or water, get in a professional to repair it.

Start Packing

Why?:

Because you’re moving right? And besides that, the less of your stuff in the space – the bigger it’s going to seem. Buyers are not interested in your stuff. Yes, they do want to know what a room’s function is. But they aren’t interested in photos of you and your extended family. Or the mountain of toys the kids have. Warning: don’t strip your house bare. Otherwise you’ll leave it feeling cold and unwelcoming.

What you can do:

Start packing up anything you aren’t using on a day to day basis. Do this job early, so it doesn’t overwhelm you, and then get the whole family involved. Avoid storing excess gear in the garage if you can. A better option is a storage facility. Some storage companies even bring the storage to you so you can load it, they’ll store it, then deliver it to your new place when needed.

Define the Space

Why?:

Frankly it sells. This is what buyers want. So the more spacious and usable a space is the more sellable. All buyers need to know that a home fulfils the basics. A place to eat, bath, sleep and play. A home gym instead of a bedroom with cost you. If you aren’t using a bedroom as a bedroom for example, it may make a buyer wonder why that is. Is it because a bed doesn’t fit? All of a sudden your home is less sellable because it can’t cover a buyer’s basic need.

What you can do:

If you’re using a bedroom as a home office, turn it back into a bedroom. If you’ve made the garage a home theatre, go back to the original use. Haven’t got a place for a dining table to eat a meal at? Best create one. You don’t need to host a banquet in it. It can be small. It just needs to be there.

Play up the Kitchen

Why?:

Kitchens are one of the two most valuable spaces a property has. Here’s the thing. It’s not uncommon for a kitchen to make or break the sale of a property, so you need to do what you can to make it an asset to your home. The key is to make it look spacious, with plenty of storage and usable work space.

What you can do:

At the very least it needs to be sparkling clean and tidy. Check the oven, stove top, sink and benches. And let there be light. The more natural light, the better. Keep window coverings open or remove altogether if possible. Keep your bench tops clear of general kitchen clutter and limit bench top appliances to no more than two. They are big space suckers.

And the Bathroom

Why?:

Along with Kitchens, bathrooms are another of the most valuable spaces in a house. This is because if a buyer doesn’t like what they see, and they want or need to make any changes, it seems like an expensive and time consuming project to take on after the home’s purchase.

What you can do:

Again we’re talking clean, clean, clean. Toilet, sink, bath. Don’t forget the tiles and the grout. A good scrub with a small scrubbing brush brings them up looking near new. Put your toiletries away and then get your mirrors looking sparkly. Dynamize it with new and co-ordinating towels.

The Living Room

Why?:

This is an important gathering space for most people. They relax and entertain. So, it needs to look like it can fulfil that purpose with ease.

What you can do:

Keep it tidy and add in plenty of light. Don’t over furnish otherwise it’s hard for buyers to move around without running into furniture. Keep most surfaces clear. Leave a few pieces for a decorative touch.

The Main Bedroom

Why?:

The person buying the house will sleep here. So make them feel like this is a place they can retreat to when they need to.

What you can do:

The bed should fit the space, so make sure that it’s easy to move around the bed. If it’s a double size room play that up with a double bed. Unless it’s built into the bed, televisions don’t belong in bedrooms. Nor for that matter do computers. Keep the bed made at all times with fresh, clean linens. Make sure that there is plenty of natural light so buyers can take in features of the space. Keep closets tidy by packing away out of season clothing.

Create a Property Profile Pack

Why?:

This helps buyers see all the features your property and the neighbourhood has to offer. It’s a hard copy of what makes your house the best on the block.

What you can do:

There’s plenty of information you could add to a pack like this. Basic stuff includes photos of your property, information about the house and land size, the year the house was built, any special information relating to the structure. You can mention any changes you would like to have made, like putting in a pool or adding on an extra bedroom for example. If you have gotten quotes for this type of thing, include it. Add information about your neighbourhood. Things like available transport, schools, parks, shops. You can also add in any information you have about approved future development for your area that add to the neighbourhood’s quality of life.

 

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