Dympna Fay-Hart
Serving Chicago Area Sellers & Buyers

(773) 230-3800

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You Know The Benefits of Home Staging: Here Are Some Inexpensive DIY TIPS

Research proves that professional staging does, in fact, get homes sold faster and usually for more money. However, hiring a home stager can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the location and fee structure of the home stager, and it could take many hours of work to get that complete professional look.

So for the homeowners who can't agree to spend the money on a home stager, or just don't have it in the budget right now . . . the good news is that there are many very inexpensive things you can do to 'stage' your home and present it at its best to potential buyers. 

1. Scrub and Deodorize

Cleaning and deodorizing your home should be first and foremost.  Make sure your house shines from top to bottom. When buyers see an unkempt home or smell something when they first walk in, they become turned off immediately.  If you don't have the time to thoroughly clean, or cleaning is just not your thing, then it is worth the investment to have the house professionally cleaned so that everything is spotless — windows, sliding glass door tracks, garage, basement, ceiling fans, etc.  The cost for a cleaning service is approximately $25-50 per hour, depending on the location and size of your house, and how much deep cleaning needs done.

2. Pack Away All Personal Items

Packing away your personal items is one of the simplest — and cheapest — things you can do. It might not seem important to you to de-personalize your home, but it really is.  Buyers need to be able to picture themselves and their families living in your home and are very distracted by your personal belongings.  Your first priority should be to get your home sold for the best possible price in the least amount of time.  We know you are emotionally attached to all your things, but you can live without your personal items displayed on the walls and furniture while your house is on the market.  You can put them back up in your next house.

After years of living in the same home, clutter just collects, and it does affect the way buyers see your home.  You should remove all clutter from shelves, countertop, drawers, closets, garages, attics and basements . . . everywhere.  You should pack everything you don't absolutely need right now into boxes, label them for moving, and neatly stack them in a corner of either the garage, basement or attic.  If you don't have room for the boxes, or if you also have excess furniture that should be removed, then it's worth it to rent a storage unit (cost approximately $45/month) until you're ready to move it all to your new place.

3. Rearrange and Neutralize

Rearrange the rooms to make each room have a distinct, useful purpose. Create relaxation and conversation spaces in your rooms, which may require moving some furniture around completely different than you have the furniture arranged now.  Your agent will be able to help you with this, If your home has been painted recently, consider yourself ahead of the game. If not, repaint the rooms that need it most. Sellers who paint the interior of their home will see a large return on the investment.  Fresh, neutral paint on the walls, trim and doors makes everything appear clean and new.  For a few hundred dollars for paint and supplies, and an investment of your time, you can transform the look for your home.  Sherwin-Williams has a collection of HGTV colors that are appealing to today's home buyers.  Choosing some of the neutrals from this collection will save you lots of time trying to decide which colors are best.

4. Enhance Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is just as important as cleaning the inside of your home.  Many buyers will ride by and check out the exterior of your home before scheduling a showing. You only have one chance to make a first impression. You want your home to stand out.  Paint your front door a welcoming color and place some flowers in a pot at the door.  Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris, and ensure the house number is easily visible.  If the exterior of your home doesn't sparkle, then you should have it pressure washed, and that includes and driveway and sidewalk if they need it.  Mulch is cheap and covers a multitude of sins. It makes everything look trim and neat, and only costs about $3 or $4 per bag.  You can also rent a pressure washer for around $50 per day.

Each of these items are important to show your home at its best.  Give me a call.  I can give you a list of items to fix or replace in your home and help you decide what all needs to be done to help your home sell for the best possible price within your time frame.