Stage Your House like a Pro

If you aren’t staging the homes you flip, you’re missing a huge piece of the pie. Except for the cost of education, staging can be your greatest ROI. Consider how little you have to invest to add life to an empty space. When potential buyers see the house as a home, they’re more likely to envision living there, more inclined to notice the rest of the craftsmanship, and more prone to turbo-charge the buying process.

With just a few hundred dollars’ worth of materials, your property can
Sell Faster
and
Sell for More

You don’t need to furnish the entire home- In fact, you don’t need to spend a lot, either. Most of my homes are done with $200 worth of items from Home Goods or TJ Maxx. If you’re a smart shopper who can determine what items are classic and of a neutral style that emphasize color more than a trend, you can use these elements repeatedly, increasing your return in the long run.
Here are my top staging tips:

1 – Add color and texture. This is especially important if you’ve kept the wall color, floors, tile, and backsplashes neutral to appeal to a broader range of buyers.

2 – Have the room’s purpose in mind. If you want to show off an additional bedroom as a kid’s room, add age-appropriate, whimsical accessories. If you have a washroom without a washer and dryer, don’t be afraid to add a cloth laundry basket and a sign that reads “Laundry.” Have a small hallway? Add a mirror at the end to elongate it.


3 – Add pillows, towels, rugs, and other finishes to show proportion. Without a few accessories or a nightstand with flowers in the corner of a room, the photo of that room looks 2D. It could be any size! Add something to show proportion.

4 – Keep the lights on and keep the house at a proper temperature. “But this costs me money!” Not as much as having your ideal client enter a home that is cold and dark. Make it feel like home to them from the moment buyers walk in.

5 – Bring some (faux) life inside. Don’t forget to add plants (fake so you don’t have to water and can use repeatedly) and bowls of (plastic) fruit to the kitchen.

 

6 – Have fun! When deciding on wall color, tile, and fixtures for a flip, you should keep in mind what will appeal to the broadest market. Most of the time that means not splurging on high-end finishes and remaining neutral. But, when you’re staging, go ahead and add some personality!

 

7 – Don’t unstage the house until the closing. I made this mistake years ago by removing the staging items once we were under contract. The buyer did another pass through the house during the inspection process and said the house felt so cold and empty. They couldn’t believe it was the same house and pulled out of the deal. This is a worst case, of course, but it’s easy to avoid by just leaving the staging materials up.

8 – Make sure the flyer box on your yard sign always has marketing materials in it. This may not seem like “staging,” but you should make sure your agent is as anal about the sales process as I am. From the moment an ideal buyer drives by, they should feel taken care of, and that includes flyers!

4 Bonus Photo Tips:

1 – Hire a professional- Don’t skimp here. You’ve just spend 40 days assuring quality craftsmanship and appealing style, why advertise it with amateur photographs? 96% of the people who walk through your house have looked at it online first. That’s how important it is to sell it online first with professional photography and a great description.

2 – Don’t add extraneous window dressings. Curtains and blinds keep the natural light out!

3 – Wet down the cement/driveway before the photo session- creates a greater contrast to the grass and makes the cement look new.

4 – If a small room contains an exterior door, open the door before you take a photo of the space. Not only will the color of the fresh sod outside contrast with the room, but it also makes the room appear bigger.

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