Home Staging Transformations For Under $1,000
Homes often reflect the people that have lived there, not those who will. But you can stage your home yourself, or for a small fee, professional home stagers can work wonders, allowing prospective buyers to envision the residence as their own.
Homes often reflect the people that have lived there, not those who will. But you can stage your home yourself, or for a small fee, professional home stagers can work wonders, allowing prospective buyers to envision the residence as their own. Small touch-ups can make a big difference in how quickly a home moves off the market.
These six before-and-after examples were all staged for a grand or less, and all sold in a matter of weeks. Take a look to see how simple changes such as decluttering, repainting and moving furniture can help sell your home—fast.
By Amy Pollak
Yes, it's vacant. Let's just say free of clutter. Trouble was, the small living spaces and sterile white walls made it difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living here. Compounding the issue was a very limited budget for the home sellers to stage their home.
"When staging a home, keep the walls neutral and bring in ‘moveable color,’" says Barb Schwarz, founder of International Association of Home Staging Professionals. Vibrant, colorful furniture warmed up this room instantly. Because the living room was short on size and had awkward angles, smaller furniture maximized open space and gave it an airy feel.
- Cost: $650
- Result: The buyers loved the furniture so much they wanted it to be included in the sale of the house.
Talk about messy. This dark kitchen was in disarray, but it had a great start in the form of maple cabinets and stainless/black appliances hidden by all the clutter. “Most people have too much clutter to begin with,” Schwarz says, “and bottom line, clutter eats equity.”
What a difference color can make. This kitchen was organized and painted a lighter neutral tan color. The room looks much bigger and more inviting. The vaulted ceilings--barely noticeable before--now accentuate the height of the room.
- Cost: $900
- Result: The house sold to the first person who saw the house after it was staged.
There's plenty of natural sunlight and a huge amount of space in this girls' bedroom. But the awkward layout and the Pepto-Bismol color made it tough for buyers to envision what this room might become.
Who would have thought that this relaxing getaway was under all that pink? With a new furniture arrangement, there is now a sleeping area and nooks for just hanging out. A toned-down color palette creates a clean and calm loft-like space. Tip: As these stagers did, use extra pieces from other parts of the house to fill out the space and save money.
- Cost: $550
- *Result:The home sold one day after staging.
Outdated bedding and clutter stood in the way of any buyer appreciating the size of this room--and the chair rail molding. The wallpaper didn’t help much, either.
Here the homeowners removed the wallpaper and lightened up the room themselves with a taupe color palette. Two neutral tones on the wall add visual interest and showcases the molding throughout. In removing most of the furniture, the hardwood floors and the additional bathroom became clearly visible—and a strong selling point.
- Cost: $1,000 including a second room (see From Indifferent to Inviting)
- Result: It took just three days after staging for someone to snatch this house up—for more than the asking price.
There's a dark and dreary feel in this room. The oversized furniture hogged floor space and blocked the flow of the room. Also, the heavy dark curtains hid the beautiful wood-trimmed windows and prevented buyers from a nice view to the outside.
Notice how the room seems to double in size just by replacing the weighty furniture. It now has three separate sitting areas. Removing the rug also lightens up the space.
- Cost: The entire home, plus a deck, was staged for $650.
- Result: The home sold in a month after staging.
At first glance, this large family room seems just fine: lots of seating, neutral tones, high ceilings and a fireplace. But the back of the couch faces the entrance of the room, blocking the view of the fireplace and making the space seem smaller. Are there too many pieces of artwork on the walls?
By moving the furniture around, the room looks much bigger, and the fireplace becomes a focal point and selling point. Streamlining the artwork also improves the look. Successful staging operates on a “less is more approach,” Schwarz says. “No one will buy a house until they can mentally move themselves in. Staging is the vehicle for buyers to envision it for themselves.”
- Cost: $1,000 including another room (see From Ugly to Lovely)
- Result: This house sold only three days after staging.