Are you thinking of moving? Is money tight? It’s worth investing in your property to sell – and it can be done on a budget.
The property market continues to be interesting. There are signs that the very active market that we have seen over the last couple of years is slowing. We have seen a sustained period during which, it’s fair to say, that properties have more or less sold themselves. That could be about to change. If properties become more difficult to sell, it may take more of an effort to attract a buyer especially if you want to so quickly or achieve the best possible price. Staging your home for sale is how you can make your property stand out in the competition both in your marketing and when prospective buyers come to view.
We cannot escape the reality of the rising costs of energy and other consumables. If funds are tight you might think that staging is an expense that you can avoid. Staging is actually an investment in your property which is likely to yield results beyond the cost of that investment. The good news is that home staging does not have to cost a great deal.
If you want to make the most of the potential in your home but resources are limited, then the good news is that staging is not all about splashing the cash. There are lots of things that you can do that don’t involve any expenditure at all (or very little). Admittedly they may involve some time and effort on your behalf but it will be worth it. In the following paragraphs I am going to share various ways in which you can avoid spending any money at all and how you could make your budget stretch further.
You might be familiar with the idea of needing to declutter before selling but here is a quick reminder of why it’s important. Firstly clutter makes a room feel smaller than it really is and we all know that one of the most important criteria for buyers is a sense of space. Too much furniture squashed into a room makes it feel small and may mean the buyers rule the property out for that reason. Secondly clutter is a distraction. Rather than viewers focusing on the room itself they may be too busy noticing all the ornaments, the piles of books, the children’s toys etc. They feel overwhelmed. Bonus tip – when decluttering I recommend sorting into four piles namely keep, charity shop, tip and sell. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” as the saying goes. Maybe somebody would like an item that you are getting rid of, there are lots of platforms such as Facebook marketplace, Gumtree, Nextdoor and of course that well-known online auction site. So decluttering can only not cost it might actually make you some money.
Complete the DIY
We all have those little jobs that we never get round to doing, for example, the dripping tap, the cupboard door that doesn’t shut properly. If you’re selling, it’s definitely time to get them seen too. Many of these little jobs don’t cost much to fix and if you don’t know how to do things just go onto YouTube, you’re bound to find a video showing you how to do it. However, it’s fair to say that there might be some tasks that you are better off getting a professional to deal with, you don’t want to make things worse. It’s easy to think the little niggles don’t matter and individually they probably don’t. The problem is that they add up and they can lead to the impression of a property that’s been neglected and buyers worry perhaps there are more serious defects.
Sorry to bang the drum but this is something that I always mention when I am discussing staging, and it has to be my top tip alongside decluttering. Why do I think it’s so important or maybe it’s obvious and you do it anyway. We are all familiar with the concept of housework – the hoovering, dusting, wiping down the worktops in the kitchen and cleaning in the bathroom. When it comes to selling your home you do need to take it further and do those cleaning jobs that you only do once in a while (or perhaps you haven’t done them at all). Things such as wiping down skirting boards, cleaning the oven, cleaning light switches and door handles, dusting lampshades and lightbulbs and not forgetting clean your windows inside and out. There are lots of old fashioned alternatives to the branded cleaning products in the supermarket. Why does this matter? Quite simply people will immediately feel much more comfortable if they walk into a property which is clean and sparkling. It also gives them the reassurance that property has been well looked after.
My next tip would be decorating. Decorating does involve cost but it is very cost-effective and if your budget is limited it’s definitely a good use of that budget. A fresh coat of paint instantly makes a property more appealing and fresh. Buyers may well wish to put their own stamp on a property but not necessarily immediately and walking into a property that has been freshly decorated means that they can move in straight away and start living their lives without feeling that they’ve instantly got to start decorating themselves. Focus on the principal rooms such as the lounge and master bedroom and hallway plus any other rooms that have bold decor such as children’s bedrooms. Go for a neutral colour, brilliant white it’s fine but can seem a little harsh so an off white might suit your property better. Don’t worry that this will make your property seem bland and uninteresting because we will be adding colour with artwork and accessories.
Making The Most Of What You Have
It may surprise you to know that if I am staging an occupied property then I will always look to utilise what is already there. It might be that certain pieces of furniture, artwork or ornaments would be better suited to a different room than the one that they are currently in. Something as simple as moving a chair to create a cosy reading nook. If you have things stored in a loft the likelihood is you will have forgotten that you had them. These pieces might be better suited them ones you already have.
Following on from the previous tip there may be items that you have that can be upcycled, either painted or reupholstered or the handles can be changed. Giving a chest of drawers or bedside cabinets a fresh look with a coat of paint works wonders. For kitchens I am a big fan of painting existing units (where appropriate) as an alternative to replacing doors or even whole kitchens. An additional bonus is that up cycling gives you a fabulous feeling of satisfaction.
If you are staging your home on a budget it’s all about being savvy. So I want to share some tips on where to source things you need.
If a room needs a piece of furniture which you don’t already have, then there are some excellent sources to get it from without buying new. One word of caution, the piece needs to suit the room it’s in – the style, colour, other items of furniture. You don’t want a mish mash of styles, the over-all look needs to be cohesive. First of all, ask friends and family. Does anyone have one you can borrow? Next consider charity shops. Many charities will have shops that specialise in furniture. You need to be discerning but many items are in excellent condition.
Online marketing platforms are a very good place to source items of furniture that may be required for staging your home. Apart from well-known ones such as eBay and Amazon consider Facebook market place, country and Freecycle. The next door app is handy for finding local sellers. I love the fact that sourcing pieces this way is a form of recycling but it also offers an easy way of disposing of items that you may not wish to take to your next property.
Shopping For New
There are certain things I would always recommend buying new – bedding and towels. These can move with you to your new property. Plain white bedding always looks smart. There are lots of excellent places to shop if you are on a budget including supermarkets. Depending on your property you may wish to add in some more expensive pieces. Try Homebase, Dunelm, The Range and old favourite IKEA.
Why Employ A Home Stager?
This blog has been all about staging your home for sale on a budget so why would you invest in the services of a professional home stager? There is always the time factor and particularly if you are staging on a budget and you are trying to make every penny count it takes even longer. If you employ a professional home stager you you don’t have that worry. You may live some distance away from the property so it isn’t practical for you to do it yourself. A professional home stager is experienced in preparing homes for sale and knows exactly how to go about it. If you have not done it yourself you may lack the confidence to put a scheme together.
I hope that I have demonstrated in this blog that home staging doesn’t have to cost a fortune and is a worthwhile investment. If you are planning to move and want to maximise the potential in your property or your property is languishing unsold and you want to know more – book a Learn More call to find out more about the different options I offer. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, the North West and North Wales.