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Friday, July 07, 2006

Home Staging on a Budget

Whenever I preview or show a vacant home for sale that is totally unfurnished I’m struck by how cold and unappealing the home feels.  The house may be well priced and in good condition. Even with new paint and new or cleaned carpeting, the emptiness just leaps out at you. 

The current strategy is to have the home staged by a designer, but that can be pricey.  It makes sense if the house is large and selling in a high price market to spend $3,000 for staging.  Sometimes that means adding rental furniture, deleting or rearranging existing pieces and updating accessories.  The goal is to make the home look as much like a model home as possible, and that doesn’t come cheap.

For a modest home, where the family had to leave with the furniture and put the house on the market, it’s not necessary to go that far to brighten up the place.  Small vignettes in several rooms can cut down the void and add a splash of color or eye appeal.  And the expense can be minimal.

Silk plants from a discount store or resale shop are good for color.  I’ve used a group of three greenery plants in a room corner with one large plant at the back of the two smaller ones to create a bank of green effect.  Plants should be at varying heights and one can be placed on a small stand to gain height. Use them in as many rooms as possible.

A blank wall across from the entry door needs an eye catcher.  I’ve used a large mirror over a narrow console table for that dead spot.  I was using pieces I didn’t need for my own home, but these items can be found cheaply in thrift stores or discount outlets. Use mirrors, not pictures because mirrors are neutral.

A fireplace in the main living area can be a focal point with the placement of a few pieces.  One or two chairs, not necessarily overstuffed, and a small coffee table or ottoman arranged in front of the fireplace can be a reminder of warm relaxation associated with a fireplace.  Chairs can be smaller scale, like those in an office waiting room.  If the fire pit looks like a black hole, place a row of candles across the front.

The master bedroom can also be warmed up with a wooden rocker draped with an afghan or bed scarf.  Next to it add a small bedside table and lamp.  Round tables with a cloth cover have a cozy effect in a bedroom.  A white wicker chair could substitute for the rocker.  A vase of silk flowers could replace the lamp on the table.

These are just ideas to get you thinking of small visual spots of interest you can create in empty rooms.  Shop thrift stores, resale and discount stores for inexpensive furniture and decorator items.  Just be sure whatever you choose is clean and in good condition. And the main goal is to add a few bright focal points and not to completely decorate the whole house.

Louise VanBuskirk of Prudential Foothills Real Estate in Prescott, Arizona  Contributed By: Louise VanBuskirk
Prudential Foothills Real Estate

102 E. Sheldon Street, Suite 100
Prescott, AZ  86301

Office: (928) 778-3400
Cell: (928) 899-8623
Email me

Posted by Louise VanBuskirk on July 7, 2006 | Permalink


Speaking of staging cheaply...

I bought a book on staging but haven't had a chance to use it personally yet. That's because I am facing foreclosure on 6 houses right now so I'm out of cash.

I just sold a fixer-upper home in Utah and the listing agents are staging experts. They offered to do a partial rehab and staging AT THEIR expense. I didn't think it was necessary since its a fixer-upper sold as-is.

Well apparently staging helps attract a wholesale buyer as well. It helps them see the potential without being distracted by eye sores.

After listing with another agent for 90 days and getting no offers I ended up getting an offer as soon as I re-listed after staging!! Amazing!

Since I was facing foreclosure on that house staging really saved the day.

You can read the full story here:

Posted by: Casey Serin | Sep 14, 2006 4:16:41 PM

Thanks for your comment Casey. I read your blog and your story is very enlightening. I highly recommend your blog for anybody considering a career in real estate investing. It's not nearly as easy as many people think to make a profit in real estate. But you are big enough to admit you got in over your head and you sound like you're doing every thing you can to get out of a bad situation. I can tell by your attitude and the fact that you have a good head on your shoulders that you will get yourself out of your current situation and ultimately be successful. I admire your strength. Good luck and hang in there!

Posted by: Shannon Hubbard | Sep 15, 2006 11:08:45 AM

Home staging is not new, but this strategy is VERY effective..Staging your home will help you sell your home quickly.So,if you are considering selling your home, you should learn more about how to stage a house.

Posted by: land for sale Philippines | May 4, 2010 2:16:30 AM


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