3 Must-Do Staging Tricks that Won’t Break the Bank
Whether you’re attempting a DIY stage or you’re prepping your space for a professional stager to come in, there’s a few critical steps you’ll need to tackle right away. I kick off every home staging project with these 3 initial steps and now I’m sharing them with you.
Step 1: Color Assessment
A successfully staged home absolutely needs to have wall colors that are on trend or, at a minimum, neutral. The very first thing I assess in a home that I’m going to stage is the wall color, and assuming the home isn’t vacant, the furniture colors too. When the colors in the home read overly dated or dark, that’s the first thing to correct. I see plenty of homes with colors that were popular in the early 2000's. (Remember when olive green and burnt orange were all the rage?) It’s also pretty common to find homes that are overly personalized, with paint colors that reflect a seller’s unique taste. While it's ok to showcase your own style as a homeowner, it’s not a wise choice as a seller. Even if you love your scarlet red powder bathroom, it’s important to recognize that it’s not going to have mass appeal with buyers. As you can imagine, staging a home with a backdrop of colors like these is practically self-defeating. I always encourage sellers to neutralize dated or dramatic wall colors with a more current neutral tone. One of my go-to colors by Benjamin Moore is Revere Pewter, because it works in almost every home.
Step 2: Depersonalize Your Space
As we journey through life we tend to collect a lot of memories. And it is human nature to find tangible ways to remember the things that matter to us. Almost every home I enter displays a few travel souvenirs, family photos, or sports memorabilia – small items they have collected over time. While these things all have meaning to us, they tend to captivate buyers interest, when we really want them focusing on the home itself. But it doesn’t stop there. Most occupied properties have lots of little items sprinkled throughout the home that speak to who you are -- think about those small touches like funny fridge magnets, kid’s wall decals, trophies & awards, healing crystals, or that Star Wars figurine collection your husband loves. These are all unique examples of self-expression that only serve to distract buyers. In fact, some items may even have the power to make others feel uncomfortable. Regardless of your personal beliefs, I always recommend removing political and religious/spiritual symbols to ensure people of all backgrounds feel welcome when seeing your property. Yes, the process of depersonalizing your home can be emotionally difficult, but it’s very important to create an environment where potential buyers can see themselves living.
Step 3: Pack and Purge
Once you’re done depersonalizing your home, it’s time to pack and purge. This is where you begin to declutter your space to make it look more open and clean. You might be wondering how this process differs from Step 2, but there is a distinction. While depersonalizing your home removes forms of self-expression, you now need to focus on getting rid of all that excess stuff lying around your home. Who doesn’t have a desk, kitchen island, or coffee table full of “stuff” that doesn’t really belong? Everything from old paperwork to dead houseplants qualify. Now is the time to start packing it up to make your home look fresh and clean. Of course, if it isn’t worthy of taking to your next home, then dispose of it in whatever way makes sense. I have plenty of past clients who made a few extra bucks selling their second hand items. Others have donated their unwanted things to non-profit organizations and saved their receipts for end-of-year tax deductions.
By completing these critical steps, your home is now ready to stage. You’ve created a clean slate for your stager to work their magic. But for those of you who are just gearing up, you might want to check out staging advice for do-it-yourselfers. It’s packed full of advice from professional stagers across the nation, including Jodi Maturo Design. Of course, if you have a staging tip of your own to share, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to share it in the comments or shoot me an email.
Need staging help in or around Denver? Contact Jodi Maturo Design LLC at 303-378-1220 to schedule a consultation. We're just a call or text away.