Home Staging on a Budget For Your DIY Clients

by Jeni Gunn

​Every realtor knows human beings are wired to have an emotional response to our physical surroundings. The ancient Chinese philosophical system, Feng Shui makes a study of arranging environment to create or reinforce harmony and comfort. Even colours have a measurable effect on our psychology and can lend to that moment when a prospective buyer enters your client’s home and says, “It feels just right”.

Trying to convey to your client just how important psychology of environment really is, and how it impacts sales negotiations can be challenging. Ideally, you will convince them to hire a professional stager to best highlight their home and bring top dollar, but, not every seller understands the value of home staging. Too many labour under the misconception that their beloved home will sell itself, and they think it’s a good idea to model their home’s “personality. We’ve seen some realtors despair when their client insisted a high-resolution image of their regiment of garden gnomes be included in their listing.

If you have a reluctant or suspicious seller that resists investing in what they feel is the hoodoo of home staging, try to start them off with these four simple and inexpensive staging ideas.

Corral the clutter
stack of packed boxes
The coveted rock collection and family photos are distracting clutter that take the buyers attention away from the flow of the rooms, and any interesting architectural features. For the cost of a roll of tape, boxes and possibly renting a small storage space, encourage your sellers to pre-pack their treasures. Doing so will automatically increase the perceived dimensions of their home. Prepacking is also a simple step towards depersonalize the space and emotionally preparing for the inevitable move.

White it Out

If your client is prepared to paint, you really can’t go wrong steering them towards white or bright neutral palate. Hotels are well known for using white to demonstrate how clean everything is.

A simple coat of white or neutral paint elevates the perceived value of the property, and creates a “move-in-ready” feel that buyers are willing to pay top dollar for. White signifies clean, fresh, and new.

white roomLight it up

Electricity isn’t free, but it’s easy to convince people to turn on their lights for photographs and for showings. Encourage them to include accent lights to really set the scene. It’s simple to place them strategically to add drama or illuminate shadowy corners.

Completely retracting blinds or removing window coverings will let in as much as fifty      percent more natural light.

A clear window will enhance the view, and create that sense of openness and space. Encourage your sellers to pack away any curtains or window-hangings that are somewhat dated, and let the window frame be the highlight.

Mow and Mulch

mulching before & afterIn addition to a freshly moved lawn, mulch adds instant curb appeal. Mulch is inexpensive, comes in a variety of shades and textures and adds immediate look of cultivated freshness to scraggly, dry or unkempt garden beds.

Ordered by the load or purchased in bags, mulch is lightweight and perfect for last minute staging.

Suggest these four approaches to your clients to give them a taste of how home staging can add to the real and perceived value of their home and ultimately garner both them, and you, top dollar.