If you ask any realtor if staging makes a difference, the answer is likely to be yes. With some industry reports stating a staged home may sell at an average price six percent higher than the listing price, it’s not a bad idea to complete some minimal staging. Staging doesn’t necessarily mean hiring an interior designer. A few well-placed items while putting away the clutter and personal items are essential. Staging allows potential buyers to imagine their things in your home.

First, whether you’ll be staging an empty home or living in a staged home, consider the amount of time you have and your budget. Then, talk with your real estate agent about the best way to meet the needs of staging your home. Then, start working on the basics of staging. This begins with cleaning and decluttering all spaces, which is also an excellent way to start packing. When thinking about budget, even a few hundred dollars can make a big difference. Here are the top four areas to focus your budget and time:

Declutter & Depersonalize

More than anything else, decluttering is critical to making your home feel open and spacious. Another assumption of potential buyers is if the home is cluttered, it may not be cared for, or there may be issues that are being covered up. Putting away dishes and small appliances may require you to box up some other dishes or seasonal items for offsite storage. It may be difficult to box up your Star Wars collection or incredible bobbleheads, yet, it is a fact, they are your things. Part of decluttering goes hand in hand with depersonalizing. There is a balance here, where a few hand-selected items are acceptable but should be pretty limited. Pro-tip: store away off-season clothing. This helps closets look more prominent.

Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More

A home that smells and looks clean portrays niceness. Clean top to bottom, insider drawers, and cabinets, around sills, wood trim, and vacuum often. When the deep clean is complete, you can do a quick weekly wipe of surfaces not used and daily cleaning surfaces used daily. Oh, and remember to clean the oven and microwave!

Curb Appeal

While we’ve all heard “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” though it is too easy to judge a home by its exterior, driveway, and yard/landscaping. Be vigilant, regardless of the time of year, in maintaining curb appeal. Another affordable option is to give your front door a fresh paint job. Many times, big-box home improvement stores have ‘discounted’ mixed paint in pints or gallons for under $15. Like inside your home, decluttering is another important staging step for curb appeal. Last, make sure all outdoor lighting has working bulbs. Pro-tip: redo torn or missing window screens; otherwise, it just looks like you don’t care.

At Total Lending Concepts, we are interested in helping you throughout every part of the process — not just the mortgage. CONTACT US TODAY to learn more.