You get a call to come and list someone's house for sale. Many times these homes are empty and have been abused by tenants or just years of normal wear and tear. The walls are dirty and the carpets need cleaning. Usually the homeowner will pay for this but still this home is cold and uninviting. So here are a few simple tips to make the home more inviting to perspective buyers.
• GARAGE SALES- Yes, this is a good place to buy cheap but nice looking furnishings and furniture. Pictures, towels, mirrors, chairs, bedspreads, curtains, and dishes.
• LOCAL THRIFT STORES- We all have these thrift stores in our communities. Some are better than others and a few think they are antique stores and overcharge drastically. These stores are a gold mine of used items.
• USED FURNITURE STORES- This is another place to find a few choice items of furniture for your empty listing. The quality here is typically better than the thrift stores but the prices are higher.
• YOUR OWN HOME- Look through your garage or your cabinets. It is amazing what old stuff you have been holding on to that you will never use again. How about the gift Aunt Dee sent you last Christmas that is the wrong color so you will never use it yourself but you felt bad giving it to the thrift store. Perfect place to find good staging items.
• BIG LOTS- This is a great store for inexpensive new items.
Now I just stage a few items in the kitchen, bathrooms, family room or living room. A nice picture or mirror above the fireplace. A colorful towel in the bathroom along with some lotion, a small artificial plant to match, and a shower curtain with some matching hooks. In the kitchen, I will put a couple of items just so it doesn't look so cold and empty. Place a kitchen towel, a pretty plate in a holder or a colorful artificial plant. If there is a bar, maybe a couple of place settings; 2 placemats with dishes, glasses and silverware.
I tend to buy all my items in earthtone colors so I can mix and match and use them over again. Also you don't want to shock the buyers with some outdated styles or bright colors.
I don't over buy so I can usually move the items from one home to the next. I have an area in my garage and I just keep my items in a couple of boxes and piled up ready to decorate when needed.
Once in a while, a buyer will ask if they can keep the items staged in their new home. I consider it a compliment so I always say yes. I know there will be more garage sales this weekend and more recycled items at my thrift store weekly. Once in a while, I even find a great item for my own house. I say to myself "Why would anyone want to give this away?"
Staging is not for everyone but if you are so inclined, this is a way to do it without breaking the bank. Plus if something disappears from the house, you won't be so upset if you paid $2 for it instead of $20.
**I always put a roll of toilet paper, a new box of tissue and some soft soap in every bathroom for perspective buyers and their agents.
You know what they say "One man's trash is another man's treasure. This is an inexpensive way to stage your homes and give it that warm feeling. We tend to recycle our cans, bottles, paper so why not our staging items too.
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