Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tips for Effective, Low-Cost Staging

Self-proclaimed “creator of home staging,” Barb Schwarz estimates that about one in four homes nationwide are now being staged. With the end result greatly outweighing the initial preparation cost, it is no wonder that many sellers are recognizing the appeal of home staging.
Julie Dana and Marcia Layton Turn’s book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Staging Your Home to Sell reveals that a seller who stages their home stands to gain as much as $9,000 on a $200,000 house, all for only a few dollars per room.
You don’t need to hire an expensive stager. Instead, follow these effective, low-cost tips:
· Remove scatter rugs and knickknacks from every room.
· Get rid of all appliances on the kitchen counters, except for the coffee maker.
· Remove as much as you can from closets.
· If necessary, hire a cleaning service to make the house spotless. Scrub floors, walls and windows. Pay special attention to the microwave, oven and refrigerator.
· Focus on the living and dining rooms and the master bedroom. Additional bedrooms are best left empty or minimally furnished.
· Arrange the furniture to show off each room’s best features.
· Set the dining-room table with napkins, plates and flatware.
· When showing the house, turn on soft instrumental “buying” music, preferably classical or jazz.
Not only will these home staging ideas help your home appeal to the widest possible audience, but they may help to sell your home at the best possible price.

Smitha Ramchandani is a licensed real estate professional at Weichert Realtors' Morristown West, New Jersey office. She is a Certified Buyer Specialist, a Home Marketing Expert and also an expert in buying and selling of townhouses and condominiums. You can reach Smitha at: 973-953-7777 Mobile or 973-455-1900 Extension 122 (Office) or online at: or, or