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Staging Myth Buster Staging is Costly

Staging Myth Buster #1 -- Staging is Costly

Oprah's recent episode on staging had prompted me to write. True, for Oprah $10,000 is just what she spends on her gold-leaf toilet paper, totally not a hefty price tag. But for people like us who earn our dimes and cents one hour at a time, $10,000 accounts for average speaking 1/4 of our salaries a year. And that is a lot to spend on staging. Contrary to popular belief, staging is not costly. Here are a few tricks that home sellers can do to reduce the cost of preparing their homes for sale:

   1. Paint. Paint is the cheapest investment one can make to make the room looks brand new. It makes sugar and spice and everything nice ;) A fresh coat of paint on the doors, trims and moldings can do wonders for an old drabby room. Sometimes instead of refinishing dark hardwood floor, you can paint the floor instead. That will help to make the room pop. If you have patches of yellow grass, spray paint can be a quick fix. Just be sure to test it first before you found out you bought the wrong color.

   2. Clean. Clean is KEY. Dirtiness will gross buyers out and make them think this is a ill-maintained home. Also it may give them an illusion that your house needs a lot of fixing, which may not be true at all. You just was too tired to put those rubbish away! But once you give the buyers the impression that your house needs a lot of fixing, they may turn to something else on the market that is comparable and less labor & money intensive. Take out all the trash in the house. Make your windows shine and sparkle like Martha's. If you can, give your exterior a nice powerwash. Isn't one of the first rule of dating is to take a shower and look presentable so you can impress your hot date? Same with selling your house!

   3. Trim. Trim your bushes. They are like children, they grow up and they grow wild if you don't tend to them. Remove all the dead branches, rake the leaves and make sure make sure make sure (look I used 3 make sures. This is important) that your bushes or trees do not block the house nor the view. You can't sell it if you can't see it. A messy yard can give the illusion that you didn't care for your property, i.e. it's is ill-maintained.

   4. Research before you hire. One of the reason why stagers charge so differently is because it's such a new business, there are really no industry regulations. Any person can make a business card and say he/she is a stager. Before you hire someone, make sure you check this person's background, how long they have been doing this (judge by the case #s not the years. One may be "in the business" for 5 years and only done 3 houses, compare to someone who is full time may only have the business for 1 year but done 15 houses). Find out what kind of education this person received and if it is credible. Google this business online to see what you can find out.

   5. Don't hire based on the pricing. True, cheap is good. But you also get what you paid for. Ask for a staging proposal. What are the things that are going into the home, so you don't think that your house will have full furniture when the stager meant "oh, it's light staging for this fee. We only do countertops." If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask. A reputable stager should be able to back up her/his services and fees with confidence.

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  • Last edited November 11 2008
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