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Considering Staging a Home Inexpensive Home Selling Tips

John Mazzara

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Does staging really matter? Does a vacant home sell faster and for more money than a furnished home? Should you do repairs and neutralize a home or sell “as is"? These are questions sellers are asking Realtors like myself everyday. Everyone has a different opinion. Since there is no unified consensus, let's talk about a few things we can all agree will help sell your home faster.

Let's assume you decide to spend a few dollars doing some updating. When you are working on your own home , you have a lot of things that you must consider. You know you have to choose paint colors, and you may even know that some of your home's furniture is outdated which might necessitate a work around. If you go with too specific interior design, you may turn someone off or make it too specific that it just won't sell. You can have wonderful interior design and great looking rooms, but if you make them personal to your existing taste you will end up having trouble selling it. Recently, I was showing a home where a single man lived. He customized the home with lots of sports memorabilia and dark strong paint tones. While it was very nice, it was too specific to what a man might prefer, thereby limiting or hurting his chances with women home buyers who have no interest in sports.

Some customization is OK. You don't want to “beige" everything so it doesn't have any personality either. Ideally, What you want to avoid is for your home décor to look so staged that it looks like it belongs in a magazine. That would mean you have not added anything personal that would mean your home is your own. You want to have some personal touches that let others know that you love your family and what you like to do with your free time. Custom touches will make it your home feel like a home-not just another house. That's the trick that staging is sometime able to accomplish. Staging will work against you when it looses that personalization and ends up looking too staged. Finding the fine line in between the two is what you are looking for.

Using family pictures is one idea for you when thinking of inexpensive interior design enhancements. Consider frames that will blend with your new wall color if you repaint. You ideally want to have everything blend together. There are many neat and unique ideas for framing and hanging your family photos. Experiment with color photos and even black and white shots. For example, in my personal home, I have some photos of Italy that look more like artwork than photos. Your home will be enhanced, and they will also make the room feel special. Pictures are a great way to add your personality and they are fairly inexpensive.

When you stage a home you aren't losing yourself. You are actually creating a smaller area of focus. This personalization process involves including some of the things that you currently love in your home. You probably have things that mean something special to you, or you may you have a collection of things that are unique-like Roosters. You don't have to use everything, and that might not be smart with most decors, but you can use a few of them to add a personal touch to what you have done with your home. Choose some amazing pieces and put the rest away. The key is to avoid having a cluttered feeling. De-cluttering a home is a suggestion that almost every home seller should consider. I haven't seen a home yet that couldn't benefit from moving items out of the home prior to the sale.

You can always change accent pieces up as time goes on to give your room a new feel without having to redo the entire thing each time you want a change. Keeping things personal does not mean you have to compromise your decor ideas, but it does mean your house feels like a home. Use accent pieces and avoid creating a museum like feel. Too much of a collection can make a room feel cramped and will detract from your home sale.

John Mazzara CFP CLU CHFC CEBS CMB MBA MS is an independent financial planner in the Twin Cities, MN. Officing out of Edina, Minnesota-John is centrally located within the 7 county metropolitan area. John owns three separate businesses-a licensed real estate broker associate selling Minnesota Real Estate since 1986-affiliated with RE/MAX Associates Plus an independent CFP-certified financial planner since 1989 with an independent Minnesota financial planning firm-Financial Planning Associates and the owner of a Minnesota mortgage broker firm-Venture Development Inc-specializing ins residential, commercial and investment mortgages John has a wealth of knowledge and experience that surpasses most other advisors. If you are looking for someone to help you in the areas of real estate sales/purchase, mortgages, or and/or financial planning and insurance you should call John for a free 1 hour consultation to see if he can meet your needs. 952-929-2577.


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