Staging Tips-What to buy, from where, and how much!

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With Black Friday around the corner I thought it might be a good idea to grab some items for future staging. We are currently working on a "flip" that will be done in the late winter/early spring. I've heard before that you could have a budget of only $100 to buy adequate staging materials for showings. What are some things that I should be buying-and from where? Are we talking curtains and a couple floor rugs? What else? I assume no furniture? Looking for any and all advice including budgets.

@Kyle Galloway - I rely on a 3rd party here in Chicago that handle all of this.  Based on my experience, you should go all-out with staging or not do it at all.  Having a few random pieces of furniture won't provide much value and might even stifle the buyer's creative ideas.  I've provided a few pics to show how staging transformed one of our listings.  It can make the main rooms pop and also take "blah" areas like basements, back porches, dens, and turn them into valuable aspects of the future home. 

Typically 2k and all I have to do is make a phone call, not set anything up/take down.  I feel my deals sell higher and quicker when staged and more than offset the 2k.  It's now just part of my expenses on the front-end when I calculate my deals. 

Originally posted by @Kyle Galloway :

With Black Friday around the corner I thought it might be a good idea to grab some items for future staging. We are currently working on a "flip" that will be done in the late winter/early spring. I've heard before that you could have a budget of only $100 to buy adequate staging materials for showings. What are some things that I should be buying-and from where? Are we talking curtains and a couple floor rugs? What else? I assume no furniture? Looking for any and all advice including budgets.

 It depends on the cost of the house but generally try to keep it under $500. Towels & candles in the bathrooms (Hobby Lobby), colorful flowers (not fake) & red candles in the kitchen (add some color) curtains for the kitchen and bedrooms (IKEA), Items from the Dollar Store, any 2nd hand store but make sure you wash the item and it doesn't smell and is in good shape. The idea here is to put some "warm" feelings in the kitchen, baths and maybe an art piece or two on big vacant walls.  Don't put a tiny picture on a big wall, that looks silly, have a big enough picture (preferably a nice "print") to put on the wall or leave the wall alone.

Buy some decorating ideas magazines and see what they have there. Plaques with Mottos like "Warm Home, Warm Friends, Warm Food" are OUT - so don't put "Words" on the walls - unless that is common in your neighborhood. Don't put any stickers on the refrigerator. Keep the toilet seat down. Fresh shower curtains. Depending where you are, if it's cold and snowy out add some color to the front of the house. A nice red or black door seems to attract people. Some colorful plants on the porch that can be brought in at night. (Lowes, Home Depot) Cheery lights in the windows.

No halloween, thanksgiving or Christmas decorations. It's a distraction.

Spray the rooms with Fabreeze or make chocolate cookies and microwave them so the smell lingers. Get rid of all dog and cat and gerbal and boa and iguana smells. Buying a home is a full sensory experience. Make the "home" warm and inviting.

Originally posted by @Kyle Galloway :

@Mike M. can you confirm I don't really need to purchase/move furniture? 

 If the home is a $1,000,000 home, stage it like it's a $1,000,000 home with furniture.

However, If the home is a typical 3 bed 2 bath that will be bought by a typical family, furniture does little. They are trying to see if THEIR furniture will fit in the space. If you fill up the space it will seem cramped. No matter what furniture you select it won't be to some people's taste/liking and you don't really want the distraction of furniture. My wife is a professional interior designer and I limited her to $500 years ago or she would have fully furnished the house. ;-) Most people don't want to come into a house and feel "cold" and "sterile" and she makes it feel "warm * homey" doing what I've described.

And, if you really need to, you can buy on Craigslist or rent furniture for the length of time it takes to sell.

Originally posted by @Kyle Galloway :

Account Closed can you confirm I don't really need to purchase/move furniture? 

Every bit of research says staging.... proper staging with furniture....is more than worth it.

 

Originally posted by @Eric M. :
Originally posted by @Kyle Galloway:

@Mike M. can you confirm I don't really need to purchase/move furniture? 

Every bit of research says staging.... proper staging with furniture....is more than worth it.


@Frank Wong @Eric M We are talking a $115,000 3/2 - get some perspective. It isn't a $800,000 house in Chicago or the East Bay. People looking for $115,000 homes are not expecting staging and a 3/2 gets pretty cramped pretty fast. If you stuff it full of furniture it will feel small and it will feel like there is no storage for "stuff". People walk from homes that feel small if other options are available.

 

Given our market and what I am trying to sell-a small 3/2 for 115k-it doesn't make sense to invest in the larger staging materials like furniture. We don't PLAN to do many flips either. I will roll with the small touches like curtains, rugs, etc. Thanks Account Closed for the advice. I agree-this is not a one size fits all. Spending a couple grand on staging for a house as "small" as mine is silly.

Unfortunately, rooms look smaller when they're empty. A professional stager can stage a small room with smaller furniture items so it does not consume the room. I agree, staging it not a one-size-fits-all solution. That said, I only recommend staging homes over $300K.