When it comes to home staging, not every home staging task is worth the time or money when you are planning to list your home on the market. Prepping a home to be ready for photographs and making that first impression a huge success can be overwhelming, and the true bottom line is that not all items are required for a good return on your investment. Being a good steward of your time and money is key when preparing your home for the market. Below are a few of the time wasters to avoid:
1 - Packing and Storing what should be Eliminated
Yes, prepping to move IS overwhelming! There are important decisions to be made, and sometimes you can’t even think about what to keep, what to donate, or eliminate. There is always that item that you come across and think, “Should I keep this for my future grandchildren?” “Should I keep this item for next holiday season?” And the list can go on and on, and before you know it you have questionable boxes stacked up in a guest room or filing closets. Then it’s the day the photographer arrives and you have to move the boxes from room to room to keep them out of the eye of the camera lens. STOP the shuffle. Save yourself time and the unnecessary hassle. Many of these boxed items would better serve a local charity or be a welcome gift to a friend…or need we say it, head straight to the elimination pile. Removing what you do not want or need is key.
When it’s worth it: Objects that have a high sentimental value or monetary value should be placed in a storage facility or temporarily with family or a friend. When you have time to properly evaluate its worth, then address whether to keep or eliminate it. The Key is removing them from your property and putting one of your biggest commodities, your home, in the spotlight.
2 - Adding Granite Countertops
Is it necessary to have granite countertops installed before hitting the market? The quick answer is no, not every house needs stone countertops. What you do need to consider is the potential home buyer your home will attract. In high-end homes, stone counters are a standard feature. However, if you are listing your home on the lower end of the price range or your countertops are comparable to those in your immediate neighborhood, upgrading to granite does not add up to a solid return on your investment.
When it’s worth it: Do you want to sell for top dollar and are pricing your home at the upper end of the price range for your neighborhood? Are stone countertops the standard? Do you have access to an amazing deal on a slab and installation? If you answered yes to these questions, it is worth the investment.
3 - Emptying Built-In Drawers and Cabinets
Empty drawers and cabinets do look more spacious. If you have the time and energy, pack it up! If you are short on time, skip it…this is a low priority for getting your home listed. These areas will not be photographed and they are not a part of that all-important potential buyer’s first impression. Yes, a potential buyer will most likely open a cabinet and take a peek…but in most cases, this is not an area in which to invest limited resources.
When it’s worth it: Be sure doors open and close without creaking and drawers slide smoothly. You do want to make sure these doors and drawers close easily without obstructions and glass front cabinets make a nice presentation. One thing to keep in mind is that items of sexual, political, and religious, value as well as of a personal nature, would be worth removing.
4 - Should you Fill Nail Holes
It does seem to make sense that one would fill nail holes while addressing home staging prep, however, it may not be worth the time. Nail holes for the most part are tiny and will not show up in your listing photography. You do want to remove picture hangers, thumbtacks, and larger nails. In most cases, it only takes a few minutes to go through the house and remove or push in small nails. Alternatively, filling, sanding, and patch painting sections of a wall takes time, money, and effort. It will also draw the eye to these areas more so than just leaving tiny holes.
When it’s worth it: If you have really large holes from Molly bolts or large nails, it is a good idea to spackle and paint over the damage. Likewise, if your room or wall needs re-painting in its entirety or to neurtralize a bright color, take a few extra minutes to fill in the nail holes while you are addressing the larger issue.
5 - Trying to Do Everything on Your Own
Do not try to do all the prep yourself. Costs can add up quickly when you are trying to prep your home for sale, no doubt. But spending a few extra dollars on bringing in professionals can be well worth it — the National Association of Realtors surveys show that spending 1-3% of the value of your home on home staging and improvements will typically net you a 10% ROI. Professionals to bring in include painters, carpet cleaners, window cleaners, and a handyman…these are all experts in their field and can get the job done quickly and efficiently leaving you to handle your next steps.
When it’s worth it: Always let the professionals or friends and family with RELEVANT experience assist you and cross off items on your to-do list…it makes dollars and sense! If your budget is at zero, start by making a list of top priorities and ask your Real Estate Agent about who their home stager is…most top agents offer a home staging consultation as part of their value-added service to get you started!