If you decide to go it alone, you can still take some tips from the pros. The No. 1 piece of advice for do-it-yourselfers is to ask for honest opinions from family and friends about what needs to be changed. Most homeowners are too personally connected to be objective about their home's contents. But remember: Your home is no longer your home -- it's a product on the market.
Most professional home stagers contend that most people will have to spend little to no money on extra furniture and accessories. There are three major exceptions:
- If you're selling a multimillion-dollar property, any obviously inexpensive or outdated furniture will probably need to be replaced. You can typically rent upscale furniture for a few months.
- If the appliances are completely out of date, they will drop the value of the house. Many stagers recommend buying stainless steel, but as long as everything looks current and is in good working condition, you'll have more luck selling.
- If there is extreme color in your home, buyers will have a tough time imagining themselves living there. Purple carpets, orange countertops, pink walls and tie-dyed furniture could cause a distraction. Most experts recommend investing in neutral paint and floors and replacing unusual furniture with less eye-catching pieces.
Another good investment, according to most home stagers, is renting storage space. There might be enough room in the house for you to stash everything you need to hide, but you'll want to free up that space so buyers can see it. A storage space can be a safer place for valuables and important documents, which you may not want to have easily accessible to potential buyers.
One easy way to check out how much staging and remodeling projects can add to your home is to check out Costvsvalue.com, which calculates how much cost can be recouped from a variety of home projects.
In the next section, we'll review how the home's exterior, or "curb appeal," can be enhanced.