Three Low-Cost Things You Can Do To Stage Your Home For Buyers

If you are in the process of selling a home or are about to list one for sale, then you probably understand the importance of making your property attractive to would-be buyers. This is accomplished by "staging your home", a description for the pre-sale preparation performed by the homeowner. While there are a number of things you can do to stage a home for sale, many of them are costly and ultimately take away from the bottom line when selling your home. The good news is that there are things you can do to stage your home without it costing you a fortune in the process. Below is a list of three specific things you can do to stage your home at low or no expense:

Cover nail holes in walls

Pictures and decorative wall hangings can be beautiful, but they also tend to leave walls looking like pin cushions once you remove them. While you can just leave your items hanging on the wall, it is a good practice to remove the items to help make the walls larger. That means you will need to figure out how to cover the holes during the showing. Fortunately, temporarily covering holes in the plaster or sheetrock isn't hard; all you need is shoe wax for your walls.

If you are covering pinholes in lighter walls, then you will need to use a natural finish, canned shoe wax-based polish. For darker walls, choose either a brown or cordovan wax. The match between the polish and surrounding wall color doesn't need to be perfect since you are covering small holes; just be sure it is somewhat approximate.

To cover the pinholes, use a butter knife to scoop out a small amount of the wax and push it into the nail holes. Try to avoid spreading too much extra around the outside of the holes. Once you apply the polish, use the edge of a credit card or other similar plastic card to scrape away the excess wax.

Landscape addition by subtraction

A lush, full garden or landscaping arrangement adds a lot to the front of a home for sale and ups its curb appeal. However, adding new landscape plants costs a substantial amount of money and can be impractical due to the short timeline involved with selling a home.

That's why you should look at your existing landscape and consider what you can do to improve it by trimming and removing plants. In many cases, landscapes become overcrowded with fast-growing plants, or some plants become shelters that make it difficult to trim the growth of unsightly weeds. An unkempt landscape is a big turn-off to potential buyers, so don't hesitate to take a shovel or pruning saw to it.

When making considerations about specific actions to take, start by removing plants that aren't healthy appearing or that are struggling for life. You don't want buyers to think of your home as an unhealthy place, and dead plants can send a bad message to them. In addition, focus on removing the bottom limbs of bushes and trees; open space around these features helps make your property appear larger and less-cluttered. Finally, if you have any landscaping that is crowding your home's wall or roof, fences or other structures, be sure to cut it back and remove dead vegetation. Buyers want to think of their future home as well-maintained, and tree limbs on top of a roof or vines choking a fence create doubt about the home's overall treatment.

Lighten things up

Another way to help stage your home for a fast and profitable sale is to make the interior brighter. While you can add lamps or fixtures, those things cost money and aren't really necessary.

Instead, bring light into your home by removing all draperies and even some other coverings, such as blinds. Understandably, if your home is still occupied, then you probably won't be comfortable removing all window treatments, but the less you have in place, the brighter the interior will be. Just remember to clean your windows thoroughly so they aren't smeared and smudged.

If you have mirrors in your home that aren't being used, you should take them out of storage and hang them in strategic locations to help reflect light. Don't worry much if a mirror is out of style; buyers are going to look at your home as their future home and think about how to arrange their own furnishings, not focus on your dated features.

Finally, be sure all the broken light bulbs are replaced in your home. Chances are high that you have a dead bulb somewhere in your home, and all it will take is a few seconds for you to grab a new one from your supplies closet and make the replacement. If you have particularly dim bulbs, such as 40-watt bulbs, try to upgrade to 60-watt or even 100-watt bulbs, or their equivalent in LED lumens, to increase your lighting output.