Staging your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to sell your home faster and for more money than your asking price. Without remodeling the place, these are the staging methods for both the exterior and interior of your home that will help you achieve the highest return on investment for your efforts. Whether you’re hoping to stage it yourself or hire a staging professional, there is a price tag attached. Continue reading to determine which improvements are worth it for your particular property, and whether to consider hiring a licensed staging professional to do the heavy face-lifting when looking to move.

To stage or not to stage?

The data backs it all up. According to data from ASP, over 95% of staged homes sell within 11 days compared to the un-staged average of 90 days.  Fewer days on the market means fewer open house tours, which lifts the great burden of living in a home that’s currently set up for staging. Empty counters simply aren’t realistic on a day-to-day basis, but better be when you’re showing your home to potential buyers. How Much Cost Stage Home

Will my staged home sell for more?

Staged homes sell for an average of 17 percent more than their non-staged counterparts, and whop a heaping 586% ROI. A 2015 study from the National Association of Realtors found that 52 percent of realtors believe that buyers offer more for staged homes.

How much should I invest in home staging?

Staging cost estimates can vary between 0.03% to 1 of a home’s sale price. This 1 percent, however, generates an average return between 8 to 10 percent. Not too shabby.

Most cost-effective exterior staging ideas:

  1. Maintain the front lawn ($10-100) - The most cost-effective way to spruce up your front lawn is to cut and trim it regularly while using a fertilizer and weed control program. If your lawn is in sorry condition, consider completely re-sodding it.
  2. Upgrade your front door, lighting, and porch ($20-400) - Your front entrance needs to be warm and inviting. Try putting a fresh coat of paint on your door, or opt to buy a new one entirely. The lighting should show off the space, and your porch should be tidy. Add a pot of flowers for color or in the winter, use an urn with greenery.
  3. Add mature garden elements ($30-400) – Potential buyers want a well cared for, low maintenance investment. Clean out all of the weeds, perform necessary trimming, and add some colored mulch. If you add shrubbery and flowers, be sure they look mature for that finished look. Adding shrubbery could net you up to 200% ROI.
  4. Present a sparkling driveway ($50-$200) - Your driveway covers a large percentage of your front yard so make sure it’s in good condition. If it’s paved, consider adding a top coat of sealer.
  5. Improve your deck ($100-300 with existing deck / $2,000-$5,000 without) – Outdoor entertaining is hot right now. If you currently have a deck or patio, power wash and stain the deck with a clear coat or neutral semi-transparent stain. Consider adding pots of flowers around the deck or patio will give it more appeal. If your deck or patio is not in good condition, repair or replace it. If you currently have nothing in your backyard, create the outdoor entertaining space buyers are looking for. ROI here is up to 200%.

Most cost-effective interior staging methods:

  1. Brighten the paint and lighting ($300) - Lighting can be used to draw a buyer’s attention to the positive attributes of your home and to detract from any negatives.  Its value is tremendous. Don’t ever settle for a 40-watt bulb when you can use a 100-watt bulb. The lighting difference is dramatic. You need the light so don’t settle for less than what you can use. Don’t leave dark corners. Place a small table with a lamp or a floor lamp if necessary to brighten the space. Each room should have 3 types of light.
  2. Have a pro scrub your kitchen ($25-35/hr) – We’re talking ceiling blades, every cupboard organized and cleaned, polished light fixtures, floors sparkling, all of it. Potential buyers want to envision themselves cooking fantastic meals in this room. You want to help them with that vision. While you could spend your time cleaning it yourself, a professional will polish the most difficult to reach areas, giving you the time you need to figure out where to hide the coffee pot.
  3. Clear your counters – Leave only intentional items. An elegant hand soap, a shiny set of decorative dishware, a few small plants. Everything else should be organized and placed out of sight of potential buyers. Create the illusion of endless counter space.
  4. Organize all cupboard and closets – Potential buyers will be inspecting everything for flaws, and the idea that there exists any dirt lurking around could be all it takes to create hesitation.
  5. Accessorize intentionally ($200-500) – If you hire a staging professional, they’ll often bring with them their own inventory of accessories that will bring warmth and cohesive elegance to your home. Never leave walls bare. You want to evoke a sense of comfort and style to help along the imaginations of potential buyers.
  6. Add some aromatherapy ($30) – Smells does a lot for the psychological effect of a space. If a potential buyer walks into a bedroom that smells like the family dog, it will be difficult for them to enjoy the space. All it takes are a few scented candles or essential oils to completely change the reception of an important room.
  7. Rent artwork ($25-100) -  Do some research about some local artists in your area and contact them about renting their artwork. Try using a complementary color scheme. If there is a lot of red in your home decor, then go with a green abstract painting. If there is a lot of yellow in your home, try some purple abstract art.