Staging Your Home For Sale


When it comes to selling a home a Realtor is often posed with the question “What tips can you give me for fixing up my house to sell it?”  Ask any realtor and you will get any unique answers that are all different, some good, some bad.  When I am asked that question I like to keep it simple, repair obvious maintenance issues and declutter.  Remove bulky furniture, pictures, anything that is just collecting dust.  Give each room as much space as possible and keep the sun shining through the windows when you are showing it.

Its rather simply advice but at least you will keep the cash you have in hand, just that, in your hand.  We are besieged with shows on cable television showing consumers how to add thousands of dollars to their bottom like just by simply painting a room a brighter color.  Or adding patio furniture.  Not to be mean but I have a friend who has a show on a popular network and he is giving that same advice.  Often times when meeting a prospective seller many agents get a great detailed narrative when taking the home tour; I have crown moulding, recessed lighting, a rose garden etc.  All these may be nice but dollar for dollar you won’t see a corresponding value in the sale of your house.  As many believe, these hundred dollar upgrades do not add thousands of dollars to your bottom line when its time to sell.

I am not being a pessimist but rather a realist.  I like to tell my clients that homes will sell according to the demand in the market place.  If your home has been on the market longer than 45 days and you have not had any offers, regardless of its condition, its not in need of repairs, it’s in need of a price adjustment. Don’t get me wrong, when you go to sell your home you should make it presentable but make sure you are not spending money on something where you won’t get a corresponding return.  

Functionality is the name of the game here and here are a few tips to enhance what you already have without spending your hard earned cash.  Wallpaper is gaining popularity once again in interior designs and can add more personality to a room — but tread lightly.  If you do not already have wall paper hanging its probably best to stick with paint for touch ups.  The goal here is clean walls.  

Speaking of pain, using the hottest color trends – like navy and purples — to paint an entire room may be too bold for the majority of buyers. Instead, home stagers are using a neutral wall color, such as in soft tones of grays or white, and then bringing in the on-trend colors through small accents, like toss pillows, throws, lamps, and bedding or rugs.

Light fixtures and door knobs tend to stand out if done right.  Brushed nickel, stainless steel or decorative ceramic can accent any room but make sure you don’t forget any knobs.  They will notice more by the absence of one rather than a few that are there.  

Overall all the goal is to allow prospective buyers the opportunity to see the house within their own vision. The easiest and most cost effective thing one can do to showcase their home is simply thin it furniture, clean the landscape and empty the garage.  You will get market value, I promise!

Chris Vigil is Broker Owner of Chris Vigil Real Estate in Whittier, California and a former Appraiser.  He can be  reached at or (562) 945-4422 OR on Facebook!

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