Home Staging: Should You Hire a Pro or DIY?

There are a lot of steps you can take to prepare your property for sale. You will certainly have to address any code violations before a sale can go through, so you might want to start by hiring a home inspector to let you know which items are bound to hold you up. From there you can conduct any necessary repairs, as well as any upgrades that you think may help to increase your chances of sale and your return on investment. For example, you might replace roofing that is clearly in disrepair. Or you could make cosmetic changes like replacing chipped tiles, painting cabinets, and sprucing up your front yard to add some much-needed curb appeal. But once you’ve gotten your property up to code and in ship shape for sale, you’ll still want to stage it in order to make it as appealing as possible to a wide range of buyers. The only question is whether you can handle this important task on your own or if you should leave it to the pros.

The trick to staging is knowing how to present your space in the best possible way, highlighting the features that buyers are bound to find most attractive and downplaying those that might reduce interest or even your asking price. So the first thing you need to do is figure out which parts of your property you want to focus on. For example, rather than having your living room furniture facing a television, you should remove the TV from the room and turn the seating towards a picture window facing an excellent view. Or you could arrange it around the fireplace. Visual trickery like this will help prospective buyers to see exactly what you want them to see by drawing their eyes in the right direction.

However, you also need to be careful to ensure that you remove your personality from the space as much as possible. By eliminating your family photos, personal tchotchkes, and even your favorite color palette from the space and returning it to a more or less neutral state you can help to create the blank slate that will allow others to picture their own items in your home. Keeping that in mind, you do need to decorate enough that the space is appealing in a showroom kind of way, and this is where the average homeowner tends to fall short.

Without the background in design that professional stagers or decorators enjoy, you can’t expect to do nearly as good a job of preparing your interior to appeal to the widest variety of prospective buyers. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t try. But if you consider the real estate listings that you find most appealing, they no doubt present an interior that is chic and stylish, but ultimately doesn’t look very lived-in. And you might have a hard time removing yourself and your stuff from the equation. So should you hire a professional stager to prepare the interior of your home for sale? Not necessarily. There’s a lot you can do on your own, and your realtor can no doubt give you some pointers. But if you’re harried enough with other concerns associated with selling and you want your space to look as good as it possibly can, then hiring a pro is definitely an option.

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