It doesn't matter what the real estate market looks like, effective staging should be considered an essential step in order to increase your asking price, and likely the price you actually settle on. The whole point of staging is to make your home appear to have a higher value. This is accomplished primarily by creating a comfortable feeling and helping prospective buyers get a sense of what it would be like to live there. If you don't want to pay for a professional stager, then there are some simple things that you can take care of yourself.
The first step, and the most essential, is to get rid of the clutter. Clutter not only makes your home look older and more “lived in”, but it will also make it look smaller and less appealing. One of the first things that a professional stager will do is get rid of a majority of the homeowners furniture and accessories. When someone is looking into purchasing your home, they don't want to imagine how you lived in it, rather they want to picture how they will be living in it.
2. Effective Lighting
Another thing to keep in mind is the lighting. They don't call it mood lighting for nothing. Proper lighting will make you home look more appealing, more comfortable, and much warmer. Unfortunately, a majority of homes on the market are poorly lit. Fixing this problem is simple, the only thing that will need to be done is to increase the wattage of each bulb. A good rule of thumb is to have 100 watts of light per 50 square feet of space. Additionally, make sure that you use 3 different types of lighting: task, accent, and ambient.
3. Smart Changes
There are some smart changes that you can make to your house that can dramatically increase its perceived value. For example, most real estate agents will tell you to replace your cabinetry and sometimes even major appliances like a dishwasher. Fortunately, there are inexpensive ways to get the same visual results. Instead of buying new cabinets, simply repaint them and replace the hardware. Instead of buying a new dishwasher, replace the front panel so that it looks new.
4. Finish Your “Projects”
Nothing will scare of potential home buyers than unfinished projects. Nothing says “work in progress” like missing floorboards or visible cracks in sheet rock or the walls. In general, finishing up your projects and fixing any obvious problem areas will often be much more inexpensive than the deductions that the buyers will likely ask for.
5. Re-Purpose Unused Spaces
In order to get the most value out of your home, it is vital that you maximize every square foot. If you currently have a small side-room that is used for storage, then take a few minutes and turn it into a nook or office. If you have an open entryway, add a chair and stand to create a reading area. In short, every space should serve a purpose. Even it the purpose is something that prospective buyers are not interested in, they will see that there are a variety of potential uses for even the smallest spaces.
Article source: http://www.appraisalarticles.com/Real-Estate/2886-5-Home-Staging-Tips-That-Will-Increase-Your-Asking-Price.html