The best idea?  Get the price right!  Here are others from:


Looking for quick, easy ideas to bring a home to life, add value, or prep for sale without spending a lot? Learn from the pros! Designers who presented at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando last week had a plethora low-cost, chic ideas to make to most of an interior space.

1. Transform closets: Your clients might consider turning a smaller, awkward closet into a built-in with cabinetry and shelving, or if there’s enough space, even a desk nook. Add dramatic dimension with disc lighting on each shelf. Buyers are looking to maximize every inch of a home with workspaces and storage solutions they’ll actually use. (Jerry Collin, Kay Green Design)

[Here are some great before and after closet transformations from Real Simple.]

2. Create a ‘Garage Mahal’: Make the garage an attractive space with a dedicated recycling area, wall mounted shop-vacuum, and maybe a mini (or big) refrigerator for adult beverages. When in doubt, hang it up – provide hanging areas for bikes, tools, equipment, etc. Consider installing a workbench and storage. (Jillian Prichard Cooke, DES-SYN)

3. Avoid seasonal colors: Greys and stone colors are the new neutrals. Accent them with bursts of bright blues, oranges or reds. (Marc Thee, Marc-Michaels Interior Design)

4. Provide simple luxury: A foldout cabana, two outdoor lounge chairs, and a small table is an inexpensive way to give a backyard living space a sense of luxury. Stage it with candles, flowers or cool drinks (iced tea, lemonade, water, etc.) that you can serve during an open house. (Jillian Prichard Cooke, DES-SYN)

5. Set the mood: Do you have a listing that flushed in harsh light throughout the house? Try halogen narrow spot bulbs to create warm, pooled light for romantic shadows and definition. (Marc Thee, Marc-Michaels Interior Design)

6. Faux wood: Textured wall finishes add weight to a space, which can provide warmth and richness to great rooms. Wood mimicking wallpaper is a great way to get the look of wood paneling without big cost or long-term commitment. (Marc Thee, Marc-Michaels Interior Design)

7. Inexpensive creativity: Molding brings depth and clever detail to a space a low-cost: for example, use molding assembled as a square over a bed with two smaller pictures hung side-by-side within the square. (Jillian Prichard Cooke, DES-SYN)

8. Give them room for thought: Create computer-generated room layout boards to help buyers envision various uses for flex space, such as a family room, office, kids’ play area, library, etc. Consider matting the floor plan  ideas for a professional presentation. Works well for new- and existing-home sales alike. (Jerry Collin, Kay Green Design)

More staging tips:

Inspired by Nature

Barb Schwarz, credited with being the creator of home staging and CEO of www.Stagedhomes.com, says one of her favorite staging tools is pulling from the natural elements of nature. For example, Schwarz says she’ll creatively use “twigs, branches, seashells, green cuttings from the outdoors, orchids, real trees as possible, hand woven baskets, cotton, linen, burlap fabrics, real leather, and earthy colors as well. You cannot lose when using the colors of nature. This creates a comfortable, natural look and setting in any home for sale.”

Easy-to-Move Furniture

Stager Charlene Storozuk, owner of Dezigner Digz, says a must-have tool for staging properties is furniture sliders. “I have two sets: one with felt backing for moving furniture across wood and tile flooring and another set with plastic backing for broadloom,” Storozuk says. “All I have to do is lift the corners of each piece of furniture, one at a time, and slip a slider underneath. Once all four corners have a slider in place, I can easily move the furniture around on my own. Not only do the sliders save me from throwing my back out, they also save the home owner some money since I don’t have to pay an assistant to help me move furniture.”

Evoking Buyers’ Senses

Susan Tokarz-Krauss with Real Estate Designed to Sell in Grants Pass, Ore., says creativity goes a long way in staging properties. “Whether I lightly stage, redesign, or do a full staging of a vacant home, it’s very important to engage the buyer’s senses,” Tokarz-Krauss says. ”I use lighting — on timers — to set the mood and provide security. I use ‘soft’ scents such as vanilla to create that special ambiance, and I play light jazz or seasonal music in the home. Colorful pillows and accents make the room ‘pop,’ but the scents, music, and overall ambiance is what helps potential buyers personally engage with the home.”

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