Lipstick on a Pig and Other Home Staging Secrets

I was invited to give a presentation on home staging at a Home Sellers class for Redfin, a real estate brokerage, in Boston this past Tuesday. Before I spoke, Redfin agents gave their own presentation on home staging to lead into my presentation. One of their slides said, "Many sellers think that if they put a lot of effort into decoration, they can eliminate or hide some detracting features, or pump up the sale price. While staging does greatly increase your chances of selling at the top end of your range, it is no substitute for accurate pricing and full disclosure."

I completely agree with this statement and understand why they are explaining this to future sellers. As they said, "You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig." An outdated bathroom or kitchen is still going to look outdated no matter how you try to disguise it. However, we frequently work with sellers who don't have the time or money to invest in renovating these important rooms and some lipstick is in order. We believe that putting lipstick on a pig is better than leaving it covered in mud.

Lipstick Pig

The past two homes we have staged have had outdated bathrooms with colored tile running up ¾ of the wall and matching colored toilets. While these bathrooms are outdated, the tile was in great shape and the bathrooms were clean. Any buyer coming in the view the home is going to know that these bathrooms are outdated and will most likely want to renovate them. However, with some staging magic, we showed that even if they are outdated they can still look great and renovating could wait until the new owner was ready financially. The bathrooms won't be the reason the home sells, but what is most important is that they won't be the reason the home doesn't sell.

Staging is the best investment you can make when selling your home. We know inexpensive but dramatic tricks to make rooms look new and fresh. You may spend your entire budget renovating a bathroom, but if the rest of your home doesn't show well it won't matter. For a fraction of what you would spend on a bathroom renovation you can afford to stage your entire home.

Stagers Tip: A great way to quickly and inexpensive way to update a bathroom is to buy a new shower curtain. You can see the shower curtain reflected in the mirrors below. In this example, we removed the outdated shower curtain that only enhanced the outdated feeling, and chose a shower curtain that had the same harvest gold color in it that made the yellow tiles feel intentional. Placing coordinating art and accessories made the bathroom feel charming.

bathroom 4 bathroom 4

This bathroom wasn't outdated but it was boring! We added a new shower curtain in a bold color and pattern to add interest. Bright yellow flowers in a blue vase completed the look. With only two changes the bathroom went from drab and boring to modern and fresh.

bathroom 1bathroom 2

Do you have an outdated bathroom that is functional but not aesthetically pleasing? Even if you don't plan on selling for a while you don't need to live with an embarrassing bathroom. We offer Redesign Services and can help you have a new looking bathroom for a fraction of the cost of a renovation.