You may be considering updating your home before staging it for sale. This is a great idea – provided you make “updated” updates. Let me explain what I mean… We often meet homeowners and rehabbers who are planning to update their homes. It’s common sense that an updated home is worth more money. However, the updates have to look new and fresh stylistically, as well. Lets review the two images below: When preparing your home for sale (updating finishes and staging) you have to be sure that the money you spend has a good return on investment (ROI). Everything pictured in the two images above was taken from the web sites of big box stores. You can still purchase outdated design choices, so beware! We have been in many homes where the owners tell us about the updates they have made, but the homes look old because they chose outdated finishes. It cost just as much to update with outdated finishes as it does with finishes that look fresh and stylish, so make the right choice.Let’s go through these two images and compare:
- The area rug in the top image has a bold graphic pattern in neutral tones. The area rug in the bottom image has an oriental rug. While this style of rug may appeal to many people, it will most likely remind a buyer in their 30’s of something their parents own. It will not feel fresh to them, so it is not a smart staging choice.
- The white kitchen cabinets in the top picture are the current trend in kitchen design, while the oak cabinets feel like they are left over from the 1990’s.
- Wall to wall carpeting is not in demand at the moment; however, if installing hardwoods is not in your budget for staging, make a modern choice. The light arabesque pattern on the carpet in the top image is much more desirable than the Berber carpet in the bottom image.
- Doorknobs – you may not think much about doorknobs, and you may be able to “get away” without changing them. However, if you are going to change them, do not purchase shiny brass ones as pictured in the bottom image. Consider oil-rubbed bronze, it’s a much more current staging design trend. If you are going to change the doorknobs – change all of them in the home, please don’t mix and match; this is not a good staging choice.
- Lighting can make a home feel updated or old. When lighting in a home feels updated, a buyer will feel that the home is well cared for. If the lighting feels old, the buyer may worry about old electrical service. The linen drum shaded fixture in the top image is a current design trend. The white fixture with the three spot lights in the bottom image feels old, and was popular in the 1980’s and 90’s.
- Hardwood flooring in a big investment. It comes in all types and styles, solid and laminate. No matter which type is best for your home and budget, be sure to make a smart choice. A mid-tone oak floor (pictured in the top image) is a much better investment than a light bamboo floor (popular in the early 2000’s). Bamboo is a fantastic renewable, and durable product, however, it is not in trend right now, so it is not a good staging choice.
- Table lamps, although not part of the home, and purely for staging, also need to look updated. The modern lamp pictured in the top photo, with its square shade and bold geometric wood and metal base is perfect for staging a modern home. The Tiffany style lamp feels like something you’d find in an older person’s home.