Last week I discussed staging your home with renovations and detailed the upgrades we made to the 2nd floor of our house. We spent about $3,800 in total on our renovations and we sold our house for $17,500 more than our real estate agent would have suggested we list it at had we not done the work. In the end we got a 461% return on investment (ROI). Looking back at all of the things we did we are still surprised we got so much work done in the two and a half months of working every evening and weekend. We were convinced however that staging your home, and in our case updating and upgrading our home, was essential to sell your house quickly.
While we didn’t have any renovations as time consuming as installing hundreds of square feet of flooring we did have the entire main floor to paint and numerous smaller projects to keep us busy. The entire living room needed a fresh coat of paint. The room was about 20′ x 35′ (it had been a living/dining/kitchen prior to the addition) and had 10′ ceilings. Our contractor friend Jim and Mrs. SPF bought the paint which led to some conflict as we discussed beige and ended up with yellow. But it worked well as it made the room appear bright. It also helped that we removed window coverings that were dated to let more light in.
Our house also had very dated dark brown wood panelling that lined the staircase to the 2nd floor. Jim advised us that link the rest of the house this look was very “80s” and that with today’s buyers it needed to be dealt with when staging your home to sell. Jim suggested painting it, which we did – beige this time. He introduced us to a nifty paint roller that was exceptionally plush and stringy which makes getting paint into cracks (such as those between wood panels!) much easier than hand painting each crack with a brush.
Speaking of the staircase – what an eye sore to enter a home to. Turquoise carpet. Yuck. I decided it HAD to go and ripped it all out. When you are staging your home, as i’ve mentioned in the past, leaving glaring issues is problematic. The staircase underneath was unfinished but filled with plenty of staple, nail and tack holes (that held the carpet in place). All of the edges of each step had gaps. How did I solve these problems? Drywall compound filled in the surface holes and while it likely wouldn’t hold up to traffic over time it was a cosmetic fix I could easily make. For the gaps I used white caulking to fill in the cracks and the final touch was 2 coats of exterior porch paint. The finished product looked great.
When buying a home a buyer doesn’t want to deal with issues and that is why you should perform house staging. We had a wood fireplace in the living room that was not certified and if used was not covered under home insurance. It would cost a few thousand dollars to upgrade the fireplace which was not something we felt we would get a good ROI on. So instead of fixing this issue we bought an electric fireplace insert and I built a wooden “mantle” to cover up the gap between the insert and the brick opening. We left it to the buyers to determine if they wanted to get the fireplace up to code or to install a gas fireplace.
Mrs. SPF was in charge of the kitchen. Here she (and her brother) updated in 3 areas. First, Mrs. SPF removed all of the hardware from our very nice oak cabinets. The hardware was white porcelain button knobs with a black circle smack dab in the middle of them mounted on worn copper plates. Somewhat ugly, very dated. So we bought some low end but much more modern pewter knobs. Mrs. SPF filled in the holes left behind from the tacks that held the plates in place with wood filler and installed the new knobs.
Next on the kitchen to do list was replacing the range hood. The range hood was beige while the other appliances were white, and, it was down right filthy. When staging your home you want things to appear uniform so we installed a new range hood – well, my brother-in-law installed it when he came to visit for a weekend. Very cool of him to lend us a hand.
Lastly, our fridge was about 20 years old and it looked old. The doors were banged up pretty badly. Instead of replacing the fridge, our friend Jim told us about a product called appliance paint! Two coats of white later and the fridge looked much newer than it really was. Small things that are purely cosmetic can really help.