Home Staging on the Cheap

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Yesterday, two of my favorite clients invited me to have lunch with them at Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola. Just as a side comment – have you noticed how many listings on the MLS will advertise that they are “walking distance to Gayle’s” Bakery?  Tons!  They have incredible food there, and plenty of it.  If you haven’t sampled their wide variety of cuisines, I heartily recommend you do!

Please excuse the digression!  They invited me there to talk about the strategy for making an offer on a home they are interested in.  Until last year, these folks lived in Gilroy, but moved to Santa Cruz a year or so ago, because that’s where their jobs are.  They sold their house in Gilroy, and decided to rent in Aptos until they could find the perfect house for them here in Santa Cruz County.

We got to talking about the seller’s psychology, and how he isn’t going to willingly leave money on the table.  You would think that maximizing their profit is the key consideration for many sellers – while that certainly isn’t always true, it was in the case of my clients.  They went on to tell me how they creatively, and very affordably, staged their home so that it would sell for top dollar.

Now, to some of you, this might sound a bit unethical.  To me, though, it sounds like pure genious.  My clients have really good taste – that’s why they decided to rent rather than buy right off the bat, they wanted just the right house that suited their style.  What they did is, they went down to Bed, Bath and Beyond and also to Pier 1 Imports.  They bought all kinds of nice, fashionable-yet-cheap home furnishings and accent pieces, and brought it all home.

All of their belongings had been removed from their house, put in storage or brought to their rented home in Santa Cruz.  They used the furnishings from these stores, and a couple of others, to make their home into a showcase for contemporary home furnishings.  When the house sold, they simply returned all the items from the store from which they were purchased.

Now, some of you might call it cheating – I call it clever!

If you’re considering selling your home, and you don’t want to hire an expensive staging company to stage it for you – be clever!  Here are some books on home staging that I recommend:

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