Home Staging: On a Budget

Home Staging Expert Q&A, Part 4

home staging in homes for sale in Madison WI real estateRecently we had the pleasure of talking with Katie Rusch, a Madison-area interior designer, home staging expert, and home décor extraordinaire! Katie had so much great stuff to share with our ROOST readers, that we’re sharing our conversation here in four installments.

If you missed them, you can check out Part OnePart Two, and Part Three. Read our final installment, Part Four, below:

ROOST: What are some of the biggest turn-offs for buyers, in homes that aren't properly staged?

KATIE: Plain and simple—dirt, clutter, and deferred maintenance.

ROOST: Say a seller doesn't have a lot of time or money to stage their home. What three things can make the biggest difference?

KATIE:  First—clean. A little elbow grease is the best way to improve the appeal of your home. Polish hardwood floors. Scrub grout (and toilets, for that matter!). Clean the oven. Wipe down the refrigerator. Remove cobwebs from ceilings and light fixtures. Wipe down light switches. Treat carpet stains. Vacuum the whole house—even unfinished spaces. Sweep the front path and steps.

And my favorite tip for keeping a clean house while selling: Have an empty laundry basket at the ready for last-minute showings. When your Realtor calls to say she’ll be there in an hour, toss in the items from your shower, medicine cabinet, wet towels, dirty dishes, the kids’ backpacks, mail or other papers on the counters. Toss the basket in your car and go!

Second—don’t defer maintenance. Every buyer is making a list of the little touch-ups they’ll need to make—a little caulk here, some paint there. Help them keep that list as short as possible.

And third—take photos. Get an objective look at your house by taking photos of each room from a few different angles. The photos will show you any glaring issues—the front door is blocked by the back of the couch, the garden needs weeding, that carpet stain is still visible—so you can solve them before your Realtor takes photos for the world to see.

ROOST: Thank you, Katie!

We’re thrilled to have brought you these wonderful words of wisdom from one of Madison’s most creative interior designers. We hope you'll check out Katie’s website and blog to learn more about her work. And be sure to read Part OnePart Two, and Part Three of this series for more helpful home staging advice!