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Stage Your Home for Under $1,000

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By Mary Beth Breckenridge

RISMEDIA, November 6, 2009—(MCT)—Staging a home for sale can set it apart from the competition and make it inviting to the greatest number of buyers. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has these suggestions for staging your home for less than $1,000: 

-Stage it virtually. This option is aimed at empty homes, because photos of bare walls and floors can make online shoppers lose interest. You just snap photos of the empty rooms and send them to a virtual stager, who uses computer imagery to “furnish” them. The photos can be posted online or used in marketing materials. Prices range from around $200 for three rooms to $325 for five rooms, although rates vary by city.

-Pay for a plan, but provide the muscle. Many stagers will work as consultants, touring your house and offering suggestions on presenting it. Barb Schwarz, founder of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, says the average fee for a consultation is $350. Then it’s up to you to do the cleaning, decluttering and rearranging. Kiplinger’s suggests renting a portable storage unit if you have a lot of stuff to store. One company, PODS, will deliver the unit to your driveway for $75, transport it to a secure storage facility for another $75 and charge you a monthly storage fee of around $150, depending on where you live, the time of year and other factors.

-Add some pizzazz. Sometimes a few decorative extras can update or neutralize a home’s decor. You may be able to negotiate with a staging company for decor items such as wall art, area rugs, lamps or other accessories.

-Focus on a few rooms. Hire a stager to redo just the entryway, main living area, kitchen or master bedroom. Stagers usually charge $75 to $125 an hour. Ignore secondary rooms, or do them yourself once you’ve seen how the pro works. 

(c) 2009, Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio).

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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