Fixer-uppers are homes that are old and plagued with maintenance issues, from broken floorboards to leaky faucets. As such, they sell for a cheap price, and some buyers are on the fence about them. On the bright side, fixer-uppers are affordable and allow plenty of room for customization; on the other, fixing the maintenance issues can double the price they’d pay.
But if you’re a fan of the TV show Fixer Upper, you probably have a lot of hope for your own fixer-upper. You imagine its walls looking spotless again, the floors polished like new, and the maintenance issues unnoticeable. But you’re not Joanna or Chip Gaines, so you have to make do with whatever you already have.
Good thing renovating a fixer-upper isn’t strictly necessary if you want to sell it fast. You can just stage it instead so that you can show buyers how the home would look at its best. But will staging look good in a fixer-upper?
What is Staging?
Home staging means showcasing a home’s best assets. It aims to impress buyers, increasing your chances of selling the home fast. Often, staging is done to newly-built or good as new homes or condominium units. Newly renovated homes are usually staged by the designers as well before being revealed to their owners.
In Fixer Upper, the homes are also staged before Joanna and Chip Gaines show them to the owners. But because it’s staged, the owners couldn’t keep all the new furniture. The staging furniture is for display purposes only, so if you’re also staging your home, you may not include the furniture on the sale.
Can You Stage a Fixer-Upper Without Renovating it?
Ideally, a staged home should be new, or good as new, because a home looks best when it’s fresh. Peeling paint, scratched floors, and outdated light fixtures hardly make a space appealing. But the reality is that not all of us can afford a renovation and a staging.
Luckily, it’s possible to stage a fixer-upper without performing renovations. Just do the most important fixes, such as a thorough clean-up, replacing broken hardware, improving curb appeal, and depersonalizing the space, which means removing personal items like clothes and shoes.
If you want to sell your fixer-upper as fast as possible, staging is important because it creates a more emotional purchase for a buyer. And you know what they say; to persuade someone to spend their money, tap into their emotions. If buyers see that your fixer-upper can look dreamy, they’ll feel more confident buying it.
What’s more, staging can hide some minor maintenance issues. It keeps buyers from deducting every problem they see from their offer. Of course, you still have to be honest about the actual state of your home, but the point is, if the issue is so minor a furniture can hide it, then it shouldn’t be deducted from the price.
Tips to Remember Before Staging
Staging can require you to spend some money on new, trendy furniture and decorations. But before doing that, learn about your buyer pool first. Some buyers see a lot of potential in fixer-uppers and wouldn’t mind its maintenance issues. Those buyers are usually home construction and design professionals, or flippers, people who invest in fixer-uppers to renovate and resell them at a higher price.
There are also cash buyers for houses who do things quickly. They don’t look for attractive features or try to haggle because of maintenance issues. Instead, they’ll offer a competitive but reasonable price for your home, allowing you to earn cash without the hassle of dealing with investors or nitpicky buyers.
Deal-hunters, the buyers looking for abodes in a specific location or neighborhood, but can’t afford the average list prices in those areas, are a suitable market for fixer-uppers, too. Like cash-buyers and flippers, they also don’t expect a staged home. They know what they’re signing up for with a fixer-upper, so you can rest assured that you’d receive no complaints after you’ve turned over your house.
The only time you should absolutely stage a fixer-upper is when you don’t want to settle for a lower selling price. However, to make a higher selling price reasonable for your home, then you’d really need to spend on other repairs besides fixing hardware and doing a thorough cleanup. You may also need to add new caulking, fix plumbing issues, replace a damaged roof, refresh kitchen cabinets, and fix broken tile grouts. Simply put, make the home as beautiful as you can without renovating it.
So while staging can mask a fixer-upper’s actual state, it’s not a miraculous key to selling your home fast, and for a higher price. To find a serious buyer, some effort should come from you, even if it means spending some money.