Green staging a home for sale involves a number of key things to do and here are 4 of my top things. I call them the “4 C’s” in Home Staging and they are considered ‘Green Staging’ in this way as well: Clutter Free, Clean, Color, & Creative.
Turn Chaos into order and peace. Americans are the largest consumers in the world. We have too much “stuff” everywhere! When you want to sell your house you need to go through room by room and remove excess items. Leave space between items, on the walls, and floor to show off the architectural features of the house.
The room will “feel larger’ in fact it will feel better as it will feel more spacious and buyers need to see and feel the space to buy it. Whether the house you are selling is vacant or lived in you do not want the rooms empty but you also do not want them over crowded with too much ‘stuff’ either. Then, Commit to keeping the room this way by not bringing in more “stuff”. Below are some important ideas to remember and do:
• Don’t just stash the items in boxes somewhere. Donate items for reuse that you really do not need or use in this house or in your next one.
• Companies do exist that can assist with removing large items or amounts such as 1-800-Got-Junk.
• Implement a new policy for your family when it comes to buying things: When a new item is brought in, another goes out.
• When preparing to sell a house, remove items that are more personal.
• Buyers need to envision themselves living in the house and ‘mentally move in’ so by de-cluttering your rooms you will help them be able to do that.
• Pre pack collectables, collections, trophies, and family photos
A sparkling house is appealing to buyers. Buyers do not like looking at other people’s dirt. It can be hard to see owns’ dirt so Accredited Staging Professionals will be able to help you see it by giving you a Home Staging Consultation or by doing the Staging work for you. Cleaning can be done without harsh chemicals and you can save money too by making your own natural cleaning formulas:
• Natural cleaners are better for people with allergies, prevent indoor air pollution, and create less hazardous waste.
• The main ingredients can be found in your own cupboard, such as baking soda, cornstarch, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and even toothpaste! Test the surfaces with what you will use on them before fully cleaning it.
• Remove windows hard water stained fixtures and make them shine with vinegar & water.
• Scrub sinks clean with a mix of baking soda & salt.
• Clean the toilet bowl with denture tablets!
• I also recommend a product called Pure Ayre, an excellent natural odor eliminator made of plant enzymes.
• Common house plants are pleasing to the eye while creating clean air. They provide a natural way to control indoor air pollution by absorbing the gases formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide. Plants produce more oxygen to breath, which provides more energy in the body
• According to Dr. Bill Wolverton, formerly a senior research scientist at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss., “A living air cleaner is created by combining activated carbon and a fan with a potted plant. The roots of the plant grow right in the carbon and slowly degrade the chemicals absorbed there.”
Paint is the least expensive way to change color in a room with the maximum amount of impact. When you are living in your home and not selling it you can use color to suit your own personal taste and style. But when you are selling your home it becomes a house and when selling a house use paint and the right colors to lighten & brighten dingy walls or tone down loud color schemes. In choosing colors, choose colors that have the broadest market appeal. They key is to use a light color and the same color on all walls so that your house is not cut up with different colored rooms, but rather the space flows from one room to the next with the same color. A neutral backdrop on the walls makes your house ‘feel’ bigger. White, off white, light beige, or light taupe is good to use. Ask any Real Estate Agent and they will tell you that having rooms all painted different darker colors make the house feel smaller. Below are ideas about using ‘environmentally friendly paint’ when painting the rooms:
• Paints and finishes release low level toxic emissions into the air for years after application, which come from a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
• It is important for your health & the environment to use less toxic paint & finishes
• Look for Natural Paints, Zero VOC, and Low VOC for effective coverage. They have very little odor when applying. Also they have no “off gassing” after curing.
VOC paints are easy to clean up, as they are water based. Also they are easy to dispose of, since they are not hazardous waste like other paints. Use Eco Pro brushes and environmentally friendly roller covers and paint trays.
Using Creativity in Staging is where the fun is. Creativity is a gift we all have whether you think you are creative or not. There are so many ways that you can creatively Stage® a house for sale the green way. It is with excitement that I share these ideas with you:
Re-purpose items in your home or on your property. Ask yourself, “What else can be done with this? How else can I use this to Stage® my house for sale?”
Here is a list of Creative Ideas that you may be able to do in your own house:
• A large wooden door can become a table
• Artwork can be made out of fabric or clothing
• Bed linens can become window or shower curtain, or pillows
• Iron work can be used inside or outside for artwork
• Use a fishing pole or oar for a window curtain rod in a child’s room or laundry room
• Recycled content carpet has the same look, feel, and price of virgin carpet
• Countertops made from recycled glass and concrete or crushed bathroom porcelain make durable slabs similar in form to granite or marble creating a smooth and shiny surface. Stainless steel and reclaimed wood are other options.
• What to do when you have porcelain fixtures that are dated and cannot be changed? Embrace them! When they are in good condition & replacing would be wasteful and leave more of a carbon foot print -or- you don’t have the money to do it.
• Go “retro”! Add touches of black and white to a pink tile bathroom & change out the faucets for some reclaimed fixtures from the 40s/ 50s. The spa look is very ‘in’ as well.
Keep in mind the Recycle Reuse and Reclaim concept. Anything that was something else and is now used for another purpose is a part of Green Home Staging.
So, there you go. Stage® it Green! It does not have to cost a lot to do this and can make a huge difference in selling your home.
It is my honor to always be working for you.
Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, AB, IAHSP®
The Creator of Home Staging®
IAHSP® Founder and Chairwoman of The Board of The International Association of
Home Staging Professionals® and Foundation