In this video interview regarding how to stage a house yourself before you sell, Deborah Healon and Brian Spitz discuss inexpensive ways you can stage a house yourself, especially if you want to sell your house fast.

As an experienced home stager, Deborah gives tips on what to clean, how to paint the walls, how and where to buy inexpensive artwork, and how to create illusions that will make the house look its best for potential buyers.

Brian:        Hi. I’m Brian Spitz, president of Big State Home Buyers, where we buy houses fast, as is, and close with cash. Today I have Deborah Healon with us and Deborah is an international designer and she also specializes in staging and various other things that are relevant to our sellers, so thank you very much for being with us.

Deborah:  Thank you, Brian. Thanks for having me.

Inexpensive Ways to Stage a House Yourself

Brian:        Absolutely. So tell us a little bit about how an individual can stage themselves. So when you need to sell a house and you want to do some staging or some cleaning up or whatever, what is an easy, inexpensive way that somebody can do that to help their house sell faster?

artwork-300x225Deborah:  Right. When you’re dealing in real estate and you have a product, depending on the price range of the product also, depends upon what the quality of the furniture is that you’re going to use to stage.

But let’s say you’re using a product $200 to probably $400.

A person can go and get all these things themselves. But the one thing that they will not know how to do is give that room balance, rhythm, harmony, scale and color. So that’s what I’d like to teach them a little bit today.

Staging a House – What to Clean to Sell House Fast

First of all, we all know that in the real estate business that you have to have the house clean. You have to put things away that the family doesn’t use and they don’t need to use while the house is being shown.

You need to store your boxes of things in the garage so that the client can walk around and feel like it’s their home. Don’t put any family pictures in the house, because that also gives them the feeling that it’s not their home, or will be their home.

How to Paint the Walls

One of the things that they have to do is paint walls cream. Make the whole house look very open and airy. Take dark colors off of windows, as far as draperies that they might have gotten at Home Depot or something. Wood blinds.

Bedroom and Other Furniture

They have to make sure that the floor of the bedroom is clean. Put two nightstands up. Get two lamps. These things can be bought at places that I really don’t like to say, but that’s where we’re going now is things are made in China. You can do your own staging by going to Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning and the dollar stores.

And they can select all their items and then. I just recently did a home during the holidays where we got these things and the client actually returned them. They were moving to Singapore and they didn’t want to store any more things, so they did return the items. They used them for thirty days.

And on that house that was staged with these products, the buyer was the first one that looked at the house and it was sold on the first day, in the first ten minutes.

Brian:        Yeah. It’s a good market and I know that staging really helps. We stage all the properties that we sell as well.

Deborah:  Right. And what does staging do is staging accentuates the rooms. You can accentuate the heights of the ceiling. You can make the focal points come out by focal pointing the fireplace and putting nice artwork up there.

You have to make sure the house has a good odor. You have to do a sniff test. So they have to put the dogs away, the cats away. A realtor has to walk in and make sure there is no smell before they show it to the buyer.

But as far as the buyer doing this themselves, it is easy. A lot of people don’t understand that when you’re selling your property, you do want to accentuate the house. So you want to put your artwork, if it’s a two-story home, let’s say in Cinco Ranch or The Woodlands, which is where all the homes are being really built right now. Or Fulshear, Kingwood and Humble, I like to say.

You’re getting the builder who’s doing the two-story windows. Now, those can’t be done. They have to be custom made and you can hire somebody to do sheers. And we’re going to show some slides of that, of how you can have sheers start from the ceiling going down to the floor, to give you that accentuated look to go up to the focal point of the room, which is the windows.

Artwork, Decorations and Illusions

And then you get your artwork. Like you can go to Hobby Lobby and you could get four pieces of the same type of art, where the composition of the art is different but you’ve got them all four on that one tall 22 foot wall.

And then throw a rug down and make sure that you’re using ergonomics in this also. Because ergonomics is very important. When the buyer comes in, they want to know that they’ve got a family, maybe of three children, husband and wife, that that living room has the couch, the chair and also chairs where other people can sit. And ergonomics has to do with how much space you have between you, the body and the person next to you.

So, likewise, in the master bedroom, there’s a husband and wife, so you’re going to do two nightstands, two lamps. Right? And make sure that the bathrooms have your towels, new shower curtains in them. And that’s basically what it is. Just have a clean house.

Brian:        Right. And really, I like what you said before about taking the family photos away and really anything that doesn’t need to be out, to take it out, because really, when you go to sell a house, the less, the least that you’re going to have out, especially with decorations, less is more.

Deborah:  Right. And one other good tip for the seller is go into your closets and put all your white clothes with the white, the blue with the blue, you know, and have your hangers all nice. Go to the dollar store. Get all the same hangers. And then if the woman has hats or a bunch of shoes, put a lot of it away. Because the new woman coming in wants to make sure that that closet’s going to be big enough for her.

Brian:        Right. And so we recently sold our own house and we took about at least a third of the stuff out of the closets and stored it so that the closets looked more spacious and open.

So there are a lot of illusions. There are a lot of tricks. And an individual that wants to sell their own house and get the most money that they can, if the house is in good repair and looks nice, this stuff really helps it sell faster and for more money.

Deborah:  That’s right. Because it’s feelings oriented.

That man and that woman want to feel good knowing that they’re going to buy that new home. And the woman also wants to upgrade. You know? That’s the big psychological factor.

Is from one house that she’s coming to, to the new one, she wants to upgrade. So you want to make sure that it has a lot of detail showing in that house. Because sometimes, you can have a gorgeous home, but the people who are in the home just blow the scale of the house by just throwing things here and there and accumulating, accumulating.

Get More Home Staging Tips

Brian:        Absolutely. So if we want to reach you for some more tips or to even have you come look at staging a house, how do we reach you?

Deborah:  You can call my cell, 832-715-1300. And we will come out. I have a staff of people. We will come out and analyze the house and then work on the budget and go out and purchase things. And then come back and do that for you.

A staged home can be done in about five days.

Brian:        Right. Absolutely. So if you don’t want to do it yourself, you can call Deborah and she’ll come and give you a quote. And if you don’t want to stage your house and you don’t want to repair it and you want to sell it quickly as is, you can visit our website at and contact us for a no obligation, free quote on what we can pay for your house in cash to close within fifteen to thirty days.

Thanks very much for being with us today.

Deborah:   Thank you. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

Brian:         Absolutely.