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Staging Your Home for Sale: Sprucing Up Can Pay Off
Retirement News, Home Purchase, Refinance

Staging Your Home for Sale: Sprucing Up Can Pay Off

Putting your house on the market can be an unsettling and emotional decision, especially if you’re downsizing from a long-time family home filled with years of memories.

It’s difficult to be objective about decluttering, refreshing certain elements and rearranging furniture to position your home to show well — and garner the highest possible selling price. That’s why getting sound, professional advice can be a godsend.

Proper staging of your home is key, says Andrea Valle of NJ-based Andrea’s Innovative Interiors. “According to research, an average home listed without staging may be on the market for up to eight months,” she explains. “Homes that are staged effectively decrease the amount of time on the market by nearly 90%.”

Investing for a higher return

Our home is a reflection of our lives, of ourselves. Staging neutralizes that, allowing a potential buyer to see themselves in the space. But it doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or stressful, according to Valle.

“There are two basic types of staging that work very well, depending on your home’s size and condition. A pre-listing staging consultation focuses on the assessment of the space while working with what homeowners already have. This is especially helpful if the home seller will be living there while the home is listed, and is the quickest and most cost-effective way to update a home.”

She continues, “Inventory rentals include furniture and accessories, which is very beneficial if the home seller won’t be living there while the home is listed. For this staging option, setup is usually done in a day and the furniture can be loaned monthly, usually starting with a three-month minimum. If staged well, this should be all you need to get through showings, offers and into contract.”

In essence, you want to present buyers with a clean, generic blank canvas where they can imagine the potential of the space, not how you live there. A professional stager can give a fresh perspective, from rearranging furniture to improve the flow or even a quick refresh with a neutral color palette change.

Living in a staged home

Life goes on, of course, while your home is on the market. Valle offers these tips for maintaining a “view-ready” home while you’re still living in it:

  • Do a daily walk through with a basket to pick up stray items. Resist the urge to toss loose items into closets, as homebuyers may look inside to assess how much storage is available.
  • If you have pets, keep crates or beds, litter boxes and food dishes in discreet places. If you have a large crate, you may even want to fold it up if you can.
  • Make the bed. It’s the quickest way to make a bedroom room feel bigger and cleaner.
  • Take shoes off before entering your home. This will reduce any dirt, mud or salt being tracked in.
  • Showing protocols during COVID-19 vary by area, so make sure to check with your realtor, but it’s a good practice to keep a basket near the door with hand sanitizer, disposable face masks and even booties, depending upon the weather.
  • Don’t overlook aesthetics. Add some fresh (or realistic faux) greenery throughout the house. And don’t forget to keep the outside spruced up — this is truly the buyer’s first impression. Curb appeal matters.

Staging makes financial sense

Home ownership is the biggest financial investment most people will make over the course of a lifetime. Home equity also serves as the centerpiece for most retirement plans, so it’s vital to make the most of it.

Older homeowners who wish to relocate closer to family or downsize into a more comfortable home often think they can’t afford to move because of financial obligations, income or other issues. That’s where a reverse mortgage for purchase, designed specifically for homebuyers age 62 and older, can be an effective financial tool.

As with a traditional “forward” mortgage, the home you’re purchasing secures the loan — except without monthly mortgage payments. Borrowers must continue to meet home ownership obligations such as maintenance and keeping current with property taxes and insurance. The loan does not have to be repaid until you sell or no longer use the home as your primary residence.

Interested in learning more? Download a free informational guide or call Reverse Mortgage Funding at (888) 277-1567 to schedule a convenient appointment with a loan specialist in your area.

This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 4.7-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.


If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.

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