8 Tips for Staging a Home on a Budget

Jon Stroud
Jon Stroud
Published on July 22, 2021

8 Tips for Staging a Home on a Budget to Sell

What’s is staging a home?

Home staging refers to preparing your home to sell so it appeals to the most potential buyers who will pay the highest possible price. 

Is it worth staging a home to sell?

Home staging is furnishing and decorating the home that is for sale on the real estate market. Staging a home can increase a home’s selling price and the likelihood that it will sell quickly because it helps prospective buyers better imagine how they can use the livable space.  If the home is vacant and empty with listing photos of a bunch of empty rooms,  it’s hard for prospective buyers to see what room is what and how furniture will fit in the space. 

Many people fear that staging their home will costs a ton of money.  While staging can be expensive, it is possible to accomplish this on a budget.

Follow these 8 tips to improve the chances of a quicker sale. Understanding how to stage a home on a budget will give you a huge advantage over other home sellers in your market who don’t stage their home.

1.      Less Is More- Declutter and Depersonalize

Source: Hans – Pixabay

One of the most basic tips for those who are staging a home on a budget is to declutter.  A home that is cluttered with belongings will not show as well as a home that is organized.  When staging a home on a budget, always remember, less is more.

Uncluttering a home is extremely budget friendly.  It’s free other than the time spent.  Highly suggest removing as many personal belongings as possible.  For example, cleaning off the magnets on the refrigerator, removing toiletries from bathroom counter, taking down the family photos…

People wonder why take down their family photos and personal items?  You want the prospective buyer to imagine themselves living there.   It’s harder when there are photos of you and your family along with other personal items.… Depersonalize.

There are many home sellers who think they have uncluttered their home but really haven’t.  A good way to find out if your home is indeed uncluttered is to ask someone who has an unbiased opinion, such as a real estate agent.

2. Neutralize Rooms

Neutralize - Staging Home Tip
Source: Jeanvdmeulen – Pixaby

Just because you may enjoy bright and bold paint colors doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy them.  A common mistake that is often made by sellers is not staging their home with the masses in mind.  An effective, budget friendly staging tip is to neutralize your homes rooms.

Paint is relatively inexpensive and it’s highly recommended when staging a home on a budget to you neutralize your rooms.  A few of the most popular neutral paint colors to use when staging a home to sell are grays, cream, tans and white.

3.      Rearrange & Utilize Existing Furniture

When staging your home, it’s might not be necessary to go out and buy brand new pieces of furniture.  There are different ways to rearrange and utilize your current furniture when staging a home on a budget.

Arrange your furniture to open up traffic flow in a room and avoid making a room feel closed off or cluttered.   There are too many sellers who have large, clunky pieces of furniture filling up entire rooms which can make a room feel much smaller and cramped which could turn off potential buyers.   As you’re rearranging your furniture you want to make sure you can move freely around the room.  If you’re unable, remove or rearrange the pieces of furniture that are preventing you from doing so. 

If you have older furniture that has seen better days, like a sofa or chairs for example.  It’s still might be possible to use it. A great tip for staging a home on a budget is to purchase furniture coverings to make your old furniture look like new.  Furniture coverings are cheap and many slipcovers range between $20-$100.  This can transform an old piece of furniture.

Sofa with a slipcover
Sofa with a Slipcover

4. Improve Lighting

Kitchen with Great Lighting
Source: shadowfirearts of Pixabay

Whether you’re staging your home or preparing for a home inspection, good home lighting is important.  Improving the lighting in your home can be achieved inexpensively by simply ensuring all of your lights and fixtures are working properly.  Replace any dead light bulbs.

Brighten rooms using brighter light bulbs in your lights or fixtures.  Make sure that when selecting the wattage for your lights or fixtures you’re not creating a fire hazard in your home by installing a light bulb that is too powerful.

Another option is to install additional lights or fixtures if room still seems not light and bright enough.

5. Clean & Deodorize

Cleaning lady
Source: Klimkin Pixabay

Cleaning is vital anytime you’re staging a home on a budget.   Washing windows, polishing floors, removing cobwebs, vacuuming carpets, and scrubbing appliances can make a huge difference when it comes time to make a good impression on a potential buyer.

Another budget friendly staging tip is to give your home the “smell test.” Foul odors can scare away potential home buyers.  Just like bringing in an unbiased third party to evaluate the clutter level in your home, it’s a great idea to ask an unbiased third party to check whether there are any stinky odors in your home.

If you’re selling a home with pets, you need to spend extra time and effort on deodorizing your home while staging it.  This includes making sure that all loose pet hair is removed, all floors are scrubbed or vacuumed, and furniture cushions are checked for odors.  Pet odors can repel home buyers!

6. Use Natural Touches

Seashells in a bowl - Nautical
Source: Sabine Bends – Pixabay

There might possibly be some great staging pieces right in your backyard!  An inexpensive staging tip is to use natural touches inside and outside your home.  For example, vase of fresh flowers from the garden or having a few plants to give warmth to the place.  If you live by the beach incorporate a bit of driftwood, seashells, and bright tropical flowers to provide a nautical theme when staging a beach home

7. It’s All in the Details

Staged living room with plant, books on coffee table, accent pillow
Source: ErikaWittlieb – Pixabay

There are several other small details that you need to focus on when staging a home on a budget.  Below are some other small details to utilize to create a more welcoming environment inside your home.

  1. Matching bath linens
  2. Matching bed set and pillow cases
  3. Displaying a book on a coffee table
  4. Displaying a cookbook on the counter
  5. Attractive accent pillows on your furniture
  6. Replace old, worn towels, comforters, linens with new ones.

8. Don’t Forget the Curb Appeal & Exterior of The Home

Source: Mschiffm – Pixabay

Staging a home on a budget doesn’t just apply to the interior of a home. Often a buyer’s first impression is made before they enter a home and is based on the homes curb appeal.  A home that has overgrown bushes and weed filled flower beds typically leads to a bad first impression.  Trimming shrubs and bushes, weeding flower beds, and planting colorful flowers will improve the curb appeal of your home and increase the chances of a great first impression.

In addition to the curb appeal of your home, don’t forget to focus on the exterior elements of your home while staging.  Staging the exterior elements of your home, such as a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen, is a great opportunity to show a buyer outdoor living of your property.  Taking the time to make your backyard as approachable and attractive as possible is just as critical for attaining a buyer as the interior staging process! After all, your home’s outdoor living space is just as much a part of your home as the living room or the kitchen.

Final Thoughts

Before you spend thousands of dollars on staging your home, make sure you realize that it can be done on a budget.  If you’re selling a luxury home, spending a few thousand dollars may be worth the investment.

The above 8 cheap tips for staging a home on a budget should provide you some great ideas.  

Other Helpful Articles

Easy Ways to Update your Kitchen and Wow Homebuyers

How to Sell your Home for Top Dollar

DIY Tips to Increase Curb Appeal

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