How to Stage a Home on a Budget 

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As any real estate agent can tell you, home staging matters. A properly cleaned and staged home can increase your sale price and expedite the sale process – but it can also be expensive. 

If you hire a professional, they may charge you thousands of dollars to stage your home appropriately. The benefit is that you could also increase the sale price of your home by thousands of dollars, but these effects may ultimately cancel each other out.

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to stage your home on your own, allowing you to capitalize on the advantages of home staging without totally wrecking your budget.

Get Rid of Clutter

First and foremost, get rid of excess clutter. You’re going to be moving soon, so you might as well get rid of things you don’t need as early as possible. Donate or toss possessions that you haven’t used in a while and make sure to put away and organize everything else. Your home shouldn’t have random items strewn about when prospective buyers are touring it.

Make Your Carpets Presentable

Carpets take a lot of damage over time. If they don’t look presentable, it could ruin a prospect’s first impressions of your home. Vacuuming is a good start, but you may also need a strong carpet cleaner to get rid of tough stains. Carpet cleaning products are relatively inexpensive, and by using them, you can help your carpets look new – or at least better than they did before.

Clean Everything (Including the Nooks and Crannies)

Most people intuitively understand the importance of cleaning the house before listing it for sale, but it’s important to do a deep and thorough clean – not just your Sunday morning chores. Pay close attention to all the nooks, crannies, gaps, and spaces you might overlook in a cursory clean; if there’s a spot overcome with dust or caked in grime, it could turn an otherwise interested buyer away.

Nail the Lighting

Good lighting can bring life to any space. Your best bet is probably utilizing natural lighting, so keep the curtains open and show your house during daylight hours. But you can also make your property stand out with inexpensive lighting additions, such as accent lighting to highlight key features of your home’s interior or solar-powered lights to illuminate your walkways. Make sure of what you already have, like aesthetic table lamps and floor lamps, to illuminate dark corners and showcase your home in its full beauty.

Keep Your Furniture Arrangement Simple

Don’t buy new furniture or bend over backward to try and feng shui your living room. Instead, keep your furniture out of the way and keep your arrangements simple. Your goal should be to make the space look as big as possible and give your prospective buyers plenty of room to walk around comfortably.

Focus on Beautifying the Exterior

The first thing buyers will see is the exterior of your home, which is why curb appeal is so important. Consider painting or replacing your front door, investing in some flowers or landscaping, and power washing your siding; these steps can make a big difference.  

Depersonalize the Home 

You want this home to be appealing to a wide range of demographics, so try to depersonalize it. That means getting rid of any evidence of pets, taking down the family photos, and removing decorations that align with your personal style (no matter how much you like them).

Utilize Mirrors

Mirrors are extremely useful for giving the illusion of additional space. Hang wide mirrors on the end wall of your most important rooms to make them seem twice as big; it’s a little trick that can seriously pay off.

Add Some Finishing Touches

Finally, give your home some finishing touches:

  •         Open a cookbook. A colorful cookbook with detailed photos, opened on the counter, can give your house a more “home-like” feel.
  •         Light candles or incense. Use candles, incense, or other sources of pleasant scents to fill the house with great aromas.
  •         Make the bathroom welcoming. High-quality liquid hand soaps, fresh towels, and a brand-new shower curtain can all make your bathroom look more beautiful and welcoming.
  •         Place additional mats, rugs, and runners. Mats, rugs, and runners don’t cost much, but they can help you define your space – and make it look more presentable to people seeing it for the first time.

Home staging is too important to forgo entirely; no matter what, you’ll need to spend some time and money orchestrating the perfect presentation of your property if you want it to sell quickly and for a high price. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money do it. In fact, 35 percent of home sellers spend less than $500 for home staging. If you’re willing to put in a bit of time and effort, you can make your home look beautiful for prospective buyers.