How to Stage your Home on a Tight Budget

How to Stage your Home on a Tight Budget

When trying to sell your home, one of the largest challenges is making your home appealing to potential buyers. Staging your home is a way to make your home look appealing to incoming homebuyers without having to change out your entire house! Many homeowners shy away from home staging because they think it will be expensive, or that they have to do a home transformation like many do it yourself television programs. On the contrary, there are several ways to stage your home on a budget, without losing your entire wallet.

  • De-clutter and de-personalize: One of the easiest and cheapest ways to stage your home is to get rid of clutter. De-cluttering doesn’t only mean removing unwanted items. It also includes purging items that don’t enhance the overall aesthetic of the room.  This includes de-personalizing, which means your high school trophies and grandma’s antique plate collection need to be packed up for the next house.  The goal is to make a homeowner want to walk in your house and see their belongings in it. De-cluttering and de-personalizing costs you nothing, except maybe your pride.
  • Color in your home is important: Take a walk through your home and determine if there is a natural flow throughout your home. Are the colors neutral from space to space, or are they a vibrant, knock-you-over-the-head color in every space? Consider painting rooms that are overly personalized. Neutrals, and muted tones are the safest. Color palettes of browns, grays, and the gray tones of greens, blues, and yellows are neutral as well. Painting is the cheapest upgrade you can make to your home, and homebuyers will appreciate rooms that flow comfortably together visually.
  • Make your home look inviting: Home staging is all about ‘setting the stage’ for a homebuyer to want to buy your home. This means fluffing up pillows in the bedrooms, and making sure matching clean towels are hung in the bathrooms. While all of these seem like very simple tasks, a homebuyer will notice and it will equate to them thinking you have taken care of the house, etc….  Ensure fresh aromas are going through your home – consider baking some cookies before an open house, and open windows the day before to allow fresh air to circulate through the home. Setting the stage can require no money at all, just some time and a conscious effort on your part.
  • Bring in natural light: It doesn’t matter how clean your home is, or what colors you paint the walls if you can’t see them! Opening up window treatments, and blinds when staging is imperative. Natural light will also help you see what buyers will see! Clean, clean, clean! Bringing in natural light also has a psychological and physical affect on humans. It makes us feel comfortable and safe. You will be surprised how much better your home will look and feel when let in natural light, and yes, it’s free.

Staging your home on a budget has never been easier and more affordable. No longer should homebuyers use the excuse that they can’t afford to stage their home. The biggest concept to remember is you will soon be a homebuyer and be on the ‘other side of the table’. What amenities would you look for, and what will make you want to say ‘this is my next home!’ Keep these in mind when staging your home and the process of staging on a budget will be that much easier.

Freshome readers have you tried to stage your own home for resale? We’d love to hear if you have more ideas to add to the list!


  • michelle March 10, 2011 at 15:28 PMLogin to Reply →

    I would definately add slipcovers to that list. Slipcovering worn, dark, heavy, or heavily patterned upholstered pieces will instantly update a look and add a fresh, new feeling. This is a great way to use that old ‘basement’ sofa in your re-staging process. Many people are trying to split furnishings between a staged home and a living space elsewhere, and slipcovers are an inexpensive option to buying new.

  • RoniqueGibson March 10, 2011 at 16:28 PMLogin to Reply →

    Yes, yes, Michelle – Slipcovers are a must! I agree, they can transform your furniture and keep costs down! Thanks for adding it to the budget friendly staging list.

  • AIAM March 10, 2011 at 17:39 PMLogin to Reply →

    This article is great, all the suggestions are great and I wish all the owners made, at least, this easy steps. I agree with all of them! It shouldn’t be so hard for the owners in this world to realize… And finding an apartment wouldn’t be such a depressing activity!

    I’d like to add a couple of suggestions that would make it a bit more expensive, but would get a YES! for sure. Maybe this is more focused on those who wish to rent their house to other people, more than for buyers. But in case someone is try to rent their apartment, please, read this…

    One change is, in case the floor is too old, installing parquet (at least in the areas where we don’t use fitted carpet, like Spain). Nowadays, there are cheap synthetic systems and a house with a new floor is much more inviting, it has the same effect as painting the walls I think, or even more.

    The other is to make a little investment in a bit of basic furniture. Nowadays we have super cheap stores, and for a really tight budget, we can install normal white curtains (they make every home look warmer) or, as Michelle said, slipcovers to those old flowered sofas that even lost their original color…

    Another trick? Put some flowers here and there. They do it in every picture of interiors for the magazines. And it’s so incredibly inviting. Why not doing it if we want to sell or rent our future ex-house? Oh and, if still a few coins are left, you can always buy flowers for your future house as well… And champaign!

  • Paulie March 11, 2011 at 22:59 PMLogin to Reply →

    Is that a square TV in the first picture?