Staging Your Home on a Budget

If you’re planning to sell your home, you’ve probably read somewhere or been told that home staging is the key to success. It’s a strategic way to highlight your home’s best features while making it feel warm and welcoming to potential buyers. An effectively staged house will allow buyers to build an emotional connection with the space and visualize themselves living there, which ultimately leads to tangible offers and often a quick, lucrative sale.

There are a lot of home staging and design companies out there to help you attractively arrange your home, and many real estate agents will try to entice you with this service as well—but it can get expensive. Luckily for you, we’ve put together some of the best home staging tricks that you can accomplish on your own, and with a tight budget!

Check out these helpful and affordable tips for staging your house so you can invest your money in more valuable services—like a professional moving company. That way you can just sit back and watch your house fly off the market with your expert home staging, and let us do all of the stressful heavy lifting for you!

Staging Your Home on a Budget

Clean Everything

This is probably the most essential piece of advice for optimizing the value of your home and securing a profitable sale. If you do anything at all to contribute to the staging of your home, make it this: Clean! Clean! Clean! Nobody walks into a dirty house and thinks, “Ah yes, this feels like home.”

The Interior

Obviously, you’ll want to focus on the inside of the house when you begin the deep cleaning process. Wipe down all surfaces; counter tops, windows, cabinets, tables, floors, walls, doors, and anything else you can think of! Sweep the floors and vacuum the carpets every day your house is on the market—and if it’s in the budget, a professional carpet cleaning would be a wise investment too. Also, you don’t have to buy new kitchen appliances, but it should still look like you did.

Don’t forget you want your house to smell just as good as it looks too! Open the windows and get an air freshener or candle for each room with a fresh scent that isn’t too overwhelming.

The Exterior

Be sure not to neglect your home exterior either—it’s the first impression buyers are going to get of your house. Boost curb appeal by maintaining the lawn and spending a little time gardening. If you weren’t blessed with a green thumb, buy some potted plants for the porch or just make sure the bushes are trimmed.

If you do have a porch, take advantage of it! Repaint or touch it up if you need to, and make sure any porch furniture is clean and arranged appealingly. If you don’t have furniture, at least opt for a cheap doormat to make it feel like home before you even open the door.

Declutter

After you clean, declutter each room in your house. Maximize the amount of usable space you have to show off to buyers by removing piles and organizing junk drawers and closets. Clear off the countertops, tables and floors. Leave a few appliances and decorations to give the room a touch of atmosphere, but don’t go crazy squishing flowers onto every table.

Clutter distracts buyers from everything else your home has to offer. You want them to focus on the features of your house, like the fireplace in the living room, or the bay window in the bedroom—not the unopened pile of mail on the coffee table. Organizing and removing junk will make your space look bigger, more open, and far more appealing to potential buyers!

Depersonalize

You want to make your house feel like home, just not your home. Buyers need to be able to build an emotional connection and imagine the sort of lifestyle your house might have to offer them. Personal effects and accents make it hard for someone to relate to your space.

Take down any family photos or personal trinkets, like the snow globe collection displayed on the bookshelf in the guest room, or the photo magnets on the fridge. As insensitive as it sounds, you’ll want to eliminate all traces of your children and pets too—finger paintings taped to the cabinets, toys strewn across the floor or the lawn, dog crates, litter boxes, etc.

Anything that reminds potential buyers that you’ll be leaving traces of your life throughout the house—and the unavoidable mess that goes along with it—is only going to muddle the potential your home has to become theirs.

Freshen Up

We would highly recommend going through each room and touching up the paint on the walls, so it looks fresh and welcoming. Re-stain furniture or hardwood floors and buff out any scratches that might turn buyers off. Pull on those rubber gloves and clean the grime and mildew off the bathroom and shower walls too!

Ditch any ratty looking furniture or décor that is beyond hope to keep your home looking crisp and elegant. Repair any minor or noticeable damage to furniture, the floors, the walls, and any other surfaces that may have been nicked or scratched over the years. We all know these things happen, but you don’t want to remind your buyers of that!

Use What You Have

The whole point of staging your own home is to save money! Obviously, you’re not going to go out and rack up credit card bills trying to refurnish and redecorate your whole house just to get it to sell. Take advantage of existing furniture and décor, just do it strategically—in a way that will appeal to the masses and not just people who share your impeccable style and taste.

Rearrange Furniture

A calculated room setup is another one of those essential tools for enticing buyers. Open up the room by pushing furniture towards the wall—but not directly up against it—and removing or storing excess and chunky pieces. You want to optimize movement and make the room flow, so make sure there’s plenty of space to get around. Spreading your furniture towards the outskirts of the room will also give off the illusion of more space and help show off the room!

If you’re not looking forward to dragging the couch or lugging around end tables to the other side of the room, make a loose floorplan before you get active. Use tape to outline where you want your pieces to go, and to help you envision how the space will look once everything is in place. Another great trick is to buy furniture coverings for old or damaged pieces, or anything with a design that might be a little too eccentric!

Employ Décor

As we said before, don’t overhaul your entire interior design scheme, just strategically tweak it. Focus on smaller, cheaper details that make a room pop and flow—like accent pillows for the couch, or the right lamp for the nightstand. Take care to match linens in the bathroom and kitchen, and use a matching bed set. Small details like these will make a room feel neat and coordinated with minimal effort and cost on your part.

Use the décor you already have to create a welcoming atmosphere, and to present a cozy and stylish house that potential buyers want to come home to at the end of the day. Add homey touches like a book on the end table by the couch, or a vase of flowers in the kitchen. Make accent pieces work for your space by placing them around features you want to emphasize—like a simple, abstract art piece above the fireplace to draw the eye.

Stick with neutral color schemes and a few fun décor pieces to accent the room. Don’t display anything that might be too religious, political, or gender-specific and give buyers something negative to associate with your home. Use mirrors to make rooms look bigger, and curtains and lamps to channel natural and artificial lighting and determine the atmosphere of each room!

We understand that resources are sometimes limited when it comes to selling your home and moving somewhere new. That’s why Highland Van & Storage offers affordable and convenient moving, packing, and storage services to fit both your individual needs and your budget!