5 Cheap Home Staging Tips

Selling a house can be nerve wracking. You want to sell quickly and for a good price so you can move on. TV shows can give you ideas about staging a house to sell, but a lot of those ideas require expensive renovations or more decorating skills that most homeowners have. When you’re working with a tight budget, you have to choose the kind of strategies that are cheap and easy, but still give you the results you want.

Involve your Realtor

When you hire an experienced Realtor, you have a staging expert on your side. The agents who show Penticton homes for sale know what works and what doesn’t. They also know what kind of staging is worth the cost and what is a waste of money.

One of the first things you and your Realtor should do before the home is even on the market is to take a tour of the rooms in the house and evaluate what can be done to enhance them in the eyes of potential buyers. Not only can your Realtor give you great advice about staging your house, this is the person to ask about specials on storage units and dumpster rentals. Keeping a checklist will help you get organized and give you a sense of accomplishment as you check projects off your list.

Declutter and depersonalize

One of the first things real estate agents usually tell clients is to declutter the entire house. One of the most efficient ways to do that is to create 3 categories: what you want to keep, what you are willing to donate, and what needs to be thrown away. Once you’ve dispensed with the last 2 categories you will be ready to stage with what’s left in the first one. It’s sometimes helpful to have a family member or close friend help you with letting go of items you don’t really have a need for but are sentimentally attached to.

Depersonalizing means removing most of the items in your home that are specific to you and your family. You want to pack up personal photos, take down vacation mementos lining your shelves, and remove the kids’ artwork pinned to your refrigerator door. It’s important for buyers to be able to visualize themselves and their belongings in the house. It’s hard for them to do that when yours are cluttering the space.


Painting a room is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a dramatic difference in the look of a space. Neutral colors should replace colors that are specific to your personal style. Neutral colors don’t distract the buyer’s eye or limit what they can imagine being in a particular room. Colors that are particularly effective include:

  • Taupe
  • Bird’s Egg Blue
  • Charcoal
  • Golden Yellow
  • Navy
  • Creamy Whites

It is certainly permissible to paint an accent wall in a striking but neutral color in order to bring out a particularly distinctive feature of a room, like the fireplace. Navy is a good example of a neutral color that is distinct enough to call attention to an important selling feature of the house.

Update furnishings

You certainly aren’t going to go out and buy all new furniture to impress potential buyers. It can be expensive to rent rooms of furniture as well. A cheaper idea to buy some slipcovers for old sofas and chairs. They will give your rooms a fresh, clean look that buyers will notice.

Friends, family, and yard sales can be sources of furniture. There might be pieces you can borrow or pick up for a few dollars that work perfectly for your purposes. It isn’t necessary for everything to match exactly. You just want the rooms to have a clean, cohesive look to them.

You don’t have to stage every room in the house. If you’ve already moved, and the house is vacant, you should stage the main living areas of the house and leave the bedrooms unless they have unusual configurations or are very small. Transitional spaces need to be staged so that buyers can visualize their function.

Create a homey atmosphere

Before open houses it’s important to make the home look as inviting as possible. Use light bulbs that give off a warm glow. Be sure all the windows have been washed and drapes are open to take advantage of what natural light you have. Fresh flowers and bowls of fruit set in strategic spots are little details that can make a big difference.

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