Staging your home on a budget

Did you know? On average, sellers receive $2 in increased sale price for every $1 they put into staging a home. Although many people think that staging a home is not important in a seller’s market, it is always beneficial to showcase your home in the best possible light. In any market, sellers should want to show off a home’s best assets. The good news about effectively staging a home is that it can be done rather inexpensively.

Keys to effective staging

  • De-personalize: Prospective buyers need to visualize themselves living in a house. Although we all love pictures of our family on the walls, this makes it harder for prospective buyers to see themselves living in the home. Although this detail is often overlooked by sellers, it may be best to store these photos and personal items away for showings.
  • Maximize your space: Perhaps one of the most critical items to complete prior to showing a home is to de-clutter. Of course, the more clutter a home has the smaller it will appear. Not to mention, no prospective buyers want to walk through a messy house. An important example of where de-cluttering can pay dividends is in the closets. If closets are too tightly packed with clothes and other items, it will give the impression that the home has small closets. Sellers should consider packing some of these items and storing them offsite, if possible.
  • Sanitize & disinfect: It is safe to say that during the pandemic we have all been conditioned on the importance of sanitation. While presenting a clean home may seem obvious, it is surprising to see how many sellers overlook this important detail. Keep in mind, prospective buyers do not want to see a sink full of dirty dishes any more than a homeowner does.
  • Modernize: If a prospective buyer feels that the home is dated and needs some updating, they will simply reflect this by presenting a lower offer. Sellers should always remember that the majority of home buyers do not want to spend any time, effort, or money on remodeling a home. By maintaining a modern home, you make your property appealing to the majority of prospective buyers. This is not to say that an expensive total kitchen renovation is needed, but some small tweaks could go a long way. For example, replacing gold fixtures and and other hardware such as doorknobs with brushed nickel finishes can make a big impact.
  • Neutralize: Painting is one of the most inexpensive ways to freshen up and update a home. As a best practice, sellers should consider neutral tones throughout the house in order to appeal to the majority of home buyers. For example, a homeowner may love bright red walls in their kitchen, but the majority of prospective home buyers will not share this same enthusiasm. Furthermore, darker paint colors will also make the room appear smaller than it may be.
  • Let there be light! While this is one of the most basic rules of home showings, it is critical that the home offer plenty of light during showings. Furthermore, the more natural light the better. Therefore, sellers may want to consider removing bulky window coverings that may decrease the amount of natural light entering a home.


You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This could not be more true than in real estate. While the focus of this article has been on how to properly stage a home prior to showings, this same approach must be taken prior to having professional photos taken for a listing. With over 90% of home searches beginning online, the listing photos are more important then ever. The same principles regarding de-cluttering and natural light apply for photos as well. In any real estate market, it is critical that attention to detail is adopted for every phase of a marketing plan.


REALTOR® with Live South Florida Realty, Inc.