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Staging on a Budget

But first, why stage?

The primary goal of staging is not to decorate but, rather prepare the property so that it will appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers that will pay the highest price possible. Professional stagers use their knowledge of design trends, real estate ethics, and property renovation solutions to help the seller achieve their goals.

Benefits of Staging:

• Professional staged properties show better than competing ones

• Staged properties sell faster than those that are not

• Staged properties can increase the number of offers and selling price

• Photos of staged properties get more views on the MLS

• 85% of staged homes sold for 5-23% over list price

• 75% of sellers saw an ROI of 5-15% over asking price

Staging your home is easy and affordable. Home stagers have the training and skills needed to help you when it comes to selling your largest investment. However, if you do decide to go it alone, here are some tips to successfully stage your home on a budget.

Stage Before Listing This should go without saying but, you reach the greatest number of buyers within the first 2 weeks that the house is listed on the market. Be sure that you make the best first impression possible by showing your house at its absolute finest from day one. Remember, a price reduction will always cost more than staging.


You can save on a professional cleaning costs by doing the cleaning yourself but, ensure that it is white glove clean before your first showing. This is exactly how it sounds – leave no stone unturned and clean every surface, nook, and cranny.

Declutter People say clutter eats equity. Decluttering is one of the most cost-effective ways to help your home show better. But don’t just jam everything into the closets. Storage space is high on your buyer’s list. If there is not enough room for your stuff, they know there will not be enough room for their stuff. Good places to start: overstuffed bookshelves, desks littered with paperwork, and bathroom countertops crammed with beauty supplies. Start by tossing or donating items no longer needed. Save on the cost of a storage unit by using the garage to store boxes (buyers expect to see some spaces in the house used as storage).

Let the Sunshine In

Natural light is important to buyers, so it’s crucial in home staging to maximize what you have. Open shades, blinds or curtains to let as much light as possible to come into the home.

Take down any heavy draperies from the curtain rod and either leave the windows unadorned or hang a pair of sheer panels to allow maximum light. IKEA sells sheer white curtains for as low as $8.49 per pair.

Fresh Coat of Paint

This can be done DIY to save money but, choosing the right color is key. Keep it light and neutral. Stick with a grey and beige palette (also referred to as “greige” by decorators) to appeal to the general public. Some of our favorite colors are: Agreeable grey - Sherwin Williams and Revere Pewter - Benjamin Moore. Touch up stairwells, baseboards and crown molding. To save on the cost of supplies, stick to only repainting the rooms that are either a non-neutral or otherwise distracting color.

Stage Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor living is trending on the priority lists for today’s buyers. Create an irresistible stay-cation ambiance with an area rug and brightly colored cushions. Use items that you already own to create an entertaining space. Place a serving tray with a few bottles of Perrier (or other nice bottles) a few glasses and some colorful straws on a table for an inviting scene.

Healthy Plants And Flowers

It’s always a good idea to have an element of nature in each room but, make sure that your plants and flowers look healthy and alive. Remove any dead, unkept foliage. The perception is that if you can’t maintain a plant, you probably haven’t maintained the HVAC, water heater, etc. There's nothing more welcoming than fresh flowers for an open house. Pick some up at your local Trader Joe’s or Cosco. They have an amazing selection and are reasonable priced. In a pinch, grab some greenery from your yard and place in a small vase.

Shop Your Home

No need to go shopping, you probably have items tucked away that would work great for staging an open house. For example:

• Swap out the daily towels for the guest towels. Pull out your fluffiest neutral colored set, fold them in thirds so there’s no edges showing, and arrange them on the towel bar or ring.

• Stage utility area by setting up your ironing board and a nice laundry basket to emphasize the space. Pour detergents into glass jars and store dryer sheets in a basket or any other decorative container you can find around the house.

• Create vignettes. Start by gathering your nicest glassware, vases and bowls. Place a folded newspaper with a coffee cup on a tray by a chaise lounge. Fill decorative bowls with green apples or lemons to display in the kitchen or fill a vase with fresh flowers in the entryway.

If all of this seems like a lot, it is!

That’s why realtors and homeowners hire a professional. If your not already working with a stager, we would be happy to help!

Realign Design makes it easy to get started by booking a staging consultation online.

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