Staging Your Home Beautifully While on a Budget

The real estate market is knee-deep in peak season despite the pandemic. And given the seller’s market, homeowners are wanting to maximize their profits from their home to upgrade to larger homes. And one of the proven tools to help to maximize a sale’s price is home staging. According to a 2019 NAR study, “25% of buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent, compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.”

But home staging comes with a price tag, so what’s a homeowner to do if they’re on a tight budget?

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Donna Lamb, owner of Premier Home Staging and Design of Northwest Arkansas, offers budget-friendly home staging tips for homeowners that plan to sell.

Take Care Of The Basics First

While not all homeowners can afford thousands of dollars for home staging, there are some basics that homeowners can address to get top dollar when selling their home. Lamb suggests “It is critically important to take care of the basics first.” Basics that every homeowner can tackle before listing:

Partial Staging To Save Money

Staging every room of a home could be quite costly. Lamb even says, “As far as vacant, unoccupied homes, we actually don’t recommend staging the entire property.” Rather than staging an entire property, focus on the rooms that will provide the biggest bang for your buck. In Lamb’s experience, “We recommend only staging the entry, dining, living, kitchen and master suite. If there happens to be another room at the front of the home such as an office, we would recommend staging it as well.” Other tips for partial staging:

  • Properly scaled furniture. “Every room should have adequate space for movement, absent of excessive furniture.”
  • Hire a stager to do a walkthrough. “If the home is occupied or the sellers are leaving their furniture, employing a professional stager to walk through and conduct a consultation with them.”
  • Inquire about less staging options. “Options can be provided to stage less spaces to make the install more affordable for the seller.”

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Virtual Staging For Photos

One of the most affordable home staging options is virtual staging. 40% of buyers desire to look at the home they have seen staged online, making virtual staging a critical step. Lamb’s tips for virtual staging:

  • Ensure the company providing this service has a software program that provides realistic life like, and on trend furnishings as part of their program offering.
  • Inquire if the individual completing the virtual staging assignment is a professional stager and not an individual that is self-taught
  • She also cautions, “I believe any potential buyer touring the home is not going to physically experience the same emotions by looking at the virtual photos and then walking through an empty home.”

The One Room You Can’t Afford To NOT Stage

If homeowners are incredibly restrained by budget, there is one room that they must budget for when staging: the living room. The most used and versatile space, buyers want to see how the space feels and flows if they lived there. Forty-seven percent of buyer’s agents say the living room is the most critical room to have staged– and Lamb agrees. “This is the space that the majority of homeowners will spend time with their family.”

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Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.


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