5 Inexpensive Ways to Stage Your Home on Your Own

While staging your home can increase the sale price and speed at which you sell it, paying a professional to design and rent décor can cost you thousands of dollars a month. Here are five easy ways to cut down on that cost.

How to Stage a House to Sell

Are you looking for tips on selling your home? According to Realtor.com, staged homes sell 88% faster and for a 20% higher price than those left as-is. That sounds like a huge benefit. But in some cases, the cost of staging will eat into most of that profit.

On average, professional stagers charge between $300 and $600 for an initial consultation and then between $500 and $600 per month, per room, for staged décor. Most companies require a three-month contract so that brings the average cost of staging a 2,000 square foot home to about $7,200, even if it sells within 24 hours.

The larger the house and more expensive the market, the more it will cost to stage. And if you’ve already moved out of the home you’re selling, you’ll have to add the cost of renting furniture on top of that! So for some sellers, a complete professional staging might not be worth it. Luckily there are five inexpensive ways to stage your home on your own.

Focus on the Rooms Where all the Living Happens

While buyers will consider the entire house when purchasing, three rooms really close the deal:

1)    Kitchen
2)    Master bedroom
3)    Living room/Dining room

So if you’re strapped for cash, focus on staging these three rooms and you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.

Purchase Ready-Made Slipcovers

If your furniture is dated, worn, or upholstered with a busy fabric, a real estate agent might recommend you replace it. But before you buy all new furniture that might or might not go with your new home, consider neutral-colored slipcovers instead. They will hide any imperfections and give the room an instant update.

If you use neutral-colored slipcovers, you can add color back by purchasing decorative pillows at a discount retailer like Home Goods or Target. They add instant style and it’s an easy DIY alternative to hiring a professional stager. If you can’t reuse the pillows at least you’re only out about $100.

Add an Accent Wall

Painting the interior of the house is an important update that takes years off its perceived age. It will also make the rooms look cleaner and can lead to a higher sales price. Realtors will often recommend you choose a neutral color for the walls, but to add a pop and highlight an attractive feature like a bay window or fireplace, add an accent wall. One can of paint in an eye-popping color could cost you as little as $20. For more advice on color, read Harness the Power of Color to Sell Your Home.

Update Bedding With Discounted Sets

New bedding can completely freshen the look of a bedroom and the good news is, you don’t have to replace everything. As long as the bed skirt is a neutral color like white or cream, you can get away with buying a duvet and pillow set for as little as $10 at IKEA. Don’t worry about replacing the sheets—no one will see them anyway.

If you purchase bedding sets that include sheets, use the flat sheets as curtains in one of the rooms. Professional stagers will usually add new window treatments to freshen the space, but now you’ve killed two birds with one stone.

Buy Good Quality Light Bulbs

If you can’t afford to replace the lighting in your home, you can at the very least improve the quality of light. Make sure the bulbs are the right wattage for your lamps and lighting fixtures, and opt for warmer hues over energy efficient. Warm light is more flattering on skin tones and less abrasive on the eyes than the bright white light that energy efficient bulbs provide. You might want to read To Sell Your Home, Get The Lighting Right.

You can save a lot of money by staging your home yourself. As long as potential buyers perceive your home as updated and fresh, they’re likely to pay for it.