How to Stage and Decorate Your Home (on a Budget!) Before Listing It for Sale

When it comes to selling a home, staging is the name of the game. These days, most home buyers are looking for a move-in ready home—a place they can buy and move into immediately with only minor design changes to make. So, if you’re putting your home on the market, you will want to get it in pristine shape before taking photos and presenting your listing. 

Getting your home ready for prospective buyers takes some work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive. If you’re ready to start prepping your home for the market, here are four cost-effective tips that can help you be ready for photos in no time.

View Other Homes

To start your staging project off with some inspiration and direction, consider examining how other homes compare with your home. Research listings in the area of homes of a similar size and price range, and look at how they’re staged. Looking around allows you to see how other sellers are handling decluttering and staging. Research local real estate prices as well so you get an idea of how to price your home.

Free Up the Space

When it comes to the actual work of getting your home ready for the market, your first step will be to declutter. The whole point of decluttering is to create room to breathe in the home. This means going room by room and getting rid of any items that crowd the space or make it look messy. For instance, you’ll want to clear out that drawer of unused electronics, minimize the appliances sitting on the kitchen counter, and make sure the entryway is tidy and welcoming. 

You’ll want to focus on areas of the home that collect clutter, like closets. Experts say you should start by removing everything from your closet, then putting back only the items you use and love in an organized, eye-catching way. You can find attractive, inexpensive storage bins at stores like Kohl’s that will keep your closet tidy (be sure to look online for cash back offers and digital coupons to stretch your dollars even further).

And don’t forget the garage! Features like vertical organizing systems are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, yet add extra perceived value for prospective buyers. Remember that buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home — not you. This means making it easy for them to see their items organized in your space. 

Clean, Clean, and Clean Again

Once you have the home decluttered, it will be easier to give it a good deep cleaning to make it shine for potential buyers during open house visits. As with decluttering, it can help to clean room by room. Start with the kitchen, bathrooms, and living room, cleaning from top to bottom. Then, move onto the bedrooms and other spaces. Many sellers hire a cleaning service before taking photos. Expert cleaners will have your home ready for showing.

Add Tasteful Decor

This part requires you to practice restraint. Remember that you want the home to appeal to buyers, even if that means you have to change some elements you love. For instance, if your walls are painted a lot of different colors (especially kids’ rooms), you may want to paint them a neutral color like beige, gray, or greige. 

Also, look for any outdated furnishings that need to be replaced, whether it’s a light fixture, chair, or any other piece that brings the aesthetic appeal down. Furthermore, putting some throw pillows and a blanket on a couple of furniture pieces can add warmth to your space. 

Staging your home can seem like a daunting task, but implementing these tips can help your experience go more smoothly. Check out similar homes listed nearby to see how they’re staged, and be sure to declutter and clean your entire home. Also, make any necessary changes to the decor, but make sure they’re tasteful. Once you get your home ready to sell and looking wonderful, be sure to keep it that way while it’s on the market. 

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