5 Low-Cost Ways to Stage Your Home and Increase Its Worth

In today’s seller’s market, research shows that staging a home can not only increase the chances of selling a property but also sell it in less time and for more money. 

According to the National Realtors Association, 81% of buyer’s agents say that staging affects the buyer’s view of the home as it allows buyers to see a property’s full potential. Staging the living room was found to be most important for buyers (39%), followed by staging the primary bedroom (36%), and staging the kitchen (30%). When staging a home, 20% of sellers’ agents reported an increase of 1% to 5% of the dollar value offered by buyers in comparison to similar homes.

Ryan Fitzgerald, realtor and owner of Raleigh Realty reveals the benefits of home staging, and shares some quick and low-cost ways to make a property more appealing to potential buyers.

77% of agents say that having photos, videos (74%), and virtual tours (42%) of staged homes is more important to buyers than ever, as this makes it easier for buyers to see the property as a potential home. 21% reported that staging a home greatly decreased the amount of time the home was on the market.

Selling false expectations

The research also revealed that 68% of buyers were disappointed by how homes looked in reality compared to those they had seen listed on TV. 

Popular reality shows like Selling Sunset and Million Dollar Listing have really shed light on how important the styling of a home is to home buyers, with 73% saying they think listed properties should be staged like on TV. 

According to research by Raleigh Realty, the most common home improvement suggestions agents make to sellers before losing their properties include decluttering the home (93%), deep cleaning (85%), and improving the general kerb appeal of the property (78%).

While not every seller can afford to stage their homes like those on TV, Ryan says there are some quick and easy ways to stage your home on a budget.

1. Declutter and depersonalise

“The most important thing to consider when making a home ready for the market is to make it look less like your home and more like someone else’s. 

“Remove all family photos from the walls and children’s artwork from the fridge, and really strip back the personality you have given the home in the time you’ve lived in it. Utilize existing shelving by adding art pieces and old books to them to make them seem less cluttered and more aesthetically pleasing.

“A potential buyer won’t be able to look past the years of familial happiness to see themselves being able to live in it if it is too cluttered with personal possessions. Tuck them into drawers or move them to kid’s bedrooms or garages while viewings are taking place, and bring them back out once the deal has been done.”

2. Deep cleaning and repair

“Similarly, if your sofa or carpets are covered in pet hair or your walls have been artistically adorned with playtime pens and height records, a buyer is going to struggle to see the potential of the space without you and your family already in it.

“Broken light bulbs and faulty handiwork won’t shine your property in the best light, so make sure any small repairs are completed ahead of time to allow potential buyers the opportunity to turn on lights and run taps and look in cupboards to test these things themselves.

“Consider using shiny touches and high-gloss paint, as this can help make things look expensive on a budget, and try adding different types of lights too. Wall lights and table lamps with dimmer switches can help to make rooms fancy without costing very much.”

3. Neutralise the property

“While you may love the emerald green kitchen cupboards or yellow feature wall in the bedroom, a potential buyer may not, as the thought of having to redecorate their new property could put them off in the early stages.

“A lick of paint will instantly take walls back to a nice neutral shade that will help buyers see how bright and airy the spaces are and put your home in the best position to be sold. Adding lightweight, full-length curtains that touch the floor can also make a room feel luxurious without spending much.”

4. Help them see the future 

“The best way to help a potential buyer be able to visualise themselves living in your home is to hang mirrors in prime locations so they can literally ‘see’ themselves in the space. 

“Psychologically, this will let them have a quick trip into the future where they are hosting guests in their new home, cooking in the kitchen, or having movie nights in front of the TV, much easier than relying on their imagination alone.”

5. Make it aspirational

“Another psychological trick is to appeal to their other senses, like smell and taste, when viewing your property.

“By popping some vanilla extract in the oven before viewings or opening a bag of freshly ground coffee beans in the kitchen, your home will instantly smell more like their favorite cafe than your much-loved home, and the power of scent-evoked nostalgia will kick in and let them imagine eating croissants in the kitchen over their morning coffee.

“The same goes for household basics too. By putting soap or hand wash into fancy label-less bottles, your bathroom and kitchen will be instantly transformed into something much more high-end and aspirational for potential buyers to want to sign up to.”