How to Stage Your Home on a Budget

The fact is, staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged homes.1 Staging your home not only gives buyers a great first impression but allows them to picture themselves living in the home. And, believe it or not, staging can be a cost-effective way to help sell your home.

Stage your home on a budget

While staging can be expensive, the cost of staging a home in Des Moines, Iowa isn’t going to be the same as it is in Los Angeles, California.

No matter where you’re from, staging doesn’t have to cost a ton of money.Before and after bathroom home staging

You can get a simple consultation for around $100 or less. This will get you a plan for you to do it yourself. Or you can hire a designer to do some or all of the work for you. Choose whatever staging services fit your needs and budget.

However you decide to approach it, staging can be a cost-effective strategy to sell your home fast for top dollar.

It starts with you

There are a few things you can do ahead of time to save money and make staging easier.

Decluttering. The #1 thing recommended by all stagers is decluttering! Depending on how much stuff you have, this could be easy or somewhat time-consuming. Though it may be tempting to put all that “stuff” in your closets, it’s not a good idea. Closet space is important to home buyers too (so they need to be able to see the space!).

Declutter closets, shelves, tabletops and counter space as well as all living areas. If you have to, ask a friend or relative if you can borrow space in their garage or basement temporarily.

Clean, clean, clean. By making every single surface in your home shine, you’re showing buyers you take pride in maintaining your home. Clean every nook and cranny in your house, focusing special attention on kitchens and bathrooms. If you have carpet, plan to get it cleaned just before listing your home for sale.

Remove pets. Try to find a temporary place for your fur baby to stay while your house is listed. If this isn’t possible, it’s still best to take pets out of the house during showings. Stay on top of cleaning up fur and eliminating all odors. (No buyer wants to see or smell the litter box.) Make your pets as inconspicuous as possible.

Determine your budget

How much can you spend on staging? Figure out how much you want to spend on staging ahead of time. Take that number to your stager and ask him/her what services they can provide within your budget.before & after living room home staging

It doesn’t matter whether you can spend $100 or $2000, see what you can get. Even a short consultation or a plan can provide you with the guidance you need.

Get a consultation

Typically on a consultation, the stager will walk through your home and make a list of what he/she recommends you should do in each room. They will provide you with helpful tips and tricks and may even leave you with a plan that you can follow on your own.


Though you should always declutter and clean all areas of your home, there is no need to stage every single room. Pick and choose which rooms you want to be staged.  Most stagers prioritize the living room, kitchen, and bedroom; if you can only stage a couple of rooms, start with these.

Worried about the kids’ room? Maybe you shouldn’t be. If a child’s room is themed, brightly colored, or set up as a cozy nursery, it could be a selling point for buyers with children. Just make sure the room is organized and clean so the buyers can imagine their little one sleeping and playing peacefully in that room.

Use what you already have

You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy new furniture to make your house more appealing. You would be surprised at how well a good designer can use what you already have on hand. By simply rearranging your existing decor, wall hangings and furniture, they can create a whole new look.

Also, a stager will recommend little things, such as a few new accessories, a rug, or strategically placed flower arrangement that can make a big impact.

If you’re afraid a designer will come to your home and judge your existing decor, don’t be. Designers aren’t there to be critical; they’re there to help you. What you already have is probably fine, it just needs to be rearranged and adjusted.

Don’t miss the opportunity to give your buyers a great first impression. If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Our expert interior designer will handle all the details to make staging your home a simple, budget-friendly process. Contact us with questions or to schedule your consultation. We’re here to simplify the selling process for you every step of the way.


1. 2017 Profile of Home Staging


About the Author:

Amanda has lived in the Des Moines area since 1999, where she and her husband have bought and sold a handful of homes over the years, including a recent flip. Amanda enjoys writing, obsesses about personal finance and is fond of looking at houses. She loves sharing useful tips and info to make life easier for anyone wanting to buy or sell a home. In her spare time, Amanda cherishes time with her family, volunteers with IHYC, gardens, hikes, and practices TaeKwonDo. You can read more of her writing at whywemoney.com