Selling? How to Stage your Home on a Budget

kitsilano-homes-for-saleAre you a homeowner preparing to move up the property ladder- or perhaps looking to realize some of the equity in your home through a sale? Regardless of your motivation to sell, much of the methodology to garner top dollar for your property is the same. Despite what you may have heard, you don’t necessarily have to hire expensive home stagers or do extensive renovations to win potential buyers over.Declutter

Job one is removing excess stuff- which can include extra furniture as well as knick-knacks. Nothing will make a space seem smaller or less inviting than cramming it full of stuff, making it cramped.

As a rule, if an item does not serve a vital purpose, than get rid of it (either throw it out, give away or put in storage for the time being).

Don’t forget about closets and cabinets too. They are part of the home as well!

Clean, Clean, Clean

This kind of clean has to be a multi-sensory experience. Your home has to look clean, but it has to feel clean. Remove spots from walls and floors.  Scour bathrooms and kitchen areas. It goes a long way if your home smells clean as well.

An ultra-clean home gives weight to the impression that a home is well-cared for, which will entice buyers and encourage them to consider your property.

Neutralize the Space

Yes, your home is your space in which to express yourself, but the rules change slightly when your home is up for sale.

When trying to engage buyers, it is all about helping them envision their lives unfolding in the space that is currently your home, and that is accomplished by creating a “blank canvas”.

Remove family pictures (just for now!) and things that suggest a personal attachment and hang neutral understated pieces of art.

Make sure any scents in your home are soft and neutral as well (people tend to try to engage the olfactory senses) – but this is a case of where less is more.  Think more about vanilla than strong floral.

The guiding factor is to have your home appeal to the widest number of people.

Paint it

One way to freshen a space is to apply a quick coat of paint. This can make a room current and can also contribute to a sense of size.

Again, sticking with the neutrality theme, pick a neutral colour that will appeal to a wide range of people (something soft and in earthy tones is good). Depending on the rooms in question, beware of darker colours though. Although they are really cool, they can effectively make a room seem smaller than it is.

Mirror, Mirror

One of the oldest tricks in the home staging book is to hang mirrors throughout your home. Not only do they catch and distribute the light, making your home brighter, they go far to make a room appear larger.

Curb Appeal

You’ve heard about the weight of first impressions? A prospective buyer will make a decision as to whether or not they connect with your house within about 3-5 seconds- and much of this happens as they approach and enter your home.

If you have a condo, make sure the entryway is clear and inviting. For other properties, ensure the exterior is in good repair and looks polished. Make sure lawns are cut and that walkways are cleared.


Some pillar candles, throw cushions and area rugs are inexpensive methods to add visual interest to a room, while making it current, stylish and fresh.

Don’t forget about things like door handles and cabinetry as well. Make sure they are in good repair, and that they reflect current styles. A quick change of a drawer pull is inexpensive, but contributes to a sense of style and buyer appeal.