Home staging is a technique sellers have used for years. It’s an important step to sell your home quickly and for a favorable offer. But there are tricks of the trade, especially if you’re staging a house on a budget. You’ve heard how decluttering and depersonalizing are must-dos for any open house. These are givens. But what about other staging ideas to elevate your home in the eyes of prospective buyers?

For your open house, these seven tips are simple, effective, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

1. The brighter the better.

Don’t underestimate the value of lighting. It’s as easy as a flip of a switch, and is as important as any step to the home staging process. Why? Well, lighting can make a room look bigger, feel comfortable, and appear livelier. Don’t forget about natural light either. Let the sun into areas like your living room and bedroom, since most homebuyers want to know where the sun faces during the day.

Bottom line: dim lighting is for dinner parties, not open houses. Brighten up, will ya?

2. Emphasize the kitchen.

This doesn’t mean update your kitchen entirely, because that’s a remodel, not a hack. Focusing on your kitchen’s features is a simple and better use of your time and money, especially when staging a house on a budget. Start with your light fixture. Is it outdated? A modern one can really change the dynamic of a kitchen, and can cost less than $100. If your cabinet hardware looks old-fashioned, swap them for a look that’s more desired in 2019. Clear all your kitchen countertops and then add a couple decorative items for a nice touch. A vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit will do the trick.

And if your kitchen needs some serious reorganization first, get to it!

3. Mirror, mirror, on the wall.

You might love your personal wall art and family photos, but prospects will have no connection with it, and it could put them off. The last thing you want is a potential buyer thinking about a funky painting in the living room while they’re viewing the kitchen. Replacing this décor with some well-placed mirrors throughout the home will make each room appear a little brighter and less cramped.

Got an appealing backyard? Place a mirror across from a window that overlooks the yard. The mirror will bring the outdoors inside, or so it’ll seem.

4. Create a bathroom white-out.

There’s a reason why every hotel bathroom you’ve ever been in is draped from floor to ceiling in white. It also happens to be one of the best staging ideas, because it reinforces the idea that it’s spotless and fresh. Start with buying crisp, white towels and assess the room. Does it need more? Purchase an all-white shower curtain to brighten it up even more.

Consider picking up a white bathmat as well. However, if your bathroom floor is a selling point, leave it be.

5. Set the table for your guests.

You know that nice China dining set that may or may not be collecting dust in your cabinets? Now’s the time to show it off. Set your kitchen or dining room table with plates, silverware, a neutral tablecloth, and even some cloth napkins and wine glasses. You want buyers to enter the dining area and envision themselves entertaining guests.

Strike the right balance to avoid it looking overly staged. Put your homebuyer hat on when you enter the room. If it looks too much like a display, remove a few items to make it more welcoming.

6. Pets? What pets?

As much as you love your pets, they are not a selling point to homebuyers. They may even make prospects uneasy. The first order of business is to get them out of the house for the day. And the next is to remove all it is they leave behind. Beds, litter boxes, toys, odor, and the little “presents” they leave in the backyard.

Lastly, make a pet hair sweep. If you have a pet that sheds, then you know how their hair likes to attach to, well, everything.

7. The outside is in the (little) details.

Though it’s true your home’s exterior is the invitation to the inside, it doesn’t mean you need to go overboard in revamping the area between the street and your front door. The fact is, prospects are going to care more about what’s inside (unless you have a hot pink-colored house, of course). So try these outside staging ideas:

  • Hang appealing house numbers that are legible from the street.
  • Line your stairs or walkway with flowers pots. Color never fails.
  • If you have a shabby-looking welcome mat, update it.
  • Consider a fresh coat of paint on your door. Avoid unconventional colors.
  • Make sure your doorbell works. Things could get a little awkward if they have to bang on your door to start the tour.
Since we are in the midst of a seller’s market, there’s a lot of hungry homebuyers out there. These staging tips are aimed to spark their appetite and give you the offer you’re looking for.

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