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Selling Your Home: Staging “On the Cheap”

Posted by Lorna Rafferty on Thursday, July 28th, 2022 at 10:50am. 2985 Views

Home Staging on the Cheap

If you’re a devotee of television real estate shows, you’ve no doubt heard the word “staging” tossed around here and there. Many popular home selling shows talk about staging a home before buyers come through, and – often – the staging involves rearranging the entire house and replacing the owner’s belongings with others that make the house look more attractive to potential buyers.

But not everyone has an unlimited budget for staging or can afford to hire a “stager”, nor is it practical to do this if you have an active family that needs to “live” in the house while it’s being sold.

In actuality, you can stage your home without spending a fortune. Even professional stagers admit that there are a number of small, inexpensive items you can buy that can make your home an eye-popper for those walking through during an open house or private showing. You don’t even need a very keen eye for design to figure out what to do with these items, which are easily purchased at places like HomeGoods, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Walmart, or other similar store.

Accent mirrors

Decorating with small to medium accent mirrors that are interesting in shape and/or color/finish can be a great way to add a little extra pizzazz to just about any room.

One of the main reasons for adding mirrors is that they make small rooms look bigger. Mirrors do an excellent job of tricking the eye into thinking there’s more square footage because they bring depth and light into any space. They are especially helpful in rooms that lack a lot of natural light. You can hang them just about anywhere. Just be sure that what they are reflecting is something you want your visitors to see.

You can hang a single mirror or even a group of similarly-shaped mirrors all on one larger wall. That’s interesting to the eye! And depending on your choice, mirrors can also add a dramatic effect to any room, especially if you choose something bold with a thick frame. Or, if you need a pop of color on white or light walls, select something with a bright-colored frame.

Mirrors are offered in various shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find something to complement your room. Just remember that, like art, mirrors should reflect the style of your home…no pun intended.


We know what you’re thinking! I have a black thumb! I have no time to care for plants!

That’s why we suggest buying yourself some good ol’ fake ones! There are plenty of phony plants – or, if you prefer, faux plants - available that look like the real thing…or close enough. For not a lot of money, you can find everything from small plants in a decorative pot suitable for tabletops to tall “trees” that dress up the corner of a living room or that extra space in your bedroom.

Greenery brings the freshness of the outdoors inside, even in the cold weather, and also adds color to rooms that might have neutral walls or furniture. They’re also a wise investment because you can take them to your new house – and the next house and the next house – because they’ll never die. All you need to do is dust or clean the leaves and spiff up the container once in a while.

Electric candles

Who doesn’t love the look that a flickering candle gives to a room? Candles provide an extra warm glow and even a touch of romance to just about any space.

However, if you’re staging your home for an open house or showing, you don’t want to leave real candles burning for hours. Though most jar-type candles aren’t a fire hazard these days, they do leave a scent that some visitors may not like, even if you love that “warm cinnamon sugar” or “day at the beach” aroma! You also don’t want to be responsible for visiting children being burnt by the candle’s flame.

So, purchase a set or two of electric candles, and you can disburse them throughout the house or position them in a room that you think is best served by that candlelight. They’re often available in packages of three or four and usually come in white or off-white to match any décor.

Bowls of fruit

For any showing, your kitchen should be clean and sparkling and your countertops clear. The one thing that can remain is a lovely bowl or basket filled with colorful citrus fruits like oranges or clementines, limes, and lemons.

If you also want to add a little citrus scent to your kitchen before visits, go ahead. But don’t buy those artificial-smelling sprays. Instead, simply add sliced citrus fruit to a small saucepan of water. Simmer over low heat -- enough to emit steam after a few minutes but not high enough heat to boil the water. Turn it off when the water gets low and dispose of the ingredients. The scent should hang around for a few hours.

This is pretty much a no-brainer and takes literally seconds to organize. Just make sure you replace the pieces of fruit when they start to look bad, get soft, or begin to smell.

New towels

Splurge a little on some fluffy towels for your bathroom(s). White towels are perfect because they look hotel-chic! And the fluffier, the better!

Be sure they are immaculate, and don’t let anyone use them. These are purely “for show,” you can take them out before buyers arrive and put them away when the appointment or open house is over. 

Need more ideas on how to stage your home without breaking the bank? Talk to your listing agent or local realtor for more info.

Inexpensive Home Staging Tips

Lorna Rafferty is the Director of Operations at Frankel Ball Realty Group located in Jupiter, Florida. She specializes in real estate content optimization, social media, and marketing to help buyers, sellers, and other Realtor's optimize their real estate. 

Please feel free to contact Lorna directly or leave a comment on this blog post if you have any questions or want to add any feedback. Thanks for stopping by!

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