Select Page

Ask a Stager: What if my sellers cannot afford professional home staging services?

Share this article:

Welcome to Ask A Stager, your regular staging advice column designed exclusively for real estate professionals. Whether you’re grappling with how to enhance the visual appeal of your listings or seeking innovative strategies to captivate your target audience, you’ve come to the right place. Ask A Stager offers you the opportunity to pose any and all staging-related questions and receive expert advice, for free.

No query is too big or small — if it’s about elevating the look of your real estate, we want to hear it and we want to help! Email your questions to


In the competitive world of real estate, staging has become an essential tool for attracting buyers and maximizing sale prices. While professional staging services offer incredible benefits like design skills and an understanding of buyer psychology and marketing, in certain circumstances, a more budget-friendly approach may be your only option. This is where embracing DIY home staging techniques can still offer significant benefits. 

Here are the top 10 DIY home staging tips for you to help your clients enhance the appeal of their property with a limited budget.


1. Harness the power of scent


Use subtle natural scents like vanilla or citrus to create a welcoming atmosphere throughout the home. Cinnamon candles, natural air fresheners like dried fruits and cinnamon sticks, or freshly baked cookies can evoke positive emotions and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

With increasing scent allergies, be sure to avoid strong artificial scents that can turn buyers away.


2. Create a focal point


Highlight a standout feature in each room, such as a fireplace, large window or architectural detail. Arrange furniture to draw attention to the focal point and guide buyers’ eyes toward the home’s most attractive features.

Be mindful never to block the natural flow of traffic from room to room. Always look for opportunities to draw the eyes up (e.g. lighting, full-length drapery or artwork), which will make the room feel more spacious and impressive.


3. Showcase versatility


Stage rooms with flexible layouts to appeal to a wide range of buyers. For example, you can transform a spare bedroom into a multi-purpose space with a home office or gym to demonstrate the room’s potential for different uses.

Use furniture that can be flexible, such as a daybed which could act as both a couch and a bed for guests. Just be sure to keep in mind the appropriate scale to avoid making the room feel cluttered.


4. Use art strategically


Select artwork that complements the style of the home and adds visual interest to walls. Large statement pieces can create a focal point, while smaller pieces can be grouped together to create a gallery wall.

Opt for larger artwork over small pieces to make a bigger impact, especially in wide-angle photographs. Remember, not every wall needs art; focus on creating focal points strategically. Overloading with artwork can detract from the room’s appeal.


5. Incorporate texture


Add depth and dimension to rooms by incorporating a variety of textures, such as soft throws, plush rugs and textured cushions. Mixing textures adds visual interest and makes spaces feel warm and inviting.

A warm and inviting ambiance with neutral tones can foster an emotional connection to the home, prompting buyers to envision themselves living there.


6. Stage outdoor spaces


Don’t neglect outdoor areas when staging a home, especially as the warmer weather approaches!

Create inviting outdoor living spaces with comfortable seating, outdoor rugs and potted plants. Stage dining areas with place settings to showcase the potential for alfresco dining. Don’t miss the opportunity to expand the living space to the outdoors, especially with smaller homes and condominiums.


7. Highlight architectural details


Draw attention to unique architectural features like crown moulding, built-in shelving or exposed beams.

Use lighting and neutral tone furnishings and accents to help accentuate these details and create a sense of elegance and sophistication.


8. Emphasize storage


Showcasing ample storage space can be a significant selling point for buyers. While storage spaces don’t have to be empty, they do need to look uncluttered.

Maximize closet and cabinet space by decluttering and adding organizers or baskets. This creates a sense of spaciousness while maintaining functionality for clients living in the home.


9. Add greenery


Incorporate plants and flowers throughout the home to bring life to indoor spaces. Not only do plants improve air quality, but they also add a touch of nature and freshness to rooms.

Opt for artificial greenery in vacant properties for low-maintenance appeal. While fresh flowers are ideal, artificial options offer lasting charm without the upkeep hassle.


10. Make a cozy atmosphere


Use layered lighting (recessed lighting and lamps, etc), throw blankets and plush cushions to create a cozy ambiance that invites buyers to linger. Stage bedrooms with luxurious bedding and layers of pillows to evoke feelings of comfort and relaxation. Ensure the beds are impeccably made, paying special attention to the primary bedroom.

Remember, buyers are looking to emotionally connect with the home, and the primary bedroom serves as their sanctuary.


Even with a limited budget, by understanding and implementing these less obvious DIY home staging tips, you can elevate your listings and captivate potential buyers with homes that feel welcoming, stylish and move-in-ready without breaking the bank.

With a thoughtful approach and attention to detail, DIY staging is something that should be implemented at a minimum for every listing, as it can significantly impact the success of a home sale.


Photos: Nina Doiron


Got home staging questions for a future column? Submit them to


Share this article: