No Cost Home Staging Tips

  • Declutter!
  • Remove rugs and collectibles from every room.
  • Get rid of everything on the kitchen counters, including appliances.
  • Remove as much as you can from closets.
  • Scrub floors, walls, and windows. Pay special attention to the microwave, oven, and refrigerator.
  • Focus on the feature rooms, the living, dining, and master bedrooms. Additional bedrooms are best left empty or minimally furnished.
  • Arrange the furniture to show off each room's best features.
  • Set the dining-room table with napkins, plates, and flatware.
  • When showing the house, turn on soft music.
  • Don't light candles since buyers may be allergic to the scent, and also may think you are trying to cover an odor.

Read this article for Open House Tips.

Christina Asad Cavins, REALTOR
2006 & 2007 Sales Masters Top Agent
mobile or text 937-205-4741 

Blog article provided by Christina Cavins, a Nationally recognized Realtor with Irongate Inc. Realtors. Christina can be reached via email at ChristinaCavins@aol.com or by cell phone or text message at 1-937-205-4741. For Ohio real estate and homes see Ohio Real Estate.


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Comment balloon 8 commentsChristina Cavins • June 22 2008 02:24PM


Great tips.  Thank you for sharing!  Have a wonderful day.

Posted by Lorinda Ward, Serving, Hampton Roads Virginia. Norfolk, Chesapeake, Va Beach (Keffer Realty) about 12 years ago

Good point about candles. I am always wondering what smells are they hiding and I am paranoid that the house will catch fire after I leave.

Posted by Richard Mielke, REALTOR, Gettysburg Pennsylvania Real Estate (RE/MAX Results) about 12 years ago

Hi Christina,

I came to your post as you suggested - and as an ASP Home Stager - I agree with some of your recommendations but certainly not all of them.  Staging is not about stripping a house of all decor, and all items - that is boring and too severe.  It would be easy if every house followed a cookie-cutter formula that we could sum up in a few bullets of suggestions, but unfortunately the reality is that every home is different, Sellers need a specific plan of action about their own issues and items in the house, and we don't want to get rid of everything - as many things a sellers has we use to create interesting appeal in each room.  And the seller needs someone to hold them accountable and ensure they actually DO the work.  I see way too many houses on the market that have a half-hearted attempt at Staging - that really looks bad in photos, and in person.

Staging is an art of carefully and strategically placing furniture and decor in a way that best features the room, the house, and the focal points we want buyers to appreciate and minimizes other areas or aspects of the house.  The Realtors I work with see me as a valuable partner in their real estate business - and are not simplifying a process that in reality is complicated - because we are dealing with people, in a stressful situation and any time there is the human element - it takes more skill to get the job done.

- Jennie

Posted by Jennie Norris, Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource, (Sensational Home Staging) about 12 years ago

Christina   As requested, I am here to contribute.  Your cleaning and decluttering suggestions should be followed by anyone putting a house on the market.  Most "no cost" suggestions like cleaning are basically common sense and no professional is needed.  However, when it comes to arranging furniture to best feature a room...many sellers can't handle this without consulting a professional. 

I understand your instruction to remove all items from the counters is meant to neaten and declutter, but empty counters can be a problem too.  Just like vacant rooms, empty counters can feel cold and any defects become very obvious.  Removing is just the first step, in order to complete the "staging" some accessories must be strategically placed on the counters...items to convey an inviting and welcoming feel.  This step may require professional assistance.

I have found in my business that sometimes the seller wants to save money and do it themselves and they have me do only a consultation with a to-do list.  The sellers interpretation of my suggestions is not always what I had intended.  Sometimes it is just worth the money to pay a professional.


Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 12 years ago

Great tips!  All we need is for the homeowners to follow them!

Posted by Kristina Leone (Lionheart Home Staging, LLC) about 12 years ago

People have a really hard time letting go of clutter mostly because it is attached to the identity they have formed of themselves. I am working on a feng shui blog with some tips to help people let go of clutter, and explain in a non hokey way how it will lighten thier rooms and allow for potential buyers to picture the home as thier own. 

Posted by Michelle Bourque (Attention to Detail) almost 12 years ago

Most of these are good common sense.  The rugs, nicknacks and arranging of furniture should be done with a stagers eye.  Most sellers can't see the differnece and that's why thy live that way.

we live in a home one way and we stage to sell another.


This is coming from a realtor/stager  who knows the difference is how to prepare a home for sale.

When I was working as  Realtor I hired a stager to work with me.  Now I'm staging and referring out my buyers and sellers.


Posted by Virginia Tatseos (Stage-Show-Sell) almost 12 years ago

Hi Christina,

These are all good guidlines and a good place to start.

It always amazes me when I walk into a a listing and it looks like the agent just snuck up in the middle of the night and posted the sign without giving the seller any advice or even warning. By advising your clients with this list you're already doing more than a lot of agents.

Keep it up!

Posted by Susan Peters, The Better it Looks the Better it Sells (Dove Realty Inc.) almost 12 years ago