How to Stage Your Vacant House on a Budget

Real Estate Agent with FRONT PORCH TEAM REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Brokerage, Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC FA100041320

 How can you Stage Your Vacant House on a Budget? (Part 1 of 2)

Sellers have a long list of reasons why they’d like to leave their property sit vacant. The cost of renting inventory is probably the biggest argument. I understand this reasoning. Its difficult to spend more cash in order to sell your home - especially, if you’ve already made all the recommended improvements and upgrades.

So, what are your options when money is tight and you realize the home feels naked and cold without furnishings? Take a look online at the comparable listings in your area and see how your competition looks. Are these homes furnished? If so, are they tastefully staged? If not, how do they make you feel? If you were the Buyer which one would you want to see?


First, talk to your REALTOR about having a certified Home Stager come in for a Consultation. They are professionally trained to be resourceful and present options for your specific situation. Here are a couple of suggestions:


1.     Ask family members or friends if they have furniture that’s in good shape (not sun faded, torn, or sad) they could loan you. Keep it simple, no loud or obnoxious prints. Just one couch or a pair of chairs for your living/family room, preferably a solid, doesn’t even have to be neutral. Slipcovers can be an inexpensive option if necessary. Small tables, lamps, area rugs, artwork are all items they may have in their spare rooms or basements that could create a warm vignette in your home. One client borrowed an 8 x 10 area rug to add some color to a beige room.  If you’re not sure, go ahead and place items in the garage for a Home Stager to review. They know all kinds of tricks of the trade to make an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.


2.     Check out Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity ReStore resale outlet stores, etc. These are all economical sources and they have a wealth of inventory that turns over weekly. I found a pair of Ethan Allen wingback chairs at my local Goodwill for $35 each. I had them re-upholstered, but could have easily been slipcovered.










Here's an example of one of those chairs and the ottoman used in a vacant staging.

I’m sure you have some ideas of your own to add to the list. It really doesn’t have to be about renting a whole house of furniture and accessories. Being creative and resourceful can still make a big impact in making a positive, emotional connection with your Buyers.



Cheers to a successful sale!




Kim Gaston


Home Stager, Interior Redesigner, Color Consultant


- delighted to style Colorado Springs and the Front Range community.


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Colorado Springs Realtor

 Front Porch Real Estate

Front Porch Team Real Estate & Property Styling |

If you'd like to know how we can creatively stage and sell your home for the most money in the shortest time,

please call me at 719-661-6987.  

To view inspiring Before & After staging photos, visit my portfolio at:


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gina Tufano 11/28/2011 01:38 PM
ActiveRain Community
Colorado El Paso County
Stage It Forward...
Real Estate Staging Association
Colorado Real Estate
Introducing Newbies in Active Rain
vacant homes
staging vacant homes
staging on a budget

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Kathy Toth
Ann Arbor Market Center Keller Williams - Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor Real Estate Experts - Kathy Toth Team

I really like the area rug - Great way to define the space and in your example the blue really makes the space feel comfy and plush.

Nov 28, 2011 01:32 PM #1
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Kim thanks for the suggestions! Great post!

Nov 28, 2011 01:46 PM #2
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Kim--great post. There really are lots of resources when a buyer starts looking for them.  When you live on an island in the middle of the Pacific and don't have access to any of the stores on the mainland you end up getting as creative as you are.  I also love Craigslist and it has saved me a few times. 

Nov 28, 2011 04:14 PM #3
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH TEAM REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Brokerage, Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

Thanks, Kathy. The homeowner borrowed it from a friend who was happy to help with the staging!

Emilia - thank you for visiting.

Hi Janet - You must be extremely resourceful! I can't imagine the obstacles you come up against...a sign of a truly talented Stager. Yes, thank you for reminding me about Craigslist. I've found some deals on Amazon as well.

Nov 28, 2011 04:46 PM #4
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kim - You found those chairs for $35 each?  What a steal!  The chair and ottoman look fantastic re-covered.  Staging doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg if the client is on a tight budget.  The key is having a Stager like you, Kim, who thinks outside the box and problem solves.  Great article!

Nov 28, 2011 04:56 PM #5
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH TEAM REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Brokerage, Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

Thanks, Sally! Yes, it was all about timing. They had just come off a truck...pretty soiled, but good bones. I used $7/yd outdoor fabric from Ballard Designs to offset the cost of labor to reupholster ($350) and then I antiqued the legs. It was a fun experiment and they get lots of compliments.

Nov 28, 2011 06:39 PM #6
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Kim Gaston

Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987
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