1. Speak with a real estate agent to get advice
Talk to a real estate agent and ask them what they suggest. Tell them how much you can or can't spend and find out what they suggest.
They might tell you that your house is fine the way it is and only spend a few dollars sprucing it up. They'll also be able to tell you what typically helps sell houses, for your particular type of home and neighborhood.
2. Only spend time and money on the major living spaces.
Only spend time and money on the main spaces such as the living room, family room, dining room, and kitchen. I also think a bit of something in the front foyer is helpful for when potential home buyers enter your home.
If you have a space that is difficult to envision how to use it, then try to add pieces that help define the space.
Just be sure that homebuyers can understand the spaces and how to use them.
3. Don't use a storage unit
Storage units are expensive so avoid using one if you can. If you need somewhere to park your household items while your house is being listed, try to find another option.
You could store your stuff in a friend's garage or basement or even in your own garage if you had to but this isn't the best option for obvious reasons.
However, if you can stack boxes in a back corner or even better, on shelves, this can give potential home buyers an idea of how much storage space is actually available.
4. Use slipcovers on furniture
Slipcovers are a budget-friendly way of giving your sofas and chairs a facelift. If your furniture isn't neutral or has aged, shop for cost-effective slipcovers that will transform the look of your furniture and room. Try to find slipcovers that are light in color and fresh looking.
5. Add Some Paint
It's not likely worth it to re-paint your entire house or spend too much time and money on painting. Most buyers will likely want to paint when they move in because let's face it, we all have our own taste in color and design.
However, you may want to add a pop of color to one wall which might just be enough to draw some attention to a space that you want to highlight.
6. Update your bedroom with a new duvet and pillow covers
Our bedrooms are often neglected when it comes to design and keeping things updated.
One really easy, cost-effective way of updating your bedroom is to buy a new duvet with pillow and sham covers. You can often find these at a great, affordable price at stores like Wal-Mart and Target. You don't have to break the bank.
7. Shop in thrift stores and garage sales
Accessorizing doesn't need to be expensive. Remember to visit thrift stores and source local garage sales. So often, what other people no longer want, will work perfectly for someone else's space and when you are thrift shopping, it's no doubt at a fraction of the price that you would pay if it was brand new from a store.
8. Get as current as possible
Spend a bit of time making things as current as possible and as fresh as possible. Remove items that no longer fit with current day styles, knowing that it's a temporary change and you can change things back to how you prefer.
Your real estate agent or stager can give you some suggestions but as an example, replace old silk plants and flowers with fresh, potted plants or flowers in a vase. Or put new numbers on the front of your house and freshen up your front walkway with some potted flowers. Ensure you have a nice guest towel in the guest bathroom and the bath towels and bath mats are all clean and really fresh. This is an area that can really freshen a space and it doesn't need to cost much. You can shop at a dollar store, Target, or Walmart. The key is that they look and feel brand new - not used and abused.
9. Create a welcoming, homey feel
It might seem a bit over the top, but try to create a couple of nice, welcoming, and cozy spots that will resonate with people. As an example, set the table with a couple of nice settings and a centerpiece. Or stage the bathroom with some nice towels, candles etc... People will appreciate these small touches and it helps them visualize what it would be like if they were actually living in their house. You could even put out plates of fresh fruit, bottles of water, chocolate-covered strawberries or specialty cookies
10. Update light bulbs and create the right lighting
Ensure all your light bulbs are good and replace any that are burnt out or just not the right color or brightness. Generally, you want your house to be bright regardless of the time of day, so home buyers will get a good feeling of the overall brightness and warmth of your house. Stay away from bright white lights and lean more towards warmer lights.