Minimal Investment Can Maximize Appeal - Home Staging on a Budget

Home Stager with Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver


Last week I took a call from a client who needed our services. I was just about to tell her it would be in the range of $2000.00 when she mentioned her budget was $500.00. Normally I refer those with smaller budgets to other stagers but this time I agreed to view the property. On the way, I remember thinking "500 bucks, pffft what is the point?!" My attitude immediately changed after meeting the enthusiastic homeowner and I decided to take on the challenge; not only to help the client, but to prove that even a small investment in staging can make a remarkable difference. 

I explained to the client that with her limited budget, we would be unable to provide any furniture or accessory rental. However if she paid for a few accessories of my choice and allowed me an hour to stage the property, I could greatly enhance the appeal. She wrote me a cheque for $500.00, handed me a set of keys and I was on my way. The next day after some minimal shopping and an hour of staging, the job was finished.

Did I prove my point?

You be the judge... 

                                Before:                                                                          After:                  

before staging staged by Reveal Estate

before staging after staging by Reveal Estate

before staging staged by Reveal Estate

before staging staged by Reveal Estate

The client was very pleased with the results and now has some new accessories to use in her next home. 


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Julia Fedak
Platinum Home Designs - Burlington, ON

Hi, Jackson..

Fantastic pic's as make me proud!:)

This is what happens when you have alittle bit of money, and a lot of knowledge!


May 08, 2007 05:00 AM #11
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Judge Nielsen (which is me) rules in your favor!  You definitely made a difference!


May 08, 2007 05:27 AM #12
Lori Gilmore
One Savvy Move - Joliet, IL
One Savvy Move Home Staging
Jackson - you have proven, here and in posts past, that staging is a talent.  You have an amazing eye for proportion, scale, light and flow.  Budget aside, what you did here is priceless!
May 08, 2007 07:47 AM #13
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
I can't top what Lori Gilmore said -so I'll just add a  * (that is a star)
May 08, 2007 08:35 AM #14
Maria Lechner
The Added Touch Home Staging - Meridian, ID
Home Stager Boise ID
Great stage! the changes made a big difference and the client was happy. now you will get referals from the little client cause you never know who that person knows. that 500.00 could turn out to be a 3000.00 dollar stage. don't forget the little guys. maria
May 08, 2007 12:10 PM #15
Tina Parker
Royal LePage Atlantic - Bedford, NS
CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax
I've been trying to spread the word that staging is not as expensive as perceived and how little money can make a big difference.  You definitely demonstrated a great example of that fact, great work!
May 08, 2007 01:28 PM #16
Adam Luttrell
Shift Property Styling - Honolulu, HI
Shift Property Styling - Hobart, Tasmania

G'day Jackson

Top job here on a miniscule budget. I particularly like the way the PC was set up on the floor in the living space, very nice (and you didn't leave it there?) :)

I like these sorts of jobs as it proves that what we do is not just for top end properties, in fact if you are anything like me on the properties that I have done for around this amount you get quite a buzz from the transformation you have made on such a strict budget.

May 08, 2007 05:53 PM #17
Julianna Hind
eXp Realty - Tacoma, WA
REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA
Nice job! Clean and inviting.
May 08, 2007 05:54 PM #18
Yvonne Root
rooms b.y. root - Prescott, AZ
Home Stager - Northern Arizona
Jackson, As a part of your fan club I once again stand and applaud.
May 09, 2007 02:53 AM #19
Barbara Martino-Sliva, Top Producer
Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. - Vero Beach, FL
Vero Beach Real Estate Vero Beach Homes for Sale
Great job.  The house looks great.
May 09, 2007 12:31 PM #20
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Jackson - These are my favorite staging success stories.  I think anyone can make a house look fantastic with unlimited resources.  It takes a pro to work with the homeowners existing furnishings and a shoestring budget.  You are the man!
May 09, 2007 02:43 PM #21
Mary Seferian

You have a blessed talent Jackson. Bravo...again!

BTW - what type of camera are you using? Kodak?

May 09, 2007 02:55 PM #22
Jackson West
Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Thank you for the comments everyone!

Teresa, staging is best when things are simple. Even when staging vacant properties, we keep the "stuff" to a minimal.

Calie, thanks for that. I don't know about a blog series, I am on AR too much as it is! A group for staging on a shoestring budget would be cool though.

Kathy, thank you your honor!

Lori, I am blushing.

Maria, your comment really made me think, thank you for the sage advice. I expect the Realtor will be using us in the future.

Tina, there is a huge misconception that staging is costly. I am always telling people it is an investment. As you know, people leave equity on the table when they don't stage their listings.

Mary, I am SO going back to Montreal. Yup it's a kodak v570


May 10, 2007 02:29 PM #23
Mary Seferian

OK then it's set! The Canadian Connection for AR's anniversary will be in Montreal! Jackson just called it!

May 10, 2007 03:28 PM #24
Mary Seferian

Me again

Thanks to you Jackson - I just had the challenge of staging a near vacant house from the agent with a whopping $500 budget! I didn't even blink. I thought of you and it inspired me. So I accepted.

I'll stage with accessories form my inventory, and hopefully have enough left in the budget to add a dinette set from my inventory as well, as they donot have one. Eek!

Jackson I just noticed that you changed the cushions on your client's chairs. Were they made for her, or did you just cover hers with a lighter fabric?

May 23, 2007 04:48 AM #25
Jackson West
Reveal Estate Home Staging - Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Hi Mary,

Glad I could be of inspiration! Regarding the cushions, I bought new ones from Zellers...a wink and a smile for the gal behind the customer service desk got me 4 of them for $30. Let me know how the challenge goes! 

May 23, 2007 11:03 AM #26
Danette Spizzirri
Studio West Interior Design - Laguna Niguel, CA
Studio West Interiors

Jackson sometimes the best clients don't have the most money. Thanks for the reminder! I'd say it was a smashing success for $500, and you got to work with someone who was excited about the process and was great to work with:)  You found a devoted fan in this client I am sure, so this small job may just turn into much more.

May 23, 2007 12:27 PM #27
Lynette Lawson
Starlight Design - Yucaipa, CA
Inland Empire, CA Home Staging

Hi Jackson, Thanks for the inspiration.


May 26, 2007 05:33 AM #28
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"


What a great example of staging WELL on a small budget.  I'm curious, what were the accessories that you selected?  Was that part of the $500 too?  Fantastic job -- and I'm sure your client is still smiling!

May 26, 2007 06:32 AM #29
Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging - Toronto, ON
This is such a fantastic job! Jobs like this are so much better than just doing consults for do-it-yourselfers!
May 26, 2007 02:16 PM #30
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