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Make your home irresistible on a budget

When staging your home to sell, work with what you already have — including indoor and outdoor furniture. Curb appeal draws home buyers in, so be sure that your porch is warm and inviting. The fall season offers an excellent opportunity to bring color in with fall plants, such as chrysanthemums (mums). Add more interest by painting your front door an attractive color. Add a wreath and place a colorful throw on a chair or bench. Don’t forget a new welcome mat. 

Inside, a fresh coat of paint can be an affordable option to increase your home’s resale value and ensure your property appeals to a broader pool of prospective buyers. Paint the most important rooms, those that will create a new-home feel upon entering, such as an entryway. If you have an open floor plan, paint the adjoining rooms. 

Studies have shown that a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color can bring sellers an average 107 percent return on their investment. The best neutral shades for home staging are light grays, beiges and creamy whites. The classic colors reflect light and can make rooms feel larger. Don’t forget the ceilings, and avoid bright white walls; they can come across cold or hospital-like to some. Warmer shades of white are best to make the room inviting. If you can’t decide between gray and beige, go “greige,” a combination of the two. It’s inviting, versatile and matches most design trends. 


  • Clean like you have never cleaned before. Wipe down the baseboards. Scrub the bathroom grout, and deep clean the rest of the home. Wash windows, and remove heavy curtains. Add ambiance with light scents like vanilla or lavender. 
  • Declutter and store items to make your home feel cleaner and more spacious. Keep shelves, countertops and tables clutter free with just a few decorations. Pack away photos, knick-knacks and personal items to avoid distracting buyers. A vase of fresh flowers goes a long way when staging to sell. 
  • Freshen the kitchen with new cabinet hardware. Clean and declutter cabinets and pantries to showcase the storage space. If you have appliances on the countertops, place them in a cabinet or in storage if they are not used regularly. 
  • Invest in new bedding. Inexpensive, neutral matching sets are the key to bedroom staging, an essential when selling your home. If your sofa and chairs are worn or outdated, you can add slipcovers without blowing the budget on new furniture pieces. 

A real estate professional also can offer great advice, as they are on the market looking at homes often, including your competition. Please don’t be shy about asking their opinion. 

Written by Susie Siemiontkowski

Susan Siemiontkowski is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty. Reach her at (228) 239-2621 or

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