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If you're selling your home, you need to make it look as beautiful as possible. Prospective buyers will want to be able to picture themselves living there, so it should appear comfortable, homey and sophisticated.

The problem is that home staging costs can add up fast, especially if you solicit a professional stager. In fact, when considering the cost of professional help plus the price of knickknacks, new furniture, paint, art and other elements of beautification, staging a 2,000 square foot home can cost up to $7,200, according to real estate professional Crystal Leigh Hemphill.

Staging your home yourself is already a great way to cut back on costs, and you can even take it a step further with strategic practices. Here are a few ideas for staging your home on a budget.

Focus On Atmosphere

The infrastructure of the home and the furniture inside are not the only things that prospective buyers are going to notice. When shopping for a new home, people rely heavily on their gut-feelings, as well as their comfort level while inside.

If you give viewers pleasant things to smell, hear or even taste while they are touring your home, you could enhance their experience. For example, you could play soothing music or sounds of nature. You could also burn candles or incense to make your home smell delightful, and you could even leave out bowls of mints, candies or cookies for a hospitable touch.

Do-it-yourself When You Can

Staging your home is also a great opportunity for putting your skills to the test. If your home or furniture needs maintenance, you can save money by doing it yourself whenever you can.

For example, instead of hiring a painter, paint the walls yourself. Instead of replacing old furniture, spruce it up on your own with some sandpaper and a fresh coat of paint. Some projects don't even involve any expertise. You could make an old couch look more inviting with a decorative cover, or you could hide chips and kinks in the dining room table with a festive tablecloth.

Add Personal Touches

Most home stagers will tell you that you should avoid having too much empty space in your home. That means hanging art on blank walls and loading shelves and bookcases with knick knacks. The problem is that these items can be expensive.

If you take a personalized approach, however, it can be much more affordable. Maybe instead of springing for an expensive painting, you print and frame a photograph you took yourself. You can also strategically place pictures of your family around the house. If you have small children, you can even decorate with their artwork or school projects to make the home seem family-friendly and inviting.

Leaving personalized notes for viewers might help, too. A message left in plain sight about how much you've loved living in your home might give them a peek into your life and allow them to picture their future there as well.

There are many ways to make selling your home more affordable and less stressful. Contact us today to learn more.