Skip to content

When you and your seller are preparing to list a home, managing costs is an important conversation—so we want to help you both feel less stress by sharing the most cost-effective, small changes that make a BIG impact for your house sale!

Many people think they’ll have to make a huge investment in order to get their house ready to list—but it’s just not always necessary.

The average home seller in North Carolina spends roughly $4000 on improvements and renovations in order to prepare their home for sale—$2000 for interior improvements, and another $2000 for landscaping. What’s actually needed varies widely of course, with some of the main influencing factors being:

  • Age of your house
  • How recently you’ve made updates
  • Overall quality of maintenance
  • How your home’s condition compares to others in your area
  • How well you guide buyers’ eyes through effective staging

Improvements that draw offers don’t have to be renovations

As staging professionals, our goal isn’t to get people to make costly updates and improvements. Our goal is to help our clients get the best return on investment. And that means helping them spend the least amount needed to get great offers.

Certainly, there are times when making a big investment may make sense: that 30-yr old bathroom or kitchen, massive trees obstructing the curbside view, or seedy, smelly carpeting, (to name a few) may just be worth it.

But often Triangle-area sellers can be very successful without making massive investments.

The secret to cost-effectiveness is selecting changes that will make a home look well maintained, bright, and full of potential. So before you schedule those listing photos or showings, consider these…

Here are the top 7 most cost-effective SMALL changes that make a BIG impact:


  1. Edit!. When we say “edit” we mean reduce virtually all personal effects, decorative items, collectibles, and large wall displays. Instead of using decorations to create a home-y feeling, instead choose pillows and apple pie scent. (For some visual examples, follow our Instagram feed.)
  2. Remove window screens. Add daylight! Remove window screens to allow for more light to come in and make the windows look cleaner. You’ll also want to pull any window treatments up and/or away from the windows.
  3. Create open space. Less is more when it comes to furniture… and wall hangings as well.
  4. Use fresh white towels. It’s simply amazing what a set of fresh white towels does to change the look of a bathroom. In terms of ROI, this is one of those small changes that makes a BIG impact for your house.
  5. Update switches, outlets and plates. While it may seem like something that people will never notice, it’s a detail that—when fresh and bright—our eyes are absolutely drawn to. And it successfully adds a halo implying yours is a “clean-and-cared-for“ home.
  6. Add fresh mulch to flower beds. Of all the landscaping you could invest in, the one element most likely to add curb appeal is fresh mulch. It creates a beautiful first impression, much like a stylish coat or tie. Mulch helps your home’s foundation shrubs and plantings (even if they’re nothing fancy) pop, and you home look well-tended.
  7. Paint. Remember, the effect you always want to create is that of a well-maintained, bright home—and when it comes to home prep, paint is money in a can. Go for lighter neutral colors that help make rooms feel larger, and brightens spaces.

As you’re creating your home selling strategy, be sure to put these 7 small changes that make a big impact for your house sale on your to-do list.

And if you want to really knock it out of the park, schedule a consultation—virtual or in-person. Because when it comes to room layouts, accessories and furniture choices, we always have our eye on your ROI.

Sherrie was outstanding in helping us stage our home to sell. Her advice is professional and knowledgeable. She is so easy to work with and there is no pressure. She will work with you to make changes that are in…read more

Paula Ragatz

Our home sold in 2 days after working with First Impressions Home Staging! I had never used a stager for a real estate transaction, and frankly, I had some trepidation. I am so glad I followed the suggestion of our…read more

Kile Law

Sherrie did an amazing job staging our house to sell. We had it on the market for a couple weeks but it was vacant and not showing well. We hired Sherrie to bring some life into it and she was…read more

Alison Spain

Sherrie and the First Impression Home Staging Team did a great job. We engaged Sherrie in designing and procuring furniture for an entire four bedroom home. Our project was very time sensitive and she beautifully designed, procured, stored and staged…read more

Michael Thurston

Sherrie was seriously amazing! Our house looks so awesome after our FaceTime staging call (quarantine probs) She was personable, patient and very knowledgeable! Would 100% use her again and definitely recommend!

Gina C

First Impression Home Staging provided a virtual consultation so we could stage our home! They were professional and patient as we did the walk through. It was a pleasure working with Sherrie Medeiros. She helped us successfully stage our home…read more

Cheri K

Sherrie helped me remotely stage my rental property that is up for sale, using FaceTime (I’m in CA and Sherrie is in NC). I initially sent her photos of the house staged with a bare minimum of furniture, which she…read more

Rena W

My husband and I are realtors in Raleigh, and we’ve been using Sherrie’s staging consultant services for our clients, and can I just say, “WOW”?! First Impression Home Staging definitely makes a HUGE difference. . . even in this current…read more

Lisa F

We used First Impressions Home Staging to help us with a completely new interior design of a vacation rental we bought in the mountains of Virginia. Sherrie and Roslyn were both amazing to work with. They were conscientious of our…read more

Josee M

Sherrie has an amazing eye for color and a talent on how to bring out the best in a space. She spent time getting to know what items in my home meant the most to me and created a paint…read more

Shannon H

We recently placed our home for sale and hired Sherrie and First Impression Home Staging to stage it. They did a fabulous job and the house looks beautiful. Sherrie is wonderful to work with. After an initial walk through of…read more

Joan K

Sherrie did a fabulous job staging our home for sale! I would HIGHLY recommend her if you are preparing your home to sale. We had never used staging before to sell a house, but now we are certainly believers indeed!…read more

Rachel M

Sherrie came in to stage our home to sell & she did just that. She made terrific suggestions & simply put, she made our home more marketable. I highly recommend her & if given the opportunity, I would choose to…read more

Sheila C.

The home that you staged went under contract in 3 days with 2 offers. I am certain that your staging was instrumental. The sellers are thrilled. They are so excited. They are convinced it was the best investment!

Mindy O.

Thanks very much Sherrie! You did an amazing job helping us get their home beautiful and ready to list.

Heather Piper, KW Realtor

Hey Sherrie I wanted to share some good news… that townhouse in Brier Creek went live on Saturday morning, held it open both days, and we have an offer on the way today. The exact unit around the corner, not…read more

Hugh Grist, Grist Realty

We’d just like to offer a sincere thanks for the work you did staging our house. We believe that the advice you and Amy gave us along with your staging made a huge difference in both the price and the…read more

Sincerely, Roger & Carla Wilson

Are you selling your house soon? Let me tell you… I didn’t believe it… But our listing didn’t go as fast as we wanted and I decided to stage my empty home… We got multiple offers over asking in 48…read more

K Mitchell
Back To Top
First Impression Home Staging bedroom decorating photo.

Get Inspired! Sign up for Decorating &DesignTips

Join our mailing list to receive decorating and design tips in your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!