Decorating Your House To Sell

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Thursday, 15 January 2015 08:08

From the outside, your home is that perfect mix of classic and modern, with a nice wide lawn, mature trees, and the perfect smattering of flowers. It's in a desirable neighborhood with good schools, and it's even priced competitively. So why isn't it selling?

Perhaps it has something to do with the inside. Yes, you've got an open floorplan and four spacious bedrooms and granite countertops and nice hardwood floors. But the rest of it…well, it leaves a lot to be desired. And by "the rest of it," we mean your décor.

Face it. Your style is outdated.

As long as you don't mind what people say about you, it's perfectly OK to have bad style - except when you're trying to sell your home. This is the time when you have to appeal to the masses, or at least create a foundation of attractive style that others will notice, or that is neutral enough to disappear and allow the home's great features to shine. If it's too bold, too bright, too tacky, too out there, too out of style or just plain U-G-L-Y, your house might just linger on the market, turning off all who tour it.

Here's how you can avoid having the unsellable pad: decorate your house to sell.

What does it mean?

Decorating to sell means highlighting your home's strengths, downplaying its weaknesses, and appealing to the greatest possible pool of prospective buyers. A few easy tips can help you to do this on your own but if it's a larger undertaking or if you simply don't trust your taste (and good for you for admitting it!), staging companies can help.

How do you do it?

Decorating to sell concentrates on three main areas: making the home look bigger, making it look updated, and showing off its best features.

Make it look bigger

Too much furniture in a space can make it feel small. Pare down where you can, taking extra tables and large knickknacks out of living rooms and any extra furniture out of bedrooms. If the bedrooms are small, consider taking out large nightstands that make it feel tight and replacing with small tray tables covered in a simple tablecloth.

A space can also look smaller because of how the furniture is set up or if it's crammed full of accessories.

"Shoving furniture against the wall doesn't guarantee a larger room. Try angling your bed or our favorite trick of floating the sofa in the living room with a skinny console behind it. Breathing room around your furniture lends the appearance of more space," said The Nest.

You probably cleared off your table surfaces to move the furniture around. Don't put it all back. Instead, put back a few key pieces to keep it airy, and pack the rest away. You'll need to pack up for your move soon anyway!

Now that you're an expert at decluttering, apply your skills to the rest of your home. In the kitchen and bathrooms, sweep almost everything off of the countertops so buyers can get a true look at the space. Make sure fireplace mantels are highlighting a few pretty items (think candles!) and pack up the rest. See HGTV for more tips on decluttering and get some more ideas about how to make your home look larger here.

Make it look updated

You don't have to redo your whole kitchen to make your house look new. Small changes can make a big difference. Old cabinets can be made to look new with a few coats of paint and some new hardware. Replacing your appliances won't be cheap, but you just might make up the difference in your sales price. And, you can probably take the new fridge with you.

When your place is old or just looks that way, a new coat of paint on the walls is an easy and impactful way to freshen up your space. But, make sure it's neutral.

"Paint interior walls with neutral colors, like beige, cream or light pastels," said FrontDoor. "Pale blues and greens are good for bathrooms."

If your furniture and/or furnishings are old or old-fashioned, it might just be time to swap out. If you're not looking to spend money on new stuff now, remove the biggest offenders and do what you can to update others. Often, all you need is a can of paint. Get some ideas on Pinterest.

Show off your best features

When you're selling your home, you want to strut your stuff by showing off its sexiest features. Scan your house room by room. Are you hiding its best assets, like a fireplace that's obscured behind furniture or big, bright windows that are shrouded behind dark drapes? Might as well just go chuck your wallet down the hill.

Clear out, open up, move away anything that is taking away from the great stuff your house has to offer. If you don't let buyers see what makes your home special, they won't see it as special. And it might just sit there, getting older. And sadder. Just like you.

You can get more ideas for decorating your home to sell on Front Door.

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