When you’re putting your house on the market, preparation and presentation can be the keys to selling faster and for a better price. While curb appeal improvements can definitely help, interiors are always the most important selling point. “Most buyers today shop for homes online, making a home’s web appeal just as important as its curb appeal,” says Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow’s chief marketing officer. “To sell a home fast you want to attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Featuring high-quality, staged listing photos and videos are a great way to boost your home’s virtual appeal and help it stand out in today’s competitive marketplace.”
Home staging doesn’t have to be a costly, time-consuming process—especially if your house is already in good shape. “You want buyers to be able to easily envision themselves in your home, so it’s important to de-clutter and remove personal items that might cloud that vision,” says Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, a Zillow Digs expert. “Neutral colors, small details, and reorganizing furniture to make your space feel roomy and inviting are all easy and affordable ways to make your home more appealing to future buyers.” The team at Zillow Digs recently surveyed interior design experts and real estate agents for their tried-and-true DIY home staging tips. Take a look at the top ideas they shared exclusively with RealSimple.com below:
A mirror not only adds some style to a space, its reflective quality can open up a room, making it brighter and seem less cramped (even if it’s tiny). “If you lack artwork, consider picking up a sizable mirror at your local home store,” Christina Salaway of Eleven Two Eleven Design says. “It will make your space feel more curated and designed.”
Replace Window Treatments
If you have old and heavy drapes, toss them for something more modern and breezy. “Simple, functional window coverings on opened windows allow a space to breathe and appear visually larger and more open,” says Kelly. Choose floor-length curtains and hang them from the ceiling instead of at the top of the window frame.
Buy Crisp, White Towels
To stage your bathroom, go with monochromatic hues. “Put all-white towels in your bathrooms,” says Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interiors. “Colored towels don’t feel spa-like and they can seem dingy and add heaviness to a space. White towels feel fresh and clean.”
“Buy rugs that actually fit your rooms and your furniture,” says Salaway. For a living room rug, avoid one that’s too small; make sure at least the front legs of your couch or chairs are touching the rug. The right-sized rug in a complementary style to the room will make the space look larger and feel more “pulled together.”
We know you went to great lengths to make your home your home, but now that you’re trying to sell it, keep in mind that not everyone has the same tastes. “Take out personal photographs and everyone’s clutter,” says Thee. “You want the potential buyer to be able to envision their lives inside the house.”
And while you’re tidying everything up, give your shelves some style. “Remove 25 percent of your books entirely, and then rearrange what’s left so that some books are vertical and some are stacked horizontally,” says Salaway. “Place a couple of trinkets within the bookcase to function as accents and bookends. This will add character and personality to the room while also lightening up your bookcases.”
No prospective buyer wants to walk into a house with a dirty bathroom or scuffed-up walls. Take some time to clean every room in your house, but beware of cleaning smells. “Don’t overpower homes with scented items,” says Christina Esala of Tierra Antigua Realty. “They will think you are hiding something. Instead, make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and leave on the counter for future buyers.”
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