9 essential decor tips that could help you sell your house

house with sold sign
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your home is on the market, you’ll want to make sure you get top dollar for it. And if it's been listed for longer than you'd expected, these decor tips could help to sell your house fast. 

Just like selling any product, first impressions count, with only one shot to wow a potential buyer. When selling your home, buyers often frame their judgements about your home within a few seconds of seeing it. That’s why it’s important to showcase your home strategically, to make it more appealing to the widest possible market (personal tastes aside!).

Even if you don’t have a budget for a grand design renovation, you can use simple decor tips that can help you sell your house. These tricks can instantly transform your home from drab to fab, and attract potential buyers. So before you list your home on the market, follow these 9 easy decor tips and tricks to make your house a buyer’s dream. 

1. Curb appeal 

Front porch

Front porch (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers notice before even stepping inside, so create a clean and welcoming entrance. Clean or repaint tired-looking, front doors or replace the handle if it's rusty or looks unsightly. Ensure your porch is swept clean and uncluttered, and add a fresh topiary or planter outside to make it looks more appealing. What’s more, if you have outdoor grass, ensure it’s mowed and kept neat. Just don’t make these common lawn care mistakes.  

2. Fresh coat of paint 

Woman painting wall with a rollerbrush

Woman painting wall with a rollerbrush (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Your personal taste of bold colors or patterned wallpapers may not be for everyone. Experts recommend giving walls a fresh coat of paint using white or neutral colors. These will make the home look modern, bright and feel more spacious. If necessary, repaint or retreat doors, and leave them open for prospective buyers to feel free to wander around your home. After you’ve refreshed the walls, don’t overwhelm them with photo frames or artwork. The idea is to keep walls clean and clutter free.

3. Declutter and depersonalize your home 

Cluttered room

Cluttered room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The one thing that can put buyers off is a cluttered home. Not only does this distract them away from the space, but it looks uncared for. Remove all clutter lying around, including paperwork on tables, countertops and cluttered coat rack. In addition, take down personal items, such as family photographs, religious items, the kids' school awards and other mementos.

Avoid overfilling shelves, but minimize with some hardback books or a few accessories neatly displayed. The aim is for a buyer to picture themselves living in the house you’re selling. Once you’ve decluttered your home, you’ll also want to clean every room in the home to make it look spotless. 

4. Window treatments 

Curtains on window

Curtains on window (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Plenty of natural light can make a space look more appealing to buyers. Remove all net and heavy curtains, as these tend to drown out the light. Minimize your window treatments with sheer curtains or light blinds. Ideally, choose neutral tones such as light gray or beige colors to brighten up the room. If you have a small room lacking natural light, you'll need to read how to brighten a dark room for our top tips and tricks.

5. Mirror, mirror

Large mirror in living room

Large mirror in living room (Image credit: Shutterstock)

It’s the oldest design trick in the book, but mirrors can really uplift a room and make it appear bigger. If you don’t have high ceilings or large windows, use strategically placed mirrors (near windows ideally), to instantly reflect natural light and enhance a room. 

6. Give your bedroom a hotel makeover 

Neutral bedroom scheme

Neutral bedroom scheme (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The bedroom is often one of the selling points for many, so make it look warm and inviting (no untidy beds!). Similar to a luxury hotel room, stick to crisp, white or neutral bedding, ensuring it’s clean and neatly ironed. Style with plump pillows and cushions or drape a throw over the end of the bed for extra coziness. Keep your nightstands clutter free and place stylish lamps, vases, candles or even a carafe of water on it. You can even extend these tips to make your guestroom feel like a hotel.  

7. Treat your floors 

Blue rug in middle of living room floor

Blue rug in middle of living room floor (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Before buyers start walking around your home, ensure all carpets are clean using one of the best vacuum cleaners, and repair any floorboards. For exposed, wooden floorboards, consider getting them re-waxed or re-stained so that they look in top condition. If you don’t have the budget to replace dated flooring, invest in a stylish rug which would look cozy and add warmth to the space. 

8. Create a sweet-smelling home 

Candles on a tray

Candles on a tray (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Nobody likes walking into a smelly home, and this could quickly put off potential buyers. Refresh the air with scented candles or essential oil diffusers to get rid of any faint smells or pet odors. If you do have pets, try to keep them outdoors for the duration of the visit, so they won’t be a distraction. 

If you want your kitchen to be more appealing, here’s how to freshen up a smelly oven to get rid of odors.  

9. Add finishing touches 

Coffee table with few items

Coffee table with few items (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Adding a few finishing touches in the rooms can spruce up a space. Things like fresh flowers, a bowl of fruit or select, coffee table books can work well. In addition, you can place a cozy throw on an upholstered chair to create a warm and homely ambiance. 

These savvy tips could very well help sell your home in record time and could even get you a higher price. 

These are the decor items to ditch 

  • A gallery wall of personal photographs or college certificates 
  • Religious symbols, church bulletins or anything political like campaign stickers  
  • Any memorabilia or collections (no Star Wars collectibles) 
  • Refrigerator magnets, display items, or vacation trinkets  
  • Sequinned cushions and eccentric furnishings 

If you’re renting a property, you’ll need to know how to decorate a rental property without annoying your landlord, and how to clean painted walls to remove stains for a spotless room. 

Deciding on which colors to paint your walls? Check out these paint colors that could make your home look cheap.

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!