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Your decor – what works for successful sellers

When you put your home on the market, there are a lot of dos and don’ts to follow. It is a difficult task, but you have to look at your home objectively. Make it look desirable to someone else – this is important if you want to sell.


Clean, clean and clean some more! The cleaner your home looks and smells, the better off you will be. Pet odors take attention away from the good stuff in your home. Try your best to keep litter boxes fresh, fish tank water clear and muddy paw prints off the floor. Pet fur on furniture and rugs is another turn off.

Get rid of clutter. If possible, remove up to half of everything on shelves and in closets. You now have loads of storage space. You can probably get rid of a lot of things you don’t use anyway. Make a donation, sell it online, give it away or stash it somewhere until your house sells – whatever works for you.

The front of your house is the first thing people see. The grass should be cut and bushes trimmed. A colorful planter next to the front door with seasonal flowers can add a little pizzazz to an otherwise drab area. Add an additional splash of color by painting the front door.

Once inside, neutral colors are best. A fresh coat of paint can spruce up a dull room. Personal effects like family photos, awards, trophies – anything that shows off you and your family – should be removed.

When someone looks at a house they need to be able to visualize how it will look when they live there. That is impossible when everywhere a potential buyer looks, they see your personal images and evidence of your hobbies. If you are using a spare bedroom or den as an office, some people cannot visualize that room the way they would use it. If you can change it, go for it. But if you need that room to do work, you’ll have to live with it as is.

Add new linens and towels to liven the look of your bedrooms and bathrooms. A few accent pillows are fine, but having a mountain of pillows makes the room look cluttered.

Older light fixtures make the whole home look dated, so update wherever you can. Be sure to pick something that does not make too bold of a statement. You want it to be appropriate for anyone.


If you decide to do any painting, don’t try to match furniture or bed linens. That is specific to you and does not have a wide appeal. Use neutral colors that would look good with most furniture.

Avoid adding things most people do not want or need. A pool, high end cooktop and custom shelving all sound great, but everyone doesn’t want them. Your home needs to suit a broad range of people.

Too much furniture in a room makes it seem cluttered, even if the furniture is expensive and stylish. Keep walkways open and give each room as much floor space as possible. If there is too much in a room, it is difficult for buyers to envision how they would arrange their furniture.

As you look around your home with an objective eye, consider the items that are too personal. Get rid of them until you move to your new home. Once your home is a little more generic, it will be appealing to a wide variety of prospective buyers.

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