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You’re at the point of selling your home, and you want to do everything you can to make it appealing to potential buyers without breaking the bank. One of the simplest things you can do is arrange the furniture and décor in each room to boost the possibility of buyers seeing themselves in the home and making it inviting. Here are some trade hacks that work consistently:

Reduce or eliminate the number of family photos

This is tough to do, especially if you’ve been in your home for a long time, but this mitigates the risk that buyers will only see the house as “your” home and will give them a chance to envision it as theirs. If you have frames or picture placements that you really like and want a quick substitute, websites like unsplash.com are fantastic forums of beautiful and free photography that you could have printed quickly and pop in a frame to keep the house feeling adorned. You may even like it enough that you get ideas for your next house!

Try to stick with solid upholsteries where possible

If you have patterned sofas or chairs, don’t sweat that, but if you are using throw pillows, curtains, and blankets to accessorize, keep the patterns neutral or go with solids altogether. This will maintain a clean and crisp look and will focus the attention on the inherent merits of the home. If you need a place to hunt for neutral curtains or drapes, both IKEA and Target have very affordable options that can be given an upscale look.

Watch patterns of traffic

What may have worked for your family as far as furniture arrangement may not be what will most likely draw buyers in. Grab a friend and walk the house, asking for an honest assessment for how easy it is to move around in each room. Are the traffic patterns natural and clear? Or is there a piece of furniture that you love but is in the middle of everything? Make pathways as wide and as obvious as you can, and put pieces that make this more difficult in the basement or in storage. Buyers love to wander freely, so make it easy for them!

Pick a feature wall

Sometimes, if you don’t have time to paint a whole room but it needs a lift, a feature wall is the ideal solution. Painting one wall in a complementary color means that you boost appeal without having to go the full length of painting the whole space. It is often more visually interesting, too! You can pick your feature wall color in two ways: either pick a deeper shade of the color the rest of the room is painted in (if your walls are a soft gray, go further toward charcoal for a sophisticated tone on tone look), OR pick a secondary color that is already in the room. If you have a bright accent color you’re using, that is perfect (rust-colored streaks in your throw pillows? It sounds daring, but it could look fabulous).

Clutter no more

It happens to the best of us: stuff mounts over time until the house takes on a somewhat cluttered look, but we don’t quite know how to start attacking it. Use your imagination here, and suppose you were putting your house on Airbnb for use. What valuables would you stow away, what non-essentials would you sweep into plastic bins and put in the closets, and what surfaces would you leave relatively clear to keep things looking tidy? Like the issue of family photos, taking on clutter in this way can go a long way in maximizing your home’s appeal.

Hide evidence of pets

Furry friends are one of the most heartwarming parts of being at home, but if you have a buyer coming to look at your place, they aren’t likely to see it that way. As much as you are able, put away pet beds, toys, and essentials so that buyers don’t wonder about what spots on the carpet are being hidden or how clean the house actually is. The absence of pet accessories will, justly or unjustly, help a buyer view the house as clean, and in this case, perception is reality.

These are time and cost-effective ways to boost your home’s appearance so that buyers will be making offers on the way out the door. So what are you waiting for? Get going, and maybe even gather ideas for your next home in the process!

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