How important is home décor in bringing value to your home?

This Old House recently shared a static that most home buyers make a buy/no buy decision within 7 seconds of visiting a property – and beyond major structural changes to the building itself, home decor is the only way you can get past this immediate decision bias. Let’s walk through some of the home decor changes that will make the biggest impact to your home’s potential sale value.

Remove all clutter. A house with lots of junk will look like junk to a potential homeowner. Let them see the potential of the home and see themselves in it. A good rule of thumb is to put 1/3 of your belongings away in storage before any open house – you do want some items so the home does look lived in. Take special care to really clear out closets and smaller rooms so they appear more roomy and spacious.

Paint colour. Neutral colours help home owners visualize what they would do with the space, and focus on the home’s natural architectural features, not your own design aesthetic. If you doubt the power of a fresh coat of paint, just watch some of the house buying shows on TV and notice how often the first comment someone has on a home is their dislike of the colour.

Freshen up your floors. Most realtors say that floors, although subtle, can give clues to a potential buyer about a property, so make sure yours sparkle. You don’t have to go all out with new flooring, but make any repairs necessary, then whether it’s hardwood or carpet, hire a professional cleaner to make them look brand new.

The kitchen is where the money is. The only way to almost guarantee an increase in your home’s value is to upgrade your kitchen. Whether that’s refurbishing cabinetry, upgrading appliances, or knocking down a wall to add space, everyone wants bigger and better kitchens, and they’ll pay a premium for them.

Second priority to kitchen upgrades are bathroom upgrades. While upgrading kitchens is where the money is at, upgrading baths and showers can often seal the deal. Unfortunately, these upgrades can be pricey, so choose wisely and do what you can – start with easy upgrades like cabinet, sinks, and storage if your budget is limited.

Once you’ve finished your upgrades, be sure to talk to your realtor or hire an expert before you put your home on the market; getting a fresh pair of eyes to take a final look at your home can identify any remaining issues or quick fixes to ensure you get your property for sale, at a premium price.