Decorating Tips For Selling Your House

April 02, 2019

When you finally make a big life decision such as selling your home, you really want everything (and everyone) to jump into action and get it sorted, leaving you to put your feet up in your lovely new home. But you also know that life doesn’t quite work that way. Especially when selling houses. So while the paperwork is being passed around and adverts written up, what can you do to make your house more appealing to buyers and hopefully achieve that quick sale? Make sure the house is presented well.

Neutral and Light Decor

We’ve all seen photos of designer interiors that look stunning, yet we’d never choose those schemes for our own house. The world would indeed be a very dull place if we all liked the same thing, which is exactly the problem you face when selling your house. You want it to appeal to as many people as possible, so you need to think of presenting it as a blank canvas so that potential buyers can imagine unleashing their own personal tastes upon it with very little work.

Walls, ceilings, flooring and soft furnishings should all be shown in neutral and light colours. Neutral colours such as white and magnolia literally act like a blank canvas and light colours help to maximise the feeling of space. Time to get the paint brush out and cover up any dark or brightly coloured walls and freshen up any stained and dirty areas. Paint over highly patterned wallpaper or remove it entirely, especially woodchip and textured paper which is one of the biggest turn-offs for would-be buyers.

Don’t forget tiles either. Some patterns can look very dated but can be easily covered with paint or vinyl stickers. Do replace any damaged ones and any discoloured grout.

Fix the Small Problems

It’s the small things that often get overlooked, yet will detract from the overall look and feel of the property. Don’t hope they won’t be noticed, they will be and viewers will then worry about what else has not been maintained properly. Look around your house and note the small things that don’t quite look or work like they should, things like broken window handles, tatty taps, wobbly toilet seats or dog-chewed door frames. Make a list, get down to your DIY store (or call a maintenance person in) and get them all repaired or replaced.


Viewers need to imagine themselves living in your house, which can be tricky to do when seeing a lot of someone else’s personal effects. Once you have made the decision to sell, you need to de-personalise the property. Remove the majority of ornaments, pictures and large or excess furniture etc, although one or two well chosen and well placed items can help to make the place seem welcoming. Put anything you want to keep but don’t use on a regular basis into the attic or storage.

For daily use items such as clothing, toys, bathroom products and kitchen equipment, reduce the bulk down to the essentials that you need for the time being and make sure they are tidied away out of sight, with the rest put into storage. Don’t ignore the kids bedrooms either, these often become the most cluttered rooms in the house with the things they accumulate. Get them to help choose toys to keep for now and toys to store for the new home, take down posters and remove those pesky stickers!

Clean & Tidy

Making sure your house is spotlessly clean is essential. Even if you cannot afford to do much else, putting in some elbow grease with the help of a few cleaning products will make a big difference. After all, if you viewed a house that fell below your own cleanliness standards, you’d probably be put off by the thought of moving there too.

Thoroughly clean carpets, curtains and sofa covers, having these clean will also help the house smell fresher too. Ensure all windows and doors get a good clean inside and out and regularly open the windows to freshen up the house. Wipe the dust and dirt off every surface and every corner.

Blitz the kitchen and bathrooms as buyers need to see that these areas are hygienic and ready to use. Make sure the outside and inside of cupboards are cleaned, remove stains from sinks, baths, worktops, flooring, tile grout and get that oven sparkling. If your viewers can imagine living in the house without immediately costing up the price of tearing out and replacing the kitchen and/or bathroom, then you are much more likely to command your asking price.

Any garden space is important too, as many buyers now want gardens as an extension of their living area to sit and entertain in – so make it an inviting space.

Final Touches

Decorating a house for the purpose of selling it is known as property staging. Think of it like setting a stage for a show – you need the whole area to look as good as possible. Once all the cleaning, decluttering and redecorating has been done, it’s time to make your house look as welcoming as possible to viewers with the final touches.

First of all, you need to maximise the light available in the property. Open curtains and blinds wide, place lamps in dark corners to brighten them up and place mirrors to help reflect light and a sense of space in rooms which get less sunlight.

Before each viewing, make sure the house is aired through and smells pleasant. While some advisers will recommend brewing coffee or baking cakes before viewings, it’s not always realistic. Just making sure the air is fresh, not musty, doggy or full of lingering cooking smells is good enough.

Finish up with one or two strategically placed vases with cut flowers or pot plants to provide a focal point. Remember to replace them as soon as they wilt until you’re certain the viewings part of the process has finished!