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10 Pro Tips When Designing Your Home to Sell

Kitchen with orange tiles

You are a savvy homeowner ready to sell your house in the current market. Right now, sellers are a little touchy and often need some encouragement when committing to buy a home. One of the best ways to do that is to make your home as beautiful and appealing as possible. Proper staging can beckon buyers into each room and inspire them to write a luxurious future for their family into the space. 

Designing a home to sell, you want the house to feel as if it’s ready for your buyers to walk in and begin living. Even when staging with your own furniture, there are some expert ways you can make any home look and feel its best, helping buyers to see their dream home within your walls.

Here are 10 professional pointers on how to design a home when you’re ready to sell.

1. Clean to the Rafters

The first step for any home sale is to clean like you’ve never cleaned before. You want even the baseboards to glow with fresh oil or finish. No grit in the corners, and not even lingering dust on the ceiling fans. If you are spry and energetic, make an ultimate checklist and don’t be afraid to add things to it if you realize that you forgot to include the attic or under the sink. If you are not so agile, don’t hesitate to hire a cleaning service. Ask for a deep cleaning as you are preparing to sell the house.

2. Go Minimalist with Every Room

What should you do with your furniture when designing a home to sell? Go minimalist. We advise taking out your bulkiest chairs and tables, leaving more light and spindly furniture circled in appealing conversation or study areas. Remove all personal items like family photos and keepsakes, and instead prioritize mostly empty shelves, walls, floors, and surfaces.

This will make your home feel more roomy and spacious, while leaving psychological space for buyers to write in their own lives as they tour your home.

3. Tighten or Replace Small Hardware

Hardware like doorknobs, cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, faucets, and even light fixtures can really date a place. If you’re looking for the smallest possible renovation that will make your home feel subtly newer, replace your hardware. If the hardware is still classy, grab a screwdriver and polishing cloth to make sure it looks and feels like new for your buyers.

4. Paint in Dynamic Neutral Colors

The right paint colors matter a lot when selling a house. If you have bold accent walls and trim, it’s time to go back to neutral. Greige and warm honey tones are in fashion this year if you are looking for the right neutral palette. We suggest choosing three subtly darker and lighter shades of the same hue so that the house feels dynamic moving from room to room, but neutral enough for buyers to see their own personalities and sense of color in the space.

5. One Piece of Art Per Surface

What about artwork and flower vases? If you’re looking for some traditional ways to decorate, the rule of thumb for staging is one piece of art per surface. That’s one painting or print per wall and one vase or sculpture per table. You might place one decorative piece per bookshelf or on every other shelf on opposite ends. Triple pieces, as often hang above a couch and form a single piece of art, can count as one.

 Bathroom with white tiles

6. Try a More Spacious Furniture Arrangement

Reduce your furniture density and try the effects of fully rearranging furniture in each room. You can break up your old view of the room and perhaps find a more dynamic arrangement that appeals to buyers. In the living room, traffic flow matters the most. In smaller rooms like bedrooms, consider the specific view from a doorway as buyers peek in.

7. Make Breathtaking Beds

One of the best tricks in the book when designing a home to sell is to make beautiful beds. You don’t even need all the layers, just fluffy pillows and a gorgeous duvet. If you have a nice bed frame, show it off. If you have just a metal rectangle, use a bed skirt to make the scene more elegant. Luxurious beds whisper to buyers of the relaxation they will enjoy and suggest the family or guests they can include in their plans. Depending on the neighborhood, make one bedroom into a children’s room or a home office.

8. Warm Up the Lighting

Warm and complete lighting show the best side of any home. Use natural light if possible, and turn up the lights indoors to chase away shadows. Use table lamps and replace light bulbs wherever necessary to prevent any room from looking gloomy in photos or tours. You want your home to feel cheerful, warm, and inviting to new families.

9. Potted Plants on the Patio

If you want to make your patio, front porch, or back deck more inviting, use potted plants. A small planter garden is quick and beautiful, bringing an arboreal feel to your outdoor spaces. This works well even if the area is typically bare, and you can even use rental plants to achieve the affect if you are not, personally, a potted plant gardener.

10. Create a Place to Chat

If you will have buyers over for live tours, don’t forget to create at least one space where it’s comfy (and beautiful) to sit and chat. This might be your living room arrangement, but often it’s actually the kitchen island or breakfast nook next to a sunny window where buyers might prefer to stop, sit, and chat about the house. Make sure this space has chairs turned out and ready for seating, and consider a small coffee or lemonade service tray ready to share.

Bonus: Hospitality Final Touches: Think Airbnb

The final touches are a taste of hospitality. You’re already probably thinking Airbnb thoughts while decorating the space, but use this inspiration for your finishing move: Little soaps, hand towels, and other conveniences that buyers might appreciate when visiting. Keep a few water glasses in the cabinet and a cold pitcher in the fridge. Make sure there is paper for every toilet and a towel for every sink. Little human moments often happen when touring homes, and buyers will remember a gracious experience and associate that positivity and hospitality energy from your home.

Getting Ready to Sell with Orchard

Are you gearing up for a home sale? The cost of selling a home and the value of preparing correctly for the market easily balance each other out, even in current housing market conditions.