Quick fixes to upgrade your house—whether you're planning to sell soon or not.

By Katie Holdefehr and Sarah Yang
Updated May 27, 2020
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When you’re putting your house on the market, preparation and presentation can be the keys to boosting your home's value and selling it quickly. While curb appeal improvements can definitely help, interiors are always the most important selling point. “Most buyers today shop for homes online, making a home’s web appeal just as important as its curb appeal,” says Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow’s chief marketing officer. “To sell a home fast you want to attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Featuring high-quality, staged listing photos and videos are a great way to boost your home’s virtual appeal and help it stand out in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Home staging doesn’t have to be a costly, time-consuming process—especially if your house is already in good shape. “You want buyers to be able to easily envision themselves in your home, so it’s important to declutter and remove personal items that might cloud that vision,” says Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, a Zillow Digs expert​.

And if you don't plan to sell your house anytime soon? These home staging tips can still help you create a beautiful, organized home for your family and guests. If you're ready to give it a try, check out these tried-and-true home staging tips from interior design experts and real estate agents, according to a survey by Zillow Digs.

William Abranowicz

1
Add Mirrors

A mirror not only adds some style to a space, but its reflective quality can also open up a room, making it brighter and seem less cramped (even if it’s tiny). “If you lack artwork, consider picking up a sizable mirror at your local home store,” Christina Salaway of Eleven Two Eleven Design says. “It will make your space feel more curated and designed.”

Photography by Jaka Vinšek / Styling by Liz Chancey

2
Replace Window Treatments

If you have old and heavy drapes, toss them for something more modern and breezy. “Simple, functional window coverings on opened windows allow a space to breathe and appear visually larger and more open,” says Kelly. Choose floor-length curtains and hang them near the ceiling, instead of at the top of the window frame, to make the room appear taller.

Parachute

3
Buy Crisp, White Towels

To stage your bathroom, go with monochromatic hues. “Put all-white towels in your bathrooms,” says Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interiors. “Colored towels don’t feel spa-like and they can seem dingy and add heaviness to a space. White towels feel fresh and clean.” You can't go wrong with Parachute's classic bath towels, or check out some of our other favorites.

RELATED: Why You Should Only Ever Buy White Bath Towels

Hannah Busing at Unsplash

4
Upgrade Rugs

“Buy rugs that actually fit your rooms and your furniture,” says Salaway. For a living room rug, avoid one that’s too small; make sure at least the front legs of your couch or chairs are touching the rug. The right-sized rug in a complementary style to the room will make the space look larger and feel more “pulled together.”

Here are some of the best places to shop for an affordable rug online.

William Abranowicz

5
Reorganize Bookcases

And while you’re tidying everything up, give your shelves some style. “Remove 25 percent of your books entirely, and then rearrange what’s left so that some books are vertical and some are stacked horizontally,” says Salaway. “Place a couple of trinkets within the bookcase to function as accents and bookends. This will add character and personality to the room while also lightening up your bookcases.”

RELATED: The Secret to Creating a Well-Organized Bookshelf

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6
Deep Clean

No prospective buyer wants to walk into a house with a dirty bathroom or scuffed-up walls (and likely neither do you!). Take some time to clean every room in your house, but beware of cleaning smells. “Don’t overpower homes with scented items,” says Christina Esala of Tierra Antigua Realty. “They will think you are hiding something. Instead, make a batch of chocolate chip cookies and leave it on the counter for future buyers.” Even if you're not currently selling your house, this is one home staging tip your family is sure to appreciate.

Carolyn Barber/Getty Images

7
De-Personalize

We know you went to great lengths to make your home your home, but now that you’re trying to sell it, keep in mind that not everyone has the same tastes. “Take out personal photographs and everyone’s clutter,” says Thee. “You want the potential buyer to be able to envision their lives inside the house.”

If you're not selling your home anytime soon, then go ahead and let your personal style shine.