Dressing a House to Sell

This complete guide was crafted to create a buzz around your property by dressing a house to sell. So, are you ready to start bidding wars between your buyers? How would an extra 10% on your sale price help you achieve the lifestyle you deserve?

As cash house buyers it is our job to understand how to maximise sale prices and we do so every day.

By reading this free guide until the end, you’ll gain the knowledge we’ve acquired over years in just a few minutes.

You’ll learn:

  • Why you should you dress a home
  • Design tips and ideas
  • What different types of styled home look like

Frequently asked questions

Dressing your home is to make it as appealing as possible, hooking the interest of potential buyers. This will make it nearly impossible for them to let go, boosting the sale price you achieve. Multiple consumer studies have confirmed how difficult it is for buyers to detach themselves from a property after being hooked. This means they will even pay over the asking price simply to secure their dream home.

Dressing your home to sell has become a ‘must do’ for all sellers. It allows prospective buyers to visualise your property as their home. Staged homes have a track record of selling faster and for more money according to industry analysis. It doesn’t require expensive furniture or building costs either and any investment can multiply itself in sale price return.

There are a few ways to dress your home simply. Firstly, remove all clutter and memorabilia. Put away the family photos and paint those rooms that need painting. Secondly, clean and deodorise the room and give the rooms purpose. Thirdly, make sure your floorspace is maximised by rearranging your furniture. This guide will teach you how to strike the perfect balance and help you through this process the correct way. 


Why should you dress your home?


Design Tips / Ideas

Examples of dressing your home

Dressing a House to Sell: Why do it?

If we haven’t convinced you already, then this section will reinforce why you should be dressing a house to sell.

You’ll learn:

  • How dressing your home will help you sell it quicker and for more money.
  • The budget friendly ways to style your space

Why is styling your home so important?

Creating a good first impression is paramount.

It therefore creates an attachment to your property that a buyer will find difficult to shake. 

The Association for Consumer Research found that the attachment resembles that of a close relationship with another person. As such, letting go produces intense negative emotion and so buyers will avoid it at all costs.

So it comes as no surprise that Ideal Home found dressing a house to sell can increase prices by 17%.

The idea of styling a home which you’re leaving behind sounds complicated, unnecessary and expensive. However, this article will give you some hints and tips to make it simple, cheap and effective for you.

What does dressing a house to sell mean?

Dressing a house to sell could be as simple as just removing clutter. 

Or, it could go as far as redecorating your home in neutral colours/tones that would accommodate a bigger audience of potential buyers.

So, where do you start?

Removing clutter frees up space and makes the room look bigger. But, it also gives a great first impression for potential buyers. 

Credit: @insidehouse100 on Instagram

This is especially important in the kitchen, making this room look clean and open will really impress your potential buyers.

You should then think about inspecting your floors. 

Dirty carpets? Have those cleaned. 

Your buyers need to feel at home.

Your potential buyers would like to think they can take their shoes off and feel at home. 

That means that you should repair any damaged or stained flooring before you take visitors. 

Another great way to dress your home simply is just to open doors. It creates the illusion of open space and allows natural light in. Bonus!

Using the Bedroom For Dressing a House to Sell
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

It is also important to consider making your master bedroom look inviting. 

Your master bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. So dressing this room well will definitely increase the sale of your property. 

So, buy some cushions and soft blankets. Go buy that white bedding, and make that bed look inviting, cosy and homely. 

It’s also important to consider to not try and achieve the perfect home. Your potential buyers love a home that looks lived in. Consider this when dressing your house to sell. 

Credit: @insidehouse100 on Instagram

Is dressing a house to sell costly?

Not necessarily – some of the things I mentioned, such as de-cluttering costs nothing. 

Similarly, buying accessories such as bedding, cushions and blankets / throws may cost a small amount of money.  

But if you are thinking about redecorating you might want to consider the costs of paint, cleaning products and new furniture depending on how much you want to dress your home. 

Joanne Christie has confirmed that what you spend on these changes WILL be returned in the sale price. As such, if there’s any time to put in the extra effort, it is now.

Design Tips / Ideas

So I have spoken about a few ways of dressing a house to sell. But how do you actually do it? Let me teach you in this section. 

By the end, you’ll know:

  • Different ways to dress your home simply and quickly. 
  • How to take advantage of awkward spaces in your home. 
  • Simple ways to impress potential buyers.

Different ways of dressing a house to sell simply and quickly

There are lots of ways to dress your home ready for sale. 

Firstly, start with simply adding a diffusor into your room so that the room smells fresh when your buyers visit. 

Dress up your coffee table with different display pieces such as a candle, pots and a decorative coral for example.

Using the Living Room For Dressing a House to Sell
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

Adding art work, greenery and lighting can make your home look more attractive and homely. 

Mirrors are also a great way to spread light round the room from the reflection. If you are struggling to lighten up your room, buy some mirrors and let them do the magic for you!

It is also important to put some rugs down, this opens up the space and gives the impression of a homely feel to your house. 

Example of Dressing a House to Sell in The Living Room
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

Neutral colours are a great idea and I’ll tell you why. 

In short, you don’t know what colour scheme your potential buyer will like. So, the safe bet is to just go neutral. As a result, they can put their imagination to the test with the space you are offering them. 

How to take advantage of awkward spaces in your home

The key to dressing a house to sell is to use all the space you have well. 

This includes awkward spaces in your home. Use these to your advantage to present your home well to your potential buyers. 

A recent article suggested that 70% of buyers will over look faults in a home if they are properly dressed. 

So, it’s important you make use of these awkward space in your property so you are inviting your buyers in. 

In this section, I will discuss awkward places that could be in your home that you could dress to impress buyers. 

Using Empty Corners For Dressing a House to Sell
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

Firstly, empty corners stand out like a sore thumb to your home’s future owners. I am not saying to fill this to the brim. But don’t leave it empty. 

You Should Fill Empty Corners when Dressing a Home
Credit: @homebyjasmine on Instagram

You can do this by buying a tall vase with a flower arrangement in that you can see from afar. 

So they look beautiful but also can make the room smell homely and inviting.

A Vase Really Fills up The Space! Use Them to Dress a Corner
Credit: @chloejhome on Instagram

Dressing a house to sell is all about balance too. As a result of doing this your place will feel more homely. 

But you also don’t want to dress it to the point it becomes cluttered. You don’t want your potential buyers to think you are a hoarder either. 

One may say less is more: dressing your home is an art, especially when done right. To clarify, It can really showcase your home, making it look bigger, more open, clean and inviting.

So, how else can you take advantage of an awkward space?

Make a cosy corner, you can do this by having an occasional chair on display. 

Dressing a Bedroom Like This Will sell a House
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

This makes the room look cosy and lived in. It gives your future homeowners the idea that your house is a place they can relax and put their feet up in!

Set up a workspace! A lot more people nowadays are working from home. So, creating a little office space can draw your potential buyer in. 

Make Your Buyer Imagine Working from Your Home
Credit: @insidehouse100 on Instagram

You don’t specifically have to have an office room, but creating a corner in your home with a desk in is great way to get started. 

Simple ways of dressing a house to sell to impress potential buyers

Dressing a house to sell may feel stressful and costly. But there are many simple solutions to ease this for you. 

Simple ways you can impress your buyer is by creating more storage in your home. 

Your Buyer Will Imagine Working from this Station
Credit: @feelslikehome___ on Instagram

A simple clothing rail in a dressing room gives the impression of storage. So you don’t have to go out and spend thousands on wardrobes to give the same idea!

If you have a utility make sure it free of clutter and used to its full advantage. That room should be light and airy. This will give a great impression to your potential buyer.

Leave no Corner Undecorated!
Credit: @homebyjasmine on Instagram

I would also suggest sliding in a vanity area, having a place to get ready in before work is a must! 

Its a simple way of showing your potential buyer that you have optimised every available space in your home for them!

Vanity Areas can be a great addition for the ladies!
Credit: @ourcheshirehome46 on Instagram
As shown in the image above, this area is simple with a sitting area where you can get ready and do your make up for work in peace. 

Examples of Dressing your Home

So, I have given you some tips on how to dress your home ready to sell. How about I show you some great homes that are well presented and exactly what potential buyers love. 

In this section you’ll discover:

  • Example homes that are well dressed
  • Which rooms should you focus on dressing?

Example homes that are dressed well to sell!

Dressing your home ready for sale can be confusing sometimes and you might not know where to start. So, look at these images below and think how you can apply this to your home. 

Neutral Colours in a living room really show off a house's best qualities
Credit: @insidehouse100 on Instagram

The living room above is the perfect example of an inviting room. 

The home owners decided to go for dark tones of colours such as the black and blue together.

These colours blend well with the light grey walls. 

It is important to note that using dark colours in your home is not bad, but be careful not to make the space dark overall. It is important to have the right balance. 

What a living room should look like when dressing a house to sell
Credit: @feelslikehome___ on Instagram

Another example above, is mixing dark colours with lights. As shown above in the image, you can see how they have chosen to mix dark pillows with lights.

You don’t have to have dark furniture, but you could have some dark furnishings. Like above, a couple of pillows should do the trick!

Besides, dark colours and furnishings in your home. The space should feel open, homely and inviting. 

A warmer toned living room when Dressing a House to Sell
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

Using warm toned colours can be really inviting for potential buyers. 

But as you can see, using a rug and decorating the coffee table can also give that homely feel for your home’s future owners. 

On top of this, adding cushions and a throw onto the sofa can also give this impression. 

Which rooms should you focus on when dressing a house to sell?

So there are three main areas to focus on dressing your house ready for sale.

The Kitchen, the Master bedroom and the living room.

If you can dress these three main rooms well, you will catch the attention of your viewers.

Your buyer will imagine living luxuriously in this dressed kitchen
Credit: @myhomesanctuary on Instagram

Firstly, the most important room in the house is the kitchen. Some people would suggest this is the heart of the home.

So, make it memorable for the potential buyer. See the kitchen above, no clutter, clean and tidy.

Presenting the room in this way signals to your viewers that this is a great place to socialise, make food and make memories.

Living Room
Soft furnishings in a living room are a great way to dress your home
Credit: @noplacelikehome2018 on Instagram

Another place in the home that draws the attention of potential buyers is the living room. 

This is where you make memories, spend time with loved ones, watch your favourite tv shows and snuggle up. 

So make sure that you make this room desirable. 

Master Bedroom

And last but not least, the master bedroom. 

Buy some nice bedding, cushions and throws and make that bed look desirable, comfy and relaxing. 

See below, some examples of master bedrooms that make you want to just go straight to sleep!

Another master bedroom which is dressed to sell
Credit: @ourcheshirehome46 on Instagram

It is important to make your master bedroom look inviting, comfy and cosy. 

All bedding should be white / neutral colours because not everyone likes vibrant colours. 

So, to be safe and appeal to all tastes keep it simple, neutral and white. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on bedding Wayfair has some affordable sets on their website!

See the above image, how the same colours are throughout the room. The walls blend well with the bed frame colour and the lining of the bedding. 

In summary, It is important to make your house look perfect, but lived in. A show home is great but that homely feel lets future buyers see their future life in your home. 

About The authors

This guide was written by Gabriella Pierina BSc (Hons), current NHS nurse, Instagram Influencer and home design enthusiast. 

It was edited by Dr Sermed Mezher MbChB (Hons) MRes, experienced property investor, published author in Global Paediatric Health and The Journal of Medical Ethics, and medical doctor.

We would like to thank all the content creators for giving us permission to reproduce their photographs.

Both Gaby and Sermed have a special interest in educating people on how to improve their situation. They believe that physical and financial health are intimately linked.