4 Cheap Ways to Update Your Home Before Selling

Amanda Fallon
Amanda Fallon
Published on May 9, 2018

You don’t need to be a professional interior decorator to update your your home’s interior.

With a little creativity, and items already present in your home, you can transform it into a showplace.

Here are 4 cheap ways to update your home before selling.

1. Paint

The quickest and most inexpensive of the 4 cheap ways to update your home before selling is with new paint. Whether you decide to paint entire rooms or just create an accent wall in a rich tone, new color on the walls will create instant glamour.

If you hire a pro to do the job, plan on spending between $380 and $790 for a 10X12 room, according to homeadvisor.com.  This is labor only, by the way, and doesn’t include ceilings, trim or cost of the paint.

Do it yourself and you’ll save big — just remember, buyers love neutrals.  Think beiges, creams, greys and greiges.  You might also consider painting outdated kitchen cabinets as well.  Read my blog Sell Your Home With Kitchen Staging!

2. Rearrange What You Already Have

Of the 4 cheap ways to update your home before selling, this one has got to be the most obvious but the least done.

Are you focusing on a single point in each room?  Are your walk-ways clear and wide?  Like most sellers, have you simply collected too much furniture?

After living in your home for years, you often end up with a furniture arrangement that is most convenient, but one that doesn’t show off your home’s best features.

Whether it’s the fireplace or a view outside a window, arrange furniture so that it faces the focal point.  Also, try to arrange couches and chairs in an effort to keep an open flow from the kitchen to living area.

One huge mistake I see in lived-in home design is the tragic tale of the multi-purpose room.   Out of convenience, homeowners will let a beautiful living room turn into a living room/kids room, or a living room/game room.  I’ve even seen living room/gym combinations.

What sellers don’t realize is that when buyers walk into a space and see a dual- or multi-function room, they incorrectly interpret the house as being too small for all of their needs.  So hide those toys in a storage bench or coffee table, and move that treadmill and yoga mat to the garage where it belongs.

Reconsider the placement of your couches, sofas, and lazy boys and remember your biggest luxury is space.

Not sure what qualifies as a room’s focal point?  Check out the guide at pellabranch.com.

Try switching up furniture from one room and putting it in another. Sometimes a stylish nightstand makes a great end-table in the living room; or try putting a dresser in the dining room to act as a buffet.

If you need new furniture but the price just isn’t in your budget, think about slipcovering what you already have.  Or, buy inexpensive used furniture and put your DIY skills to work.

While shopping for used furniture, don’t overlook Craigslist online or Facebook Marketplace.  You can find almost anything there and sellers are likely to negotiate on prices.

3. Create a Limited Color Palette

Of the 4 cheap ways to update your home before selling, my favorite is to create a limited color palette with 1-2 complimentary accent colors (like teal and aqua, for example) and 2-3 neutrals (white, black, beige, grey), and stick to it.  You can easily sell your old items and accessories that do not compliment your new color scheme on apps like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

A new throw and throw pillows in a limited color scheme are not only great ways to freshen a room but add color as well.  The color-of-the-year, by the way is purple, so go on trend by adding pops of it in your accessories.  See the shade (Ultra Violet) on pantone’s website.  Don’t want to spend $20 per pillow?  Try covering your old pillows with inexpensive pillow covers from Amazon.com, starting at $2/cover.

Flowers and plants add a splash of color to any room, be it a huge bouquet in the entry or small nosegays in the bathrooms.  If you lack a green thumb, silk flowers and plants are inexpensive alternatives.

Read my blog 3 Cheap DIY Home Updates Buyers LOVE!

4. Edit and Add Accessories

You don’t need to break the bank when shopping for accessory pieces and accents for your interior design project.  If you find you need a few more accessories why not try flea markets and garage sales?  Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  • Mirrors will make any room look larger and lighter. Groupings of mirrors can be an even more dramatic way to open up a room.
  • Art work within your limited color palette is another way to add color and interest as well as texture to your interior design.
  • Decorative pillows can be used in bedrooms and living rooms.
  • Look for items such as decorative plates to hang on the kitchen walls, vases, baskets, candle holders and sconces.  Other fun things you might want to look for are drawer pulls and handles for your kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.

I am happy to advise you on ways to edit and rearrange your existing furniture and accessories to appeal to buyers and help you sell your home quickly!  You can get a head start by implementing my 4 cheap ways to update your home before selling.


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