By Abigail Sawyer

Congratulations! You’re putting your house on the market for sale. You found the perfect realtor who knows your market and is great to work with. The next step is staging your home to make sure it puts its best foot forward when greeting potential buyers. The majority of home buyers start their search on the internet, so each room should be photo-worthy.

But staging is more than fluffing pillows and putting out a welcome mat. It’s also about those little upgrades, from new paint to updated hardware. Here are five decorative areas to tackle for a fast and successful sale.

  1. Light Fixtures

Nothing dates a room or home faster than the chandelier or light fixture that came with the house. That 5-arm brass chandelier with frosted globes might have been fabulous in 1985, but today it just looks out of place. Replace the lights that play a prominent role in frequently used rooms, such as the dining room, living room, kitchen and master bedroom. Instead of the traditional hanging chandelier in the dining room, consider installing a simple, contemporary pendant light with a drum shade. Potential buyers will also be impressed with LED bulbs in the kitchen and bathroom, which last for years without replacement and save energy and money.

  1. Window Treatments

Natural light is important to buyers, especially in northern climates. Keep window treatments to a minimum to allow more light into the room. Take down those old, heavy, dusty draperies and replace them with lightweight sheers. Another easy solution is to install blinds or shades. Light-filtering cellular shades keep the heat out during the summers months and block any unsightly views or windows that look directly into your neighbor’s home. When fully raised, the shades stack tightly to allow a full view outside. Customized window treatments that fit your windows perfectly are also a great perk to leave behind for the next owner.

  1. Kitchen Hardware

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and buyers will most likely spend more time checking out the kitchen features than the rest of the house. Don’t let a dated kitchen ruin the sale. While you may not have the budget to replace appliances and put in a new floor, it’s easy and cost-effective to replace cabinet and drawer hardware. Sleek, modern knobs and pulls will go with any design style future owners bring in and instantly make the room look more modern. Choose a finish that matches or coordinates with the faucet and light fixtures. Keep it simple and clean. Got some extra time? Give the cabinets new a coat of paint to brighten the room.

  1. Bathroom Decor

You don’t want an outdated bathroom to kill a deal, but you don’t necessarily have to invest in a complete overhaul to make it feel new. Start with a good, thorough cleaning. Make sure the grout between floor and shower tiles is spotless. Then, consider any of these inexpensive upgrades:

  • Swap out old cabinet hardware and replace the faucet.
  • Purchase and hang a new shower curtain.
  • Lay out a matching bath mat.
  • Display fresh towels in a pretty basket.
  • Hide the waste basket.
  1. Wall Color

One thing that really appeals to buyers is a move-in ready house. A new coat of paint in a neutral color can really freshen up a space. Paint over decorative stenciling, paint techniques (such as faux brick or stripes) and that cute design in the nursery. Your son might love dinosaurs, but potential buyers want rooms that are new and spotless. Additionally, remove any and all wallpaper. Although it’s making a comeback in the design world, buyers are just going to see a ton of work to remove it. Think one step ahead of them and remove it yourself, then paint the walls in a clean, neutral shade.

Don’t let easy, inexpensive fixes keep your home on the market longer than necessary. Take the necessary steps to make your house into a dream home for potential buyers.

Abigail Sawyer is a Senior Social Media Specialist for She’s a home improvement junkie who is currently restoring a 1972 cottage with the help of her husband and her goldendoodle, Biscuit. She writes on a variety of home décor topics, from staging your home for sale to finding the best window shades for your bedroom. You can find a variety of shade options on the Blinds website

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