10 Easy Ways to Make Your For-Sale Home Look Expensive

By Home Bay

Posted on June 8th, 2016

Want to make improvements to your home before you sell but don’t have a ton of cash? Rather than spending lots of money on expensive upgrades and high-end finishes to give your home a luxury look, check out ten easy, affordable ways to make your home look expensive without breaking the bank.


  1. Clean and organize your space:
    No home looks nice when it’s cluttered with furniture, moving boxes and other miscellaneous items, so go through your rooms and clear out any “stuff” that doesn’t need to be there to make a good impression on potential buyers. Once that’s done, it’s time to give your home a deep clean. Mop the floors, clean the windows and scrub the bathrooms until they sparkle. If you have carpeted floors, rent a rug doctor to remove any stains. Your home should look new since that’s exactly what it will be to its new owners.

  2. Replace outdated fixtures:
    Swapping out outdated light fixtures for modern ones is a quick, easy, affordable way to modernize your home. Focus your transformation efforts on areas of the house that are highly trafficked, like the entryway, kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. Make sure you check local hardware and big box stores for clearance sales and markdowns to save money on your upgrades.

  3. Use Lighting to Your Advantage:
    Make sure you have the appropriate bulbs in various rooms to give your home a warm, welcoming look. Layering accent lighting (lamps) and ambient lighting (ceiling fixtures) is a super easy way to enhance a room. It’s always best to have your ceiling fixtures on a dimmer switch if possible for maximum flexibility. In addition to layering lighting types, you can also use decorative fixtures like sconces or accent lighting, like under-cabinet rope lights, to easily and affordably enhance the look of your space.

  4. Replace outdated appliances:
    Old, dated appliances take up a lot of visual space in your house. If you have the cash, consider updating them with more visually appealing, modern, energy efficient options. If you don’t, consider updating the exterior of large appliances, like your refrigerator or storage freezer, by refinishing it with chalkboard paint. Another alternative is to add custom cabinet panels to your refrigerator or dishwasher.

  5. Paint your walls:
    Nothing makes a home look new again like a fresh coat of paint. The best part? Paint isn’t expensive, there are tons of modern color options to choose from and repainting the walls will make your home look clean and stylish. It’s a cheap update that will have a big visual impact and will impress potential home buyers.

  6. Incorporate complimentary decor:
    Flowers, vases and stylish decor automatically make your home look more luxurious. That’s why home stagers often use simple but colorful accent pieces to draw potential buyer’s eyes to the best features of each room. Thrift stores are the perfect place to pick up accent places for pennies on the dollar (compared to prices at big box stores).

  7. Think small with high-end finishes:
    As you redecorate, use small amounts of high-end materials to make your home look more expensive than it really is. For example, you can re-tile your entryway with expensive tile and use more affordable flooring throughout the rest of the house. Or, you can incorporate a strip of more expensive tile into your kitchen backsplash and fill in the rest with a more affordable option. Be deliberate with the placement of high-end materials so they pop and stick with cheaper options for the majority of your home projects.

  8. Get creative with DIY projects:
    There are so many ways to use cheap or free objects to create beautiful furnishings and decor. For example, there are dozens of ways to make furniture out of wood pallets. It’s also easy and cheap to re-cover furniture from thrift stores with fabric and a staple gun. Last but certainly not least, you can sand and re-finish wood furniture with a modern stain color for less than $50 – far less than purchasing new, modern furniture.

  9. Replace old doors:
    The first thing guests will notice are the doors they walk through, and sometimes even fresh paint won’t hide wear and tear. If your doors have been exposed to the elements for too long, install new ones. They aren’t expensive and installation is quick and easy. You can even use modern styles and colors to help enhance the overall look and feel of your home.

  10. Consider your cabinets:
    You can’t go wrong with custom stylized cabinets to give your home style home style. But for a lot of homeowners, it can be tough to come up with the funds to completely renovate their cabinetry. If you fall into that category, there’s a more affordable option. Sand and paint or stain older cupboards that are still in good shape and replace the door pulls and hardware with modern versions for a quick and cheap update.

Making your home look good on the cheap isn’t hard if you are willing to put in a little time, effort and creativity.

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Posted in Staging Your Home