By Stephanie Thomas

Published on September 1, 2015

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Photography by Aimee Herring

by Stephanie Thomas

Stick a “for sale” sign in the yard and a few things will happen: you’ll find sentimental value in every perfectly-imperfect corner of your home, you’ll clean more thoroughly than when your mother-in-law comes for a visit, and you’ll watch your bank account dwindle long before it grows.

That’s because when it comes to selling a home, you have to spend a little money before you can make a lot of it. The question is

what

should you spend your money on? Today we’ll share a few quick changes you can make to help potential buyers see themselves in your space.

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Photography by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo

Present a peaceful atmosphere

Return to a neutral color palette, wherever possible, and add cool colors with accent pieces like this mohair blanket . Soothing tones and fabrics make your home a relaxing and inviting space.  

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Photography by Thou Swell

Light the main living area

Install long-armed  wall sconces  over your couch or favorite reading chair to brighten the space and add an air of sophistication to the room. Choose a soft-white bulb and be sure to turn lamps and sconces on–and ceiling lights off–before each showing.

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Photography by Domino

Wallpaper just one wall

Create an accent wall to freshen up your bedroom. This  brick white wallpaper  is modern, simple and–wait for it–removable! Give the room a focal point, no paste or paint required.

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Photography by El Meuble

Replace that clunky chair

You may know how to maneuver through your crowded living room, but potential homebuyers won’t. Replacing just one large chair or loveseat with a sleek, neutral   arm chair   will make the room seem liveable again. 

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Photography by Lonny Magazine

Bury your stuff in baskets

Grab a  set of baskets  you don’t mind leaving out–bonus points if they come with lids. Assign each basket a purpose and declutter to your heart’s content. If you really want to foolproof last-minute showings, leave one basket empty for miscellaneous messes.

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Photography by Neat Method SanDiego

Add class to the closet

Hang nearly  floor-to-ceiling shelves  in your closet for the ultimate in luxurious storage. Stack sweaters, boots and shoes, and boxes filled with accessories. You’ll get tons of items off the floor without sacrificing much space. And your closet will look and, more importantly, feel bigger.

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Photography by Phil Durrant

Magnify with a mirror

The secret to a bigger room is simple. You don’t need a contractor or a renovation budget. You need a mirror . A mirror reflects light and space. Choose one that’s long and tall for hallways, short and wide or round for rooms.

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Photography by The Tribe Magazine

Leave a final touch of cheer

Top your entryway or dining room table with a vase of flowers. Keep the bouquet simple and seasonal. Pen a note to buyers– you could thank them for looking and mention a few reasons you love your home–and stick the corner of the note under your vase.