Room by Room: Living Room

Our Room by Room series is all about getting the most out of your rooms when selling your home.

Work What You’ve Got!

  1. De-clutter. It’s easy to build up a collection of movie discs, compact discs, books, toys, and other items that often populate a living room. However, they can hide the room’s true dimensions and deceive buyers into thinking that the room is smaller than what it really is. So, it’s important to remove items, including unnecessary furniture, during the selling process. Just think of it as a way to get an early start on packing.
  2. Clean. This may be a given, but wipe down EVERYTHING, including lampshades, vases, molding, door frames, etc. If you have electronics in the living room, don’t forget to wipe them down at least once a week. They have a tendency to collect the most dust.
  3. Highlight the best parts. Have a fireplace? Arrange the furniture so it’s the focal point of the room. Draw attention features with accent walls and wall paintings. Balance out built-in shelving by putting together items of similar bulk, focusing on everything at eye-level first, and making sure no shelf is empty. Remember, it’s human nature to find symmetry appealing.
  4. Add color. A painting or a few brightly colored frames and vases can really cheer up a room. Just make sure that they’re from a similar palette.

Upgrades That Pay

Living rooms are pretty basic. Unlike kitchens that house a lot of features like appliances and cabinets, living rooms don’t have much space for projects that will provide a large return on investment (ROI). But there are a few things to keep in mind when determining if you should do anything to the living room before listing.

Painting is probably the cheapest investment with the highest return. If the room hasn’t been painted for many years, likely the color is faded and there are marks on the walls. Take a look around on a nice sunny day and assess the state of the paint. It may be a good idea to put up a fresh coat.

Fireplaces are often sought after by buyers; however, a dirty and outdated fireplace can make a room look dingy and imply a certain amount of work for the buyers. Consider giving your fireplace a thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of paint where required. If your fireplace has brass screens and accents, consider removing them or replacing them with black or brass. If removing or replacing seems to be too costly or impossible, you can also paint them grill or auto paint by using a heat resistant primer.

Discolored, stained, and damaged flooring can also be a big drawback for buyers. Steam cleaning usually takes care of carpet, but anything that irreparable should be replaced. Hardwood is preferred by many buyers, but a low-cost and easy to install alternative is laminate.

Remember to do your homework before completing any upgrades. You could potentially over-improve the home pricing it outside of the potential selling range. Melanie is always happy to stop by to take a look at your home and give you an idea on what improvements, if any, you should complete. Choosing which improvements to make before listing your home depends a lot on how other homes in the neighborhood are selling and she constantly has her eye on the market. Feel free to give Melanie a call at 910.202.2546 or send us an email at [email protected]

Have tips to share? We welcome comments below.

About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.