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If you’ve ever walked into a well-decorated home, there is a special sense of awe. Color schemes, quaint cultural items, and themed patterns make it more than just “easy on the eyes”. In every sense, it makes a house a home.

This seemingly small change can be the difference in thousands of dollars. In fact, this same phenomenon can be seen in vehicles as well. There is a major market for cars whose paint is peeling, because with a quick, professional repaint job, the perceived value jumps up in a major way. Houses aren’t the only thing that can be “flipped”, after all.

A home builder named Eaglewood Homes in Meridian, Idaho has found that the overall appearance of a home can do even more than for vehicles that have been redone. The National Association of Realtors found the same thing in 2017, when over 77% of buyers found it “easier to visualize as their own property when the home is decorated properly and staged.

This concept is exactly why the home staging industry exists in the first place. By the way, home staging is a massive marketplace, with thousands and thousands of hungry talented individuals vying for, and finding, staging jobs. There is even many DIY decorating resources out there. The most conservative estimates say that properly staging a home brings 6% more revenue, and 20% on the higher end. It may seem surprising that potential home buyers would pay a fifth more just because a house was well decorated and put together, but it really isn’t when you look into human psychology.

Humans are by definition visual creatures, meaning that above our other senses, our sense of vision often takes precedence over the others. Sure, hot bread coming out of the oven can be tantalizing to smell, but in general, sight overpowers all. The way someone or something looks is why we constantly need to remind ourselves not to judge a book by its cover. It’s extremely difficult not to form quick thoughts based upon appearances. Home decorating is designed to do just this.

Next time you go to look at a house, make sure you understand these principles. If not, you may be paying more than the home’s value just because of how it looks in the moment.