Realtors say these things make your home look cheap (& here's how to easily fix them)

Solutions for common mistakes.

Realtors say these things make your home look cheap (& here's how to easily fix them)
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Outside of work, your home is where you likely spend the most amount of time. It’s where you cook delicious meals, chill on the couch with a good book, and simply relax — so it’s no surprise that you want to make it look as nice as possible. There are tons of obvious ways to make your home look good — but when it comes to identifying the things that are making it look cheap, the experts can help.

Luckily, I’ve reached out to a handful of realtors who were more than happy to share all the things that might be making your home look cheap, as well as how to easily fix each one. From cluttered entryways to outdated tablecloths, there’s a little something in here that can benefit every home — even if yours is the very definition of “stylish.”

Keep scrolling for more.


Mistake: Letting your garden fall to the wayside

Solution: Using these gloves to give it a much-needed refresh

While the inside of your home certainly makes an impact on guests, that doesn’t mean that the exterior isn’t worth your time and investment.“This first impression begins the minute the potential buyers pull into the driveway,” explains Realtor Veronica Moras. “Don't be cheap and skip the lawncare! [...] I recommend buying nice shrubs, flowers, and pine straw.”

Once you’ve grabbed as many plants as your arms can carry, don’t forget that you’ll need the proper tools to get them looking good — like these gardening gloves. They’re made from breathable bamboo fibers that won’t leave your hands sweating, yet are still protective enough that you won’t have to worry about splinters or thorns. Plus, the textured rubber palms give you some extra grip when handling tools.


Mistake: Cheap light bulbs are making your home look outdated

Solution: These LED bulbs that provide daylight-white illumination

Sometimes the smallest details make the biggest impact — like the light fixtures and bulbs that you choose to use in your home. According to Josh Steppling, a broker associate at Steppling Group, “Dated light fixtures and poor lighting immediately make a house look cheap.” And while the fix may seem simple, don’t be fooled. He goes on to say, “Many times, homeowners will remodel an entire kitchen only to leave in brass light fixtures from the ‘90s, or they’ll use yellow lights instead of daylight LEDs to brighten up the space.”

Luckily, this pair of daylight LED bulbs is available for less than $15. They perform best in wide areas where tons of light is necessary, including garages, basements, and more. The best part? With a lifetime of up to 25,000 hours, they’re significantly more cost-effective than comparable incandescent bulbs.


Mistake: Living underneath an old popcorn ceiling

Solution: This scraper that removes that unsightly popcorn texture

Your ceiling may be the last thing about your home that bothers you — but according to Steppling, a popcorn ceiling can make any home feel outdated. “Popcorn ceilings are another thing that immediately makes a home feel dated and cheap,” he tells Mic. “They’re annoying to remove, but it’s worth replacing with a more modern finish if you want to give your home a more luxurious or contemporary look.”

But if hiring a professional to remove that popcorn ceiling is out of your budget, don’t worry — this scraper is available for just $20. It’s designed to work with spray-on acoustic popcorn texture that softens when wet, and it only takes about 30 minutes to completely strip a square 10-by-10-foot ceiling. Plus, the threaded handle lets you attach it to an extension pole (which does not come included) if desired.


Mistake: An abundance of decor is making your home feel cluttered

Solution: Stashing it all inside of these under-the-bed storage bags

While some decoration is necessary in order to make any home look good, over-decorating can lead to it feeling cluttered. “Overdecorating and clutter are similar things that make a home look cheap,” explains Steppling. “As a real estate broker and investor, there are so many times I have to tell sellers to pack up everything because it takes away from the space and character of a home.”

That doesn’t mean you have to throw all those decorations out, however — just stash them away for later inside of these storage bags. Their low profile makes it easy to slide them underneath your bed, while the transparent mesh tops let you see what’s inside each one without having to unpack everything. Choose from two colors: gray or white.


Mistake: You’re using plain, standard lights throughout your home

Solution: Upgrading your kitchen with some sleek under-cabinet lights

Choosing the right types of lighting can go a long way in making your home feel upscale. According to real estate broker Deborah Ann Spence, “Standard lighting can make your home look low quality.” She goes on to say, “I recommend upgrading to something modern and sleek. [...] I like pendant lighting and kitchen cabinet lights.” Though if you’re really in the market for something that’ll stand out? She tells Bustle that “disco lights in the basement are also jazzy.”

Though disco lights may not work in every basement, these under-cabinet lights are sure to look good in just about any kitchen. Installation is as easy as peeling off the adhesive backing, and then pressing them right into place — and they only need three AA batteries (which come included) to provide hours’ worth of light.


Also helpful: These sleek pendant lights with an industrial vibe

Now that your cabinets are looking good, it’s time to hang these pendant lights over your kitchen island. Their industrial-style meshes seamlessly with just about any decor style — and unlike some pendant lights, these ones can be adjusted all the way down to 47 inches long.


Mistake: Your home is lacking texture

Solution: Draping this fuzzy throw blanket across your couch

Can’t quite figure out why your home feels flat? The problem could be that it’s lacking in texture. “One often overlooked aspect that can make a home look cheap is the lack of texture variation,” explains Ritika Asrani, the founder and head broker at St Maarten Real Estate. “Incorporating diverse textures, such as plush rugs, tactile fabrics, and textured wall panels, can instantly elevate a space's perceived value.”

With that in mind, this thick, fuzzy throw blanket is an easy way to vary the textures in your living and bedroom. It’s made from 100% soft polyester — and unlike some throws, this one has gone through a hypoallergenic treatment to help it resist unwanted odors. Choose from four shades: off-white, gray, navy, and taupe.


Also helpful: These textured panels can create an instant accent wall

A large blank wall is the perfect space to create a stunning accent wall — and these textured panels can help. Each order comes with 12 panels, which should be enough to cover up to 32 square feet of space. And if you’re in the mood for some color? You can easily paint them to make that wall really pop inside your home.


Mistake: Your furniture is placed in awkward, uneven spots

Solution: These sliding pads that make it easy to adjust your furniture layout

Even if the colors in your home are coordinated perfectly, having your furniture and decor arranged in odd ways can make any room feel “off.” According to Asrani, “Achieving visual balance through thoughtful symmetry is a lesser-known trick that can make a home appear more expensive.” Luckily, she also has an easy fix if your pieces aren’t jiving with each other: “Homeowners can easily fix an imbalanced room by rearranging furniture, aligning decor elements, and ensuring that visual weight is evenly distributed.”

The only catch is that moving furniture can be a bit of a hassle — which is where these sliders come in handy. Simply place them underneath your furniture legs, and you’ll instantly be able to rearrange heavy pieces of furniture however you like. The best part? Since no adhesive is necessary, you can easily reuse them as many times as you like.


Mistake: The air in your home smells... not so great

Solution: This diffuser that comes with a set of 10 essential oils included

No matter how amazingly you’ve decorated, unwanted odors can make even the most spectacular homes feel unpleasant. “While visual aesthetics are crucial, the sense of smell is often underestimated in influencing perceptions of a home,” explains Asrani. “A space that lacks a pleasant scent can inadvertently give off a cheap impression.” As for an easy solution, she goes on to explain how “homeowners can easily fix this by introducing subtle, inviting scents through candles, diffusers, or freshly baked goods during showings.”

Not only does this diffuser have a faux wood grain that gives it an upscale appearance, but each order also includes a set of 10 essential oils so that you can start using it right out of the box. The water reservoir is large enough to produce up to eight hours of scented mist — and many reviewers appreciated how the motor runs at a super-quiet level.


Also helpful: These baking mats you can use to bake cookies for a sweet scent in the house

You can never go wrong filling your home with the scent of freshly baked cookies, so why not take a look at these baking mats? They’re made from flexible silicone that won’t latch onto your treats as they bake, making it easy to lift them off once they’ve finished cooking. And unlike parchment paper or sprays, you can wash and reuse these mats as many times as you like.


Mistake: Your home is a little too quiet

Solution: Creating a relaxing vibe with this Bluetooth speaker

When in doubt, a little relaxing music never hurts when it comes to making your home feel warm and inviting. According to Asrani, “[...] creating the right ambiance through dimmable lighting and soft music can contribute to a luxurious and inviting atmosphere that potential buyers will remember.” And if you aren’t planning on selling your place? A little music can still go a long way in making guests feel welcome.

With that in mind, this Bluetooth speaker features a powerful battery that can last for up to 24 hours before you need to recharge it, making it a smart pick for anyone trying to update their home on a budget. Its waterproof design also makes it suitable for use in the shower — and while it may be small, don’t be fooled. Its in-house tuned digital signal processor still delivers a strong, rich bass, while two high-sensitivity drivers ensure that your music sounds crystal-clear.


Also helpful: A dimmer switch that plugs into your lights

Speaking of setting a relaxing ambiance, don’t forget to soften those harsh lights with this dimmer switch. Simply plug it into a lamp, and you’ll be able to adjust its brightness by sliding the switch back and forth. Its 6-foot power cable makes it easy to use with distant outlets — and unlike some dimmer switches, this one is compatible with incandescent, halogen, LEDs, as well as CFL bulbs.


Mistake: Your home is overly reliant on overhead lighting

Solution: Use this floor lamp to create layers of light

While your lights may be one of the last things you think about when decorating, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t inadvertently making your home look cheap. “Overhead lighting is a major design faux pas in the current housing market among buyers and homeowners,” explains Sal Dimiceli, Sr., an award-winning real estate broker and owner of Lake Geneva Area Realty. Luckily, he also has an easy solution that won’t break the bank: “To enhance your home's ambiance and avoid this pitfall, opt for layered lighting approaches. Consider incorporating alternatives such as floor lamps, table lamps, and wall sconces.”

Not only is this floor lamp an affordable option that’s perfect for layering, but it also features a second built-in reading lamp that you can use when perched on your couch. The plastic white shade won’t shatter if you accidentally knock it over — and you even have the choice of four finishes: black, brushed nickel, silver, or white.


Also helpful: This table lamp that’s dimmable up to 3 levels

Now that you’ve got that floor lamp sitting in the corner of your living or bedroom, it’s time to add this table lamp to one of your side tables. It’s dimmable up to three levels, making it a great option when it comes to layering lights — and there’s even a USB port in the back where you can charge your devices. The best part? Each order even comes with one LED bulb to get you started.


Mistake: You have a chain link fence in the front of your home

Solution: Swapping it out with this inviting picket fence

While chain link fences have their purpose, very few people would argue that they make a home look warm or inviting. “Chain link fence looks cheap and a turn-off,” explains Realtor Karyn Sederberg. “Easy fix is to remove chain link fence at least in front of [the] home and visible from [the] street as a rule of thumb.” Though if your property truly needs a fence around it? She goes on to suggest that you “[...] replace with wood which is less expensive than vinyl or metal if [the] fence is needed.”

Luckily, this vinyl picket fence is available for less than $50, making it an affordable and aesthetic alternative to those rusty chain links. Installation is also easier than you might expect — simply press the posts into the ground, and it’s ready to go. The best part? Many reviewers were even able to get the job done in two hours or less.


Mistake: You’ve chosen to decorate with faux plants over real ones

Solution: These live houseplants that require hardly any maintenance

Faux plants may seem like an easy, low-maintenance option when decorating your home — but in reality, there’s a good chance they’re making your home look cheap. “While greenery adds a touch of freshness to a home, you should never opt for faux ones,” cautions Real estate agent Mitchell G. David. He goes on to suggest that you “[...] go for real plants that are low-maintenance and easy to take care of,” which means there’ll be less effort required on your end to make sure they stay looking good.

The only trick is finding plants that’ll thrive in nearly any environment — in which case, this trio of house plants is worth a look. Each order comes with a random assortment of three low-maintenance plants, ranging from pothos to snake plants. Regardless of which plants you receive, they all do well with indirect sunlight, and only need to be watered about once a week for best results. Many reviewers also raved about how they were delivered in “great shape.”


Mistake: That low-quality tablecloth is making your kitchen look outdated

Solution: A stain- & wrinkle-resistant tablecloth that comes in solid shades

There’s nothing wrong with having a tablecloth — unless the one you’re using is made from vinyl. “Never go for low-quality vinyl tablecloths that come in unappealing patterns,” cautions David. “They make a space look less sophisticated, and they can spoil the overall aesthetics of your interior design.”

Luckily, this tablecloth is available for less than $10 and even comes in more than 20 solid shades. It’s made from 100% polyester that’s resistant to stains and wrinkles, making it easy to keep it looking good from meal to meal. And in the event it does get dirty? Many reviewers wrote about how it was “easy to clean.”


Mistake: The posters on your walls don’t have frames

Solution: Putting them inside these rustic frames made from real wood

Hanging up frameless posters may have been fine in college — but as an adult? It may be contributing to the reason why your decor looks a little cheap. “Posters and prints can add to the sophistication of a home as long as they come in a classy and tasteful framing,” explains David. “On the other hand, unframed prints and posters that don’t have proper framing make a space look cheaper and less polished.”

With that in mind, these frames are an easy (and affordable) way to elevate any poster or piece of art. They’re made from real teak wood — not plastic — and the strap on the top makes it easy to hang them up wherever you like.


Mistake: Using generic frames to hang your photos

Solution: These gallery frames that come in 3 different finishes

Creating a framed photo gallery is an easy way to personalize a blank wall — the only catch is choosing the right frames. “It can be a great idea to cluster a series of framed prints, paintings, or photos together, but you must make sure they are not generic,” explains Real estate broker Ron Wysocarski. “Mass-produced and generic items are impersonal, and they make a home look more like a budget hotel rather than a residential property.”

Not only does this set of frames include three different finishes (black, grey, and faux wood) to help vary up the colors on your gallery wall, but the plexiglass faces are also less likely to break should they ever fall to the ground. And with a variety of sizes in each order, you shouldn’t have any trouble arranging them in an eye-catching way.


Mistake: That bland ceiling fan is making your room feel stale

Solution: This 3-in-1 fan that adds a pop of pink wherever you put it

A bland, generic ceiling fan can bring down the vibes in even the most spectacularly designed home. “Basic and generic ceiling fans can spoil the overall aesthetic of a room no matter how elegantly you decorate it,” Wysocarski tells Mic. “So, it is better to avoid placing white and unappealing ceiling fans in your rooms.”

While a plain white ceiling fan is sometimes unavoidable, this three-in-one pink fan is a fun alternative that adds a pop of color wherever you place it. The wireless design makes it easy to use practically anywhere — and the battery lasts for up to 24 hours before you need to recharge it.


Mistake: Outdated area rugs are making your home feel cheap

Solution: A timeless rug that comes in a variety of sizes

Laying down an area rug can make a huge impact in any room — but only if it’s a quality rug. Wysocarski tells Mic, “Always avoid poorly designed and low-quality area rugs. They make a home look cheap and less refined.” And while selecting a quality rug is essential, he goes on to recommend that you “[...] ensure that the rug comes in the right size, as too big or too small rugs can make a room off-balance.”

With more than 15 sizes available, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding this area rug in a shape that suits your home. Its floral medallion pattern is also timeless, so there won’t be any need to swap it out anytime soon — and the flat woven pile means it won’t shed all over your floors.


Also helpful: These V-shaped grippers that help keep rugs lying flat

Now that you’ve got a stylish rug, it’s time to make sure it stays lying flat with these grippers. Their V-shaped design makes it easy to place them at the corners of your rug — and unlike straight pieces of rug tape, they’re also less likely to get twisted out of place. The best part? They’re even suitable for indoor as well as outdoor use.


Mistake: A crowded entryway is making your home feel cluttered

Solution: This entryway organizer with space for bags, coats, & more

Mail, jackets, bags — regardless of what’s cluttering up your entryway, there’s a good chance it’s making your home feel cheap. “Walking into a home, the entryway is our first handshake with the space,” explains Ryan Fitzgerald, a realtor and owner of Homes Raleigh. He goes on to tell Mic that “an overstuffed entrance can make even the most spacious homes feel constricted.” He continues, “It's the entryway's job to whisper a warm welcome, setting the stage for what's to come.”

But if you don’t have anywhere to hide all that clutter? Consider hanging up this entryway organizer. Five pegs give you ample room to hang up coats, bags, and more, while the upper shelf is a great spot to rest mail — or even a few small pieces of decor.


Mistake: Word art is bringing your home decor down

Solution: Decorating using personalized pieces with help from this picture hanging kit

While decorating with word art was in style for a moment, that moment has long, long passed. According to Fitzgerald, he says that “[...] swapping them for meaningful, personal pieces can be the touch that turns a house into a home.”

Before you hang anything up, however, make sure you have the right tools to get the job done — like all the hooks that come in this picture hanging kit. Not only does it come with a variety of hangers and hooks, but you also get a mini bubble level to help make sure that your art is hanging straight. Amazon reviewer Bee even wrote about how “it made it super easy and quick for me to hang several pictures.”


Mistake: Cordless mini blinds are making your windows look outdated

Solution: These light-filtering curtains that come in 6 shades

Some homes come with cordless mini blinds already installed, so if you’re looking for an affordable upgrade? Bailey Moran, a seasoned real estate professional and the COO of Austin TX Realty, has an easy fix: “If you're rethinking your window treatments, why not explore sheer curtains or even bamboo shades? They infuse warmth and a touch of nature into any room.”

Not only do these sheer curtains come in six shades to suit any color scheme, but their grommet-style top also glides across curtain rods without any snagging. And since they still allow some light to shine through, you won’t have to worry about them making your home feel too dark.


Also helpful: These bamboo blinds that are *so* easy to install

If those sheer blinds don’t suit your home, consider opting for these bamboo blinds instead. Hanging them up is an easy way to add warmth to stale spaces — and many reviewers even raved about how they’re “easy to install.” You also have the choice of more than 15 sizes as well as three colors: light russet, white, or natural bamboo.


Mistake: Generic art is leaving your walls looking bland

Solution: Creating your own art using these blank canvases

Mass-produced art may be an easy way to decorate blank walls, but it can also leave your home feeling generic. “Art is personal; it's a reflection of who we are,” explains Moran. “While any piece of art serves a decorative purpose, there's a world of difference between something that resonates and something that's just there.”

The only catch is that buying unique, custom art can cost a pretty penny, so why not make your own using these canvases? They arrive pre-primed so that they’re ready to go right out of the box — and they’re suitable for nearly any type of paint, including watercolor, acrylic, as well as oil.


Mistake: The outside of your home lacks flowers & other greenery

Solution: Planting some of these colorful wildflower seeds

A freshly manicured lawn may look great, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. “The absence of curb appeal can inadvertently lend a home an inexpensive and lackluster appearance,” explains realtor Andrew Clark. “This is because the exterior of a house is the first impression it offers to visitors and passersby.” Luckily, the solution is an easy fix, as Clark goes on to recommend that you “[...] trim overgrown plants, lay down fresh mulch, mow regularly, and add colorful flowers to enhance the visual appeal.”

With more than 90,000 seeds in every order, this bag of wildflower seeds is an easy way to add some colorful flowers to the outside of your home. You’ll find 24 different varieties of biennial, annual, and perennial seeds inside, ranging from Black Eyed Susans to Shasta Daisies. And if you aren’t sure how far 90,000 seeds will go? It should be just enough to cultivate gardens up to 200 square feet in size.


Mistake: Your front door is looking weathered & outdated

Solution: Using this front door paint to give it an affordable refresh

Just because your lawn and garden are looking good doesn’t mean that your home’s front porch can’t use a little refresh. “Also, consider entryway upgrades,” Clark tells Mic. “The front door and entryway are focal points.” He goes on to recommend that you “repaint the front door in a color that complements the home's exterior” — and since this front door paint comes in 14 colors, you shouldn’t have any trouble picking one that suits your home. The water-based formula only takes about an hour to dry, and the smooth, satin finish looks good on just about any home. And unlike some types of paint, this one is resistant to fading.


Mistake: Your entryway is stale & uninviting

Solution: This weatherproof doormat that comes in 6 colors

Now that your front door is looking good, it’s time to take your entryway to the next level with a few finishing touches. However, if you need ideas? Clark recommends that you “add stylish hardware, a welcoming doormat, and perhaps some potted plants to create an inviting entry.”

With that in mind, this doormat has a weatherproof surface to help keep it looking good from season to season. You also have the choice of seven colors: gray, black, brown, green, khaki, and taupe. Plus, its nonslip surface helps keep guests safe when scraping their shoes clean before entering your home.


Mistake: The storage areas in your home are filled with clutter

Solution: These adjustable shelves that help get you organized

No matter how stylish and upgraded your home is, a good amount of clutter is rarely ever aesthetically pleasing. “Too much clutter can make any space feel disorderly, low-grade, and messy,” explains Clark. He goes on to recommend that you “[...] utilize attics, garages, closets, and other storage areas to keep clutter out of sight, perhaps you already are.” Clark suggests that you “[...] invest in storage solutions like shelves, baskets, and cabinets to keep your belongings organized.”

But if your garage and attic don’t have a ton of shelving to work with, fear not — this adjustable shelving unit is an easy way to add tons of storage to cluttered spaces. Each shelf can hold up to 250 pounds, making it great for sports equipment, heavy power tools, and everything in between. Assembly is also a total breeze, as many reviewers were able to get the job done in just a few short minutes without using any tools.


Also helpful: These cotton rope baskets that let you hide clutter in plain sight

When no amount of organizing is enough to sort out all that clutter, consider hiding it in plain sight using these baskets. They’re the perfect size to place on shelves or desks, and the sturdy cotton rope weave even maintains its shape if you ever decide to fold them flat for storage. Choose from eight colors.


Mistake: Harsh lights are making your home feel uninviting

Solution: This LED strip that helps soften harsh overhead lights

While relying on harsh overhead lights can make your home feel uninviting, having too few lights can also have the same effect. Clark tells Mic, “Insufficient or harsh lighting can make a home feel gloomy and uninviting. Clashing warm and white lighting also looks out of place.” Instead, he suggests that you “[...] make sure you have a mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting.”

With that in mind, this LED strip is the perfect mix of ambient, task, and accent lighting. Its adhesive backing lets you stick it right to the back of your television — and since it plugs into your set’s USB port, there’s no need to hide any dangling wires.


Also helpful: These wireless puck lights that are *so* easy to install

If that LED strip didn’t suit your style, consider using these puck lights to add some ambient lighting to closets, underneath cabinets, or nearly anywhere else that could use some illumination. Each one provides hours’ worth of light using just three AA batteries (which are not included), so there’s no need for any complicated wiring during installation. Plus, their built-in timer can be adjusted from 15 all the way up to 120 minutes, making it easy to help prolong their battery life.


Mistake: Your light fixtures don’t match

Solution: Swapping them out with these matching wall lights

While investing in the right kinds of lighting is important, it’s also a good idea to make sure that the light fixtures you choose either match or look good paired together. “Invest in attractive light fixtures that complement your decor and coordinate the same type of inviting light bulbs (warm or bright) to create a cozy atmosphere,” says Clark. “Shell out the money for matching fixtures, if you can. It will create continuity in your home.”

Luckily, this pair of wall lights are available for less than $30, making them an affordable pick for anyone looking to swap out their mismatched lights. Their rechargeable batteries make installation a total cinch — and you can even use the included remote to adjust their brightness, light temperature, as well as switch between 13 different colors.