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for staging your home

In today’s real estate market properties are no longer selling over night, and sellers have to do more to compete and get their homes sold. A house has to look great and be priced right to capture the eye, and the purse strings, of a buyer. Home staging is a great tool for getting homes sold. The way that a home is lived in is not necessarily how it should be presented for sale. A professional home stager will objectively analyze each room to determine what is needed to give the right first impression. The staging team will rearrange furniture, change window treatments and add or remove pieces using the existing furniture and decor. Additional furniture and accessories may be rented if needed. If a house is vacant usually only key rooms are decorated. The cost of staging depends on the size of the property and the scope of work to be done to achieve the proper impact.

If hiring a home stager is not in your budget try these simple steps to stage your own home.

  • Create curb appeal. Make the exterior more appealing by adding plants, flower boxes, a wreath, or some porch furniture. Place baskets of flowering plants on the stairs and landing. Mow lawns, rake the leaves, and weed the flower beds.
  • View each room from a buyer’s perspective. Be objective and look around. Where does your eye take you? If what you see isn’t ideal, change it. If a large piece of furniture is blocking your view from the rest of the room, move or remove it. If it is too dark find a way to add light into the room. The goal is to make each room feel spacious, open and inviting.
  • De-clutter. Remove all clutter to give the impression that the home is spacious and there is enough room for storage. Clean out the basement, attic and garage. If you aren’t going to take it with you get rid of it now. If you can’t let it go now pack it in boxes and store neatly in one corner.
  • Organize closets and cupboards. Clean and organize kitchen cupboards. Linen closets should have a minimum of sheets and towels neatly folded. Sort through clothes closets and minimize and organize clothes and shoes. Eliminate items that are not going to be used over the next few months.
  • Decorate the fireplace. The fireplace is the natural focal point of most rooms. Decorate it with a mirror or painting, candlesticks, a vase of fresh flowers, or some pottery. But, don’t make it too busy.
  • Move the furniture. If the room feels crowded or awkward move the furniture around in different configurations until it looks right. Don’t get stuck on the pieces already in a room when they can be relocated elsewhere and look better. The wrong size or color rugs and furniture can define the space in a way that might not be best for one room but perfect in another.
  • Minimize artwork and accessories. Take all of the artwork off the walls and choose only the best pieces for the space. Don’t rely on where things were once hung. Use only what you need. Family photos should be minimized and moved to one or two special areas in the house, such as a den, family room or bedroom.
  • Let the light in. Have the windows washed. Remove heavy, overly decorative or ill fitting window treatments. Simple window treatments will make the room feel finished but not overly done.
  • Clear the kitchen counters. Put the toaster oven away, and the microwave if it isn’t attached. Place a few items on the counters such as a coffee maker, a bowl, canisters, or a tray. A bowl of fresh fruit or flowers on the kitchen table will add color.
  • Make the master bedroom special. Extra pillows and an attractive comforter, a cozy chair or chaise lounge will make the room feel intimate. Remove the TV. Add a vase of flowers, a photograph and a lamp on a dresser.
  • Bathrooms need to shine Place extra toiletries in a basket. Have a separate set of fresh clean towels neatly hung or folded. Replace a dark or musty shower curtain. Make sure the toilet is flushed, the laundry picked up, the sink clean.
  • Clean Clean Clean! All the hard work done to prepare the house for sale will have less impact if the house is dirty or smelly. Kitchens and baths must be spotless, windows washed, garbage emptied. Eliminate the source of bad odors. . Don’t leave dishes in the sink or cabinet doors open. Make the beds every day. Pick-up toys, newspapers and mail.

In a buyer’s market, or a seller’s market, it makes sense to stage your home. Staged homes look better, and sell faster for more money in any market. The extra effort taken to prepare your home for sale will be well worth the return.

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