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Tips For Staging Your Home When Itís For Sale

Selling a home can be a very stressful experience, especially if youíre in a hurry to move. The way your home is staged- or how it looks to buyers when they come for a viewing- can be a major deciding factor in how quickly (or slowly) your property is sold. Here are a few tips for staging your home to maximize its appearance and appeal.

1. The first rule of staging is to remove the clutter. Take your personal collections and box them up. Clear all flat surfaces. Remove your knick-knacks. You can even remove up to 1/3 of your furniture. Take the small appliances off the kitchen counters. Remove everything on the refrigerator. Youíll be surprised how much bigger the home will look.

2. Keep it neutral in more ways than one. Weíre talking paint and flooring here (a new coat of white paint does wonders for a room), but also your personal items. Have political or religious items around? Store those away- you want viewers to imagine themselves in the space, not mentally arguing with you.

3. Clean more than youíve ever cleaned before. Hire a cleaning service to deep clean the home from top to bottom if you donít have time to do it yourself. This includes cleaning out and scrubbing inside closets, cabinets, and pantries. Pay special attention to mold or mildew in the bathrooms- this can be a major turn-off for buyers, and can make it look like you have a moisture problem.

4. Make the home look as bright and spacious as possible during viewings. Turn on all the lights. Remove area rugs. Remove throw pillows and throw blankets. Empty all the trashcans. Put bright but neutral hand towels in the bathrooms.

5. Check your curb appeal. This is how attractive your home looks as someone drives up. Mow the lawn, rake up the leaves, weed the flower bed, plant some pretty flowers, trim the shrubs. Sweep the porch, put down a neutral doormat, brush the cobwebs off the porch light. Repaint or replace your mailbox. Remove rusted home numbers and replace them. Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door. Hose down the driveway.

6. Fix minor issues that make the home look out of date or in disrepair. This includes running toilets, leaky faucets, nicks in wooden cabinets (easily fixed with wood touchup kits from the hardware store), cracked tiles, and rusted brass fixtures.

7. Replace your carpets if they are old, worn, stained, or have pet odors. Itís an investment you can roll into the sale price, and it can immediately make your home look years newer and cleaner.

8. Just before you leave (always leave when viewers are coming), grind a lemon in the garbage disposal to make the home smell nicely. You can also use the old trick of baking cookies just before they come. Take any pets with you when you go. If you have tank-housed pets like fish, house them elsewhere while your home is selling. Turn on some soft, relaxing classical music and keep the volume low.