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Staging Your Home

Getting your home ready for sale can be a lot of work. However, a few small touches can make or break a space. First and foremost, presenting a clean and organized front as soon as it hits the market is the best strategy to sell quickly. Here are some staging tips from the pros, room by room, to help you make your home picture perfect before putting up the for sale sign.

Getting your home ready for sale can be a lot of work. However, a few small touches can make or break a space. First and foremost, presenting a clean and organized front as soon as it hits the market is the best strategy to sell quickly. Here are some staging tips from the pros, room by room, to help you make your home picture perfect before putting up the for sale sign.

LIVING ROOMS

Create a Focal Point

“Pick out the most visible corner and put a large plant—I’ve found that silk trees work best. Set up a spotlight behind it so it lights up the leaves and throws an interesting shadow on another wall. It really makes a difference in a person’s perception of the space, especially if it’s a large room without too much natural lighting.”

—Izabela Stone, Keller Williams Realty, Apollo Beach, Fla.

BEDROOMS

Add Luxurious, Affordable Touches

“If the master bedroom is too boring (and most are), I have my sellers go out and buy a new luxury comforter set with bed skirt, throw pillows, matching valances, etc. We have a Burlington Coat Factory here that sells dramatic sets with rich, embellished material for around $100. The right set will totally transform a boring master bedroom into a luxury hotel suite.”

—Karen Walton, Share Realty, Midlothian, Va.

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BATHROOM

Put a Lid on It

“The best thing you can do for your home, vacant or not, is to close all the drains, sinks, and tubs; close all the lids on all the toilets; close all the closet doors; and let all the sun in. You’ll get amazing immediate results and the cost is zero dollars.”

—Judith Preston, HomeSmart International, Anthem, Ariz.

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COLOR AND LIGHTING

Go Neutral

“The moment the potential buyer walks into the front door they should be ‘wowed’ by the rooms on either side of the entry. Paint a nice neutral khaki color allowing for the painted or stained wood work to stand out. Make the color bold enough to make a difference, not just an off white. Tans and khaki’s ‘warm’ the space.”

—Julie C. Preston, GRI, REALTOR®/interior designer, Indianapolis, Ind.

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Light It Up

“Replace the light bulbs in the home with higher wattage bulbs. Buyers like ‘light and bright,’ and the brighter light bulbs make all the difference in the world. Inexpensive and easy!”

—Ann Bishop, Ann & Denny Bishop Group, Realtors, Wichita Falls, Texas

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KITCHEN

Accessorize

“Adding decorative items in the kitchen can warm up the area and make it more ‘cozy’. Go to a thrift or resale shop and get great deals on glass items. Use a tray (wood, silver, glass, etc.) with two coffee cups and a small package of Starbucks coffee displayed between the cups, and pretty paper or cloth napkins. Also, find a large glass—or pottery bowl—and fill it with individual candies, pre-packaged crackers, pretzels, etc. It looks nice and each buyer who comes through can grab a snack from the bowl. It’ll help them remember your listing.”

—Trina Griffith, Summers Real Estate Group, Longview, Texas

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DE-CLUTTER

Don’t Let Furniture Get in the Way

“I think one of my top staging tips is to arrange the furniture so that it does not block any of the home’s features and allows for easy traffic flow. Sometimes that means removing some furniture—the more furniture in a room, the smaller the room looks.”

—Jean Risha, Greenwood King Properties, Houston, Texas

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EXTERIORS

Say ‘Welcome Home’

“There’s nothing more pleasing than a front step or porch with bright and cheerful planters filled with plants and flowers. It says ‘welcome to your new home!'”

—Carol Anderson, ABR, GREEN, Coastline Realty, Cape May, N.J.

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SPECIAL TOUCHES

Have Sellers Write a Letter

“Part of staging is conveying the pleasures of living in the marketed home. I have sellers write a one-page letter to the prospective buyers detailing less evident benefits, such as the annual Easter egg hunt at the end of the cul-de-sac, the amazing sunrise from the breakfast nook window, and the fact that the school bus stops at the corner. I copy these on pretty paper and put them at the front of the property profile book on the kitchen counter.”

—Cari Pemberton, Buy, Sell, Organize & Stage, Colorado Springs, Colo.

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