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Why should you stage a home for selling? According to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. When buyers view your home, you want them to imagine themselves living in it. Not the way you live, but the way they can see themselves living there. Staging presents your home in the best way possible and helps it to shine above competitors. If you are having problems selling your home, staging may help. Staging may also increase the sales price. Basically, it means repairing, updating, decluttering and depersonalizing.

There are many ways to stage a home, but below are some tips before a potential buyer views it:

• Get rid of clutter. Remove knick-knacks and personal items. Don’t put them in closets because you want your closets to look neat and roomy. Box them up and get them out of the house. Remove off-season clothes from your closets to make them look roomy. Remove trash cans.

• Once the clutter is gone, do a deep-cleaning. Your kitchen and bathrooms should sparkle (and remember to put the lid down on the toilet seat.) Air out the house rather than using scented air fresheners which can trigger allergies. If you have a pet, get rid of pet odors, even if it means having carpets and furniture professionally cleaned.

• Walk through your home as a buyer would, try to notice things that need maintenance and get them fixed.

• It may be necessary to remove some of your furniture so that the room looks spacious. You may want to rearrange the furniture away from the walls and use area rugs to create a cozy and intimate space for chatting with family and friends.

• Natural sunlight and bright lighting can create a pleasant atmosphere to buyers, so this is an important step to staging your home. Replace dingy lampshades or outdated light fixtures. Turn on lamps and lights before a potential buyer arrives.

• If you decide to paint the interior, keep the colors neutral.

• Add extras such as flowers in vases, fresh fruit on the counter, etc. Set the dining room table, add throw pillows, set out new towels and bathmats. Remove magnets from your refrigerator and clean off smudge marks from your appliances. Don’t leave out towels to dry from your morning shower. Add mirrors to make the space appear larger.

• Put jewelry, guns, and other valuables in a safe spot. If you have a pet, put it outside or in a kennel. Outside pets should be restrained so buyers can view the back yard.

• Don’t forget to make the outside of your home look appealing, as well. Here are some suggestions:
o Power wash your house and walkways.
o Clean the windows.
o Make the house number easy to read.
o Mow the lawn and trim overgrown greenery.
o Tidy up the flower beds and plant flowers.
o Put a welcome mat and flower pots at your front door.
o Hide outside trash cans.

Though it will take a little time and possibly extra expense, staging your home may help you sell your home faster and get a better price. It is definitely worth the effort!