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mylivingroomStaging your home means spending a little extra time and money making it look desirable. It might seem like a big bother, but you really do want to sell your house for as much money as possible and as quickly as possible. When you consider staging your home, don’t confuse it with pre-sale preparations. Getting it prepared to sell means taking care of any repairs that need doing. Staging it means making the exterior and interior look attractive.

When you get ready to stage your home, you need to look at it as a potential buyer would. Start at the front sidewalk and try to pretend you’ve never seen the house before. Perhaps have a friend help you as they might be able to see it more objectively.

Your house should look appealing, inviting, and it should fit in with the neighborhood. The lawn should be cut and the bushes trimmed if necessary. Get rid of any debris and garbage. Adding flowers around the yard and in flower pots by the front door is an inexpensive way to add curb appeal.

There is more work and more expense with repainting the exterior, but it may be necessary and can add a lot of value to your house. If your paint isn’t too bad, you might be able to get away with just painting the trim, the shutters, and the door.

Moving around to the backyard, check out the condition of your patio, deck, and fence. A coat of deck stain or concrete paint may do wonders.

Going inside, take note of what should be changed to attract buyers. Paint your daughter’s Pepto Bismol pink bedroom a more neutral color and make sure everything is clean, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. A huge turnoff for people is seeing small rooms, but a way to make them look much bigger is to clear away the clutter! This is where you really have to look at your home with a buyer’s eyes. Put bookcases, dressers, and the miscellaneous stuff in storage until your house sells. You should also pack up family pictures because they remind people that the house belongs to someone else.

Staging the interior can be fun. Give some thought about who your house will appeal to. Is it a cute starter house for a young family, in an urban neighborhood for young professionals, or a condo on the golf course retirees would love? You need to stage the house so that the people who walk though it can picture themselves living there.

Depending on your home and the type of buyer you’re trying to attract, the living room/family room should look like their family can easily spend time there together. A kitchen should look big, clean, and like a great place to cook. Turn on the kitchen lights for maximum brightness. Bowls of fresh fruit on the counter and a vase of flowers complete the effect. The dining room can be staged to show what the buyer’s next dinner party will look like. Bathrooms need to be clean and the lights on. Consider purchasing some new towels to hang up. The backyard or patio can be staged to show the best of outdoor living with the patio table set for an outdoor barbeque party.

If you need help, there are staging companies who will do all the staging for you at a predetermined fee. Depending on the size of your house, the current market, and other factors, this may make sense.

Keep in mind, you only need to spend as much money and time on the staging of your home as it takes to get the sale. Don’t do more than you have to. It will depend on your particular house, your circumstances, and whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. When you work with the above advice, you should have your house sold in no time.

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