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STAGING YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE

You wouldn't wear your sweat pants, Lakers jersey and old sneakers on a first date (at least we hope you wouldn't!), and you shouldn't keep your camo bean bag and wolf blanket in the front room once you list your home for sale. Your home is about to go on a lot of "first dates." Staging your house to look spacious, bright, clean and inviting, can set your home apart from the others. Check out our expert staging tips.

For Sale Sign
Choose an agent

Whether it's your sister's ex-boyfriend's brother or the top-seller, find an agent who can help you market your home and negotiate the ups and downs of a move. A good agent will know about real estate staging, what buyers are looking for in the area, and be able to help you ready your home for sale.

Art
Depersonalize

Yes your granddaughter is the cutest little munchkin on the block. But selling your home is the wrong time to advertise that. House hunters can more easily visualize themselves living in a home where personal photos, awards and momentos are minimal.

Simplify the space

Functionality-wise, you may love having a table in your bedroom for your computer or a few extra chairs in the living room for visitors. But the flow of your house should be clean and simple. Always err on the side of having less furniture. And be sure the furniture you have makes sense for the space.

Lamp
Light it up

Nothing is more inviting than a dark, chilly room. Wait a second; got that backwards. Well-lit rooms are obviously more appealing to buyers. If you're not ready to blow your wad on new fixtures, consider increasing wattage in the lights you have. 100 watts is your best bet.

Jar of Jam
Get a fresh perspective

Most of us don't notice the spilled jelly in the refrigerator until a friend brings over a treat and offers to stick it in your fridge. When you feel ready to list your house, have a set of fresh eyes walk through and make sure there's nothing you're missing.

Newspaper
De-clutter

That mile-high pile of National Geographic magazines and your grandma's old Lay-Z-Boy have officially become clutter. So say
goodbye, or rent a storage unit for a few months. Excess furniture and anything that is not purposefully placed on a surface (like a vase on the dining table), need to go.

Paint Can
Spiffy up

You heard us. Spiffy up, just like your mom used to tell you. Make things look nice. Potential buyers tend to prefer a home that requires little work. A fresh coat of paint, clean carpets, resurfaced cupboards, updated light fixtures and a scented candle can give your home the competitive edge. It costs money to sell a house quickly, but the improvements will be reflected in the sale price.

Chair
Repurpose a room

If you're lucky enough to have a space that's sole purpose is to collect junk (maybe a kitchen nook or a large hallway), consider changing it into a room that will add value to your home (like a reading area).

Window
Remember the exterior

The interior of your house may be picture perfect, but if your shutters are hanging by the hinges and your paint is peeling, no one will ever know. Pressure wash the driveway, siding, and porch, remove cobwebs, touch up the front door, trim hedges, pull weeds and add a planter of blooming flowers to draw attention to the home.