6 Easy Ways to Stage Your Home for Sale

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Living room staged for sale

Post from MilitaryByOwner

Staging your home is an important task, but many homeowners are intimidated by the term "home staging." Home staging does not always equate to hiring an interior decorator to glamorize your home (unless you want to), but more simply an effort to showcase the natural features of your home.

1) The First Impression

Ensure the front of your home attracts buyers from the moment they see the for-sale sign in your yard. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so even simple tasks such as trimming shrubs, trees and the lawn can set the tone before potential buyers view the rest of the home.

2) Make Needed Repairs and Easy Updates

Dust off the list of home maintenance projects and start crossing them off. Don't let buyers be distracted by the easy-to-fix items on your list. Don't know where to start? Take a look at the stairs, flooring, ceiling, fixtures, carpet and cabinets. While you may be used to stepping over the broken stair and don't see it any longer, be certain that buyers will notice. See 12 Repairs You Should Make Before Selling Your Home.

Replace outdated hardware on cabinets, along with switch plates and plug covers, to provide a fresh look with minimal expense. This is also a great time to update paint.

3) Keep It Fresh and Clean

Keep your home picked up at all times for unexpected showings. Employ the honest opinion of a friend or family member to tell you how your house smells. Yes, pet odors, cooking oils and air fresheners can be hard to detect when you live with it each day, but overpowering odors can leave buyers with a bad impression. Open doors and windows when possible to give a fresh and clean feel.

4) Depersonalize and Go Neutral

Removing personal collections, photos and artwork from the refrigerator will allow potential buyers to envision themselves in your home. After all, that is the ultimate goal!

Avoid bold colors, wallpapers and decorating themes, as buyers have a difficult time overlooking these items, even if they are easy and inexpensive to fix. The less work a buyer has to do, the more likely it is that your home will appeal to them.

5) Time to Minimize

Less truly is more when it comes to home furnishings. Too many items in a room can make it look smaller than it actually is. Consider removing items of furniture to create an open and flowing environment, and store extra items offsite in a storage unit or at a gracious friend's house until the home has sold. Remember not to shove items into the garage, because potential buyers open those doors, too.

6) Go Through Cabinets and Closets

Having items pour out of a closet when opened is funny on a sitcom, but it can be a deal breaker for potential buyers. It's impossible for buyers to imagine their items fitting into an overstuffed closet if yours do not. Grab the trash bags and start gathering items for a tax-deductible donation.

The Pay Off

Not only does tackling these items before listing your home for sale give you a leg up with potential buyers, but it also prepares you for the impending move. While time is often in short supply when preparing for a PCS move, the investment now can pay dividends in the end with a quick sale or full-price offer.

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