In a buyer’s market, sellers need to do everything possible to make their home attractive and fetch the highest price. Staging your home is simply the process of removing personal items and decorating your home to make it look neat and neutral. Home staging is a marketing tool that allows your buyer to picture themselves in the space, and has been shown to help you to get more money for your home. Any real estate agent will tell you that staging your home is key to selling faster and at a higher price.

Clean Up

Sure, buyers can get creative and imagine your home without the clutter, boxes piled in the corner or dust accumulating on the shelves, but cleaning your home will make it much more inviting. Thoroughly clean your home, paying extra attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. This is where a professional cleaning pays off. Leave no corner untouched and have your home sparkling for your potential buyer.

De-Personalize

Your buyer wants to imagine the home as their own. This means putting away family photos, trophies, scrapbooks, kid refrigerator art and your travel souvenirs. Think of a hotel room when staging your home. It’s clean, neat and fairly neutral. Unusual paint colors, trendy decor or personal effects will make it harder to sell your home, so get rid of them before you put your home on the market. Hide evidence of pets as well. You may love your four-legged family members, but the presence of a dog or cat may deter some buyers.

Disguise and Enhance

Use home staging to disguise problem areas while accentuating the positive. If there is a section of your floor that is discolored, strategically place a table or rug over it. Use plants to hide chipping paint, and floral accents to draw attention to your high ceilings. Throw a beautiful blanket over the arm of the couch to hide the cat scratches. Open the windows and let in natural light, and rearrange the furniture to make the space look larger. Slap on a fresh coat of paint and make your home shine for your buyers.

Decorate

The final step is to decorate your home to give it a finishing touch. Go for accents like toss pillows, candles and green plants. Stick to neutral colors and basic decor elements. This is not the time to show your unique creative style. Decorate with elements that appeal to a wide audience.

Staging your home is the best way to sell quickly and at a higher price.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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