What is staging, anyway? Staging is the process of enhancing the impression a prospective buyer has about your home. Staging is all about removing things from your home that make it look smaller, drab or dated. It differs from decorating because decorating involves bringing things into the home to enhance the look of it.

The key to staging is simplicity and getting prospective buyers to a place where they can picture themselves in the home. You can begin by focusing on these staging basics:

DECLUTTER – Remove “you” from the home (meaning pictures and personal items). Replace personal photos with scenery or postcards. A good rule to follow is to have no more than 3 items on any surface. Remove all items from kitchen counters and store them away.

NEUTRALIZE – Neutralize the rooms with light- colored paint, like creams, tans and white. Keep bright colors to a minimum and use neutral and/or natural colors that can work with many different styles.

KEEP IT CLEAN – Nothing sells better than a clean and well-maintained home. Always keep the home feeling and smelling clean for showings.

Some inexpensive upgrades that can make a huge difference to the buyer include:

– New bed treatment (especially for the master bedroom)

– New towels

– Fresh paint

– Replacing old lamps or lighting fixtures

Start with these staging suggestions and talk to a REALTOR® about your home and what specific changes will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Enter “Staging” in the search field on www.REALTOR.org and you’ll find the Field Guide to Preparing and Staging a House For Sale, offering in-depth staging and curb appeal information.

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