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Tips for Staging Your Home While Still Living There

1. Clean

Give the house the cleaning of its life.

I cannot emphasize this enough. Also, it may be a good idea to have the cleaning done professionally. Cleaning offers the biggest return on investment in this process. Don’t skimp, make it sparkle! Most importantly, you must be sure you keep up on the cleaning while still living in the home.

2. Declutter

The clutter has got to go.

Some of you will be fine with selling everything you own. Others of you won’t even want to get rid of the broken art project that Liam made when he was three.

If you don’t want to sell may I suggest suggest a storage unit, not a closet. Buyers will look in closets.. Again, the goal is to try to appeal to the widest audience possible.

3. Paint

Is it loud, outdated or wacky? Paint over it.

Is it wallpaper? Tear it down, and then paint over it.

Consider a nice neutral shade. Some of you may be reluctant because white, beige and taupe are boring.

Yes those colors may be boring, but the neutral palettes are a much better canvas for the buyer’s dreams than the client’s current seascape kitchen.

4. Depersonalize

The 10×10 family picture collage is a big no. Again, one of the purposes of staging is to appeal to as many buyers as possible — not to the grandparents.

Buyers need to be able to enter the home and envision themselves living there rather than feeling like guests in someone else’s environment. This may be difficult while the client is still living in the home. A storage space may come in handy.

5. Think about lighting

Use natural light open up the blinds, curtains and shutters to let the sun’s light stream in. Natural light can do a lot to freshen up an area. Also, it may be worth it to consider adding supplemental light to a dark corner or updating a broken or out-of-date light fixture — especially if it looks like it belongs in a medieval castle. Be considerate of particularly low-hanging fixtures; raise them up if there is room. At the very least, fixtures must be dusted.

6. Upgrade the exterior

Increase curb appeal. Curb appeal is essential. If your house doesn’t attract buyers during a simple drive-by, then it won’t matter much how clean it is on the inside.

This may be the most important item on the list. (It’s especially important if you don’t live in any of these beautiful towns.) Mow the lawn, hedge the bushes, prune the trees, spruce the flowers, kill the weeds. Life-size garden gnomes? No! Power wash the outside? Yes! It’s almost as good as new paint, and it gets a better return on investment. Clean the windows, organize the outside living areas, repair the gutters and fix the fence. These tips will insure that you are well-prepared for any showing.