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Tips for staging your home before selling

Home seller staging tips

Whether you have a two-bedroom condo bursting at the seams or a large luxury property, staging is critical when selling your home. Home staging consists of removing personal effects, clutter and extra furniture in order to help buyers see the property’s true potential. Here are 14 expert staging insights you can use as you prepare to sell your home.

1. Find a storage space

If you have a family or generous friend with a spare garage stall, ask if they will store your extra furniture and personal items for up to a few months. Otherwise, rent a storage space for the items you’ll need to be temporarily without.

2. De-clutter and de-personalize

The end goal of staging is for your property to look like a model home. It should feel spacious, warm and move-in ready.

It’s important to de-clutter every room by removing personal items like photographs, travel souvenirs and decor that won't appeal to the masses. Whether you have a ceramic frog collection or a den outfitted with your prized mounted muskie, store these personal effects and replace them with something more neutral.

3. Neutralizing with paint

Wall color is another way to make your home more approachable.  Paint over your teal blue bedroom with a beige, “greige” or a soft white. Accent walls are okay, but avoid anything too bright — even in kids’ rooms.

4. The kitchen

Buyers will spend a great deal of time reviewing the kitchen, so be sure to keep your countertops free of small appliances, mail and magazines. Remove and store cumbersome items like wafflemakers and cookie cutters from your cabinets. When it comes to dishes and glassware, store anything plastic — including those Minnesota Twins Target Field cups — and all but six place settings so your cupboards seem more spacious. Last, be sure to clean out your refrigerator and organize its contents regularly.

5. Dining room

The dining room is one of the easiest areas to stage. Consider setting the table for a casual dinner party using placemats, plates, linen napkins and silverware – what a great excuse to show off that beautiful china you keep boxed up.  Remember to dust off the place settings and add a fresh flower centerpiece before each showing or open house.

6. Living room

In addition to removing all photos and knick-knacks, be sure to store distracting items like your kids' toy kitchen and your 800+ DVD collection. Rearrange your living room furniture to be symmetrical, and consider removing a side table or desk to give the room more space. Brighten up the space with some colorful throw pillows or blankets.

7. Bathrooms

Minimize the number of toiletries in each bathroom and ask family members to bring personal items like loofahs and razors in and out for each shower while your home is for sale. Keep the counters clean and decorative, and add freshly washed towels to each towel rack.

8. Bedroom

Focus on the bed and bedside tables when staging your bedroom. Purchase new linens or pillowcases if yours are older or feature a bold pattern. Get rid of the pile of books, notebooks or knick-knacks on your bedside table or dresser.

9. Closets

You can't hide your extra stuff in your storage closets when you're selling your home, so it's important to de-clutter your closets too. Consider this a great time to get rid of your high school cross country t-shirts or the high heels you stopped wearing five years ago. Remember, buyers will be turned off by closets that seem too full, so keep 20-30 percent of the closet empty when selling and staging your home.

10. Extra bedrooms

While it's common to have your guest bedroom double as an office, every room should have just one purpose when you're selling your home. Together with your REALTOR®, you can decide if your spare room would work best to be staged as an office, spare bedroom or even a nursery.

11. Maximizing your nooks and crannies

Every home has an awkward space or two, but you can easily play up these areas! The alcove under your basement steps can be a great storage space for your holiday items, which should be neatly organized and labeled. The small nook between your dining room and kitchen would make a great bar area. Get creative so buyers can see the potential in every room.

12. Lighting

If your home showing is during the day, open up the blinds and curtains to let the natural light of your home shine through. If the showing is at night, be sure to turn on overhead lights and add small lamps to side tables for extra warmth. You may also want to put lights on a dimmer so each room can be slowly unveiled by your Realtor during the walkthrough. Last, turn on the lights above your stove or range to really help your kitchen shine.

13. Smells and odors

Whether you have pets, hockey players or a husband who loves to cook with onions, every home can be in danger of taking on a particular smell. Open the windows to air out the home naturally and use odor-absorbing room and fabric sprays to tackle the problem head-on. Focus on your trouble spots, which may mean more pet grooming sessions and laundry, and less homemade French onion soup. Remember, a healthy offer from a potential buyer will make it all worth it.

14. A seasonal touch

While you don’t want to go overboard, many homebuyers love to see a touch of the season when they are touring homes for sale. Here are tips for staging your home in the summer, fall, and during the holidays. If you’re a homeowner with a pool, here are some tips just for you.

Ready to list your home?

While this is a great starter guide for staging a home, your Realtor will be able to give you insights you can use to prepare your home to sell. To get in touch with a Realtor who knows how to stage and sell a home for the highest price, call, email or chat with us today.

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Status Definitions

For Sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active Contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings