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What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the art of preparing a home for resale. Although basic home staging has been around a long time, in terms of keeping the lawn cut and the beds made, a newer trend is to use borrowed furniture or artwork to enhance a home's look when up for sale. Some individuals stage their own homes, following guidelines from real estate agents or home decorators. Others hire home staging professionals to do the job.

If you choose to stage your own home, much information is available on the Internet in regards to areas in which to concentrate your efforts. Many sources mention opening the drapes or blinds and keeping windows sparkly clean to brighten and lighten a house. Other helpful tips involve maintaining a spotless kitchen and bathrooms.

In the kitchen, remove all counter-top clutter and wash all cabinet and appliance surfaces. Also, remove all notes, photos, and magnets from the refrigerator. To use home staging techniques in the bathroom, put out your finest towels, hang a new shower curtain, and again remove counter clutter. Be sure to keep the baths sparkling clean.

To gain a potential buyer's attention right at the start, be sure your shrubbery and grass are cut and well-maintained. Remove dead branches from trees, move lawn tools and outdoor furniture in poor condition to the garage, and neatly store kids' toys. Add plants or flowers to the yard and entrance area.

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As for more expensive home staging techniques, consider painting your house indoors in more neutral colors and remove any busy wallpaper. If your hardwood floors are showing wear, refinish them or have a coat of finish applied. If you have junk rooms, clean them out and add a few simple pieces of furniture – a bookcase, nightstand and lamp, for example. This way, a potential buyer can visualize his or her own belongings in the room. You can also rent furniture, rugs, or artwork if you have larger rooms full of worn furniture or items.

As for clutter, one suggestion is to remove exactly half of all items in a room. If you have collections, either pack up the entire set or limit the collectibles to a single area. Not only does removing clutter make a home neater, but it also makes it look larger and more open.

If you decide to hire a professional home staging expert, he or she can help you decide which furniture to move or get rid of, show you areas that need to be uncluttered, and help you determine how to increase the curb appeal of your home. Many home stagers keep furniture, accessories, and artwork in storage just for the purpose of home staging. To find a home staging professional, you can check with your real estate agent or use the Internet or yellow pages.

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