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There are a lot of things to consider when putting your home on the market. You need to find the right Realtor and the right price. You need to make sure your home is in top condition for potential buyers. Most sellers will fix obvious problems that they are aware of before putting their home on the market and clean and de clutter, but what else can they do to make sure their house stands out from the crowd? Staging may be the way to do that.

If you have the ability to hire a professional to stage your house for you, then that may be a good investment in getting top dollar for your home. Stagers are trained to organize, de- personalize and decorate your home to show its full potential. A professional stager can be expensive and what can you do if you can’t afford to hire a professional? Here are some tips that may help you stage your own home without breaking the bank.

Staging involves more than just a thorough cleaning and de cluttering. A professional knows exactly what is needed to showcase the space you have. They will often bring in pieces of furniture, art and accessories to make your space look like a model home. Not everyone can afford to hire a professional or re decorate their entire house before putting it on the market. Here are some inexpensive things you can do to freshen up your spaces.

Great lighting is very important. If you have dark rooms, get more light on the subject. Bring in more lamps, add higher wattage light bulbs to ceiling fixtures and get rid of heavy drapes that block out the natural light. Buyers like rooms that appear light and bright so make sure every room has adequate lighting. If you have a fireplace, play it up by scrubbing away any soot stains and replacing old screens or glass doors.

If your rooms seem small, remove as much furniture as you can. Overcrowding rooms with lots of bulky furniture can make even a large room look small. Remember you are trying to sell your house so you may need to sacrifice seating temporarily to make your space more attractive. If you have small bedrooms, consider using a queen bed instead of a king and eliminating extra dressers or nightstands you may not need to make the space feel larger. Also in the bedrooms, use neutral bedding instead of feminine florals or super hero themed bedspreads. Neutral colors and subtle patterns make the spaces gender neutral and feel more updated. Pack up non- essential clothing from the closets to make them feel larger.

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses so proper staging in the kitchen is essential. First, do a thorough cleaning- including the oven and under the refrigerator. Next, clear everything possible off your counters. If your cabinets are looking dated consider giving them a fresh coat of paint. White can transform the look of your kitchen. Don’t forget to add new hardware in brushed nickel or the current favorite: brass. If your appliances are really old or mismatched you should consider investing in new ones. Stainless Steel or the new fashion color slate can instantly update your kitchen and be a big selling feature for buyers. Clean out cabinets and your pantry, if you have one. Organize using baskets or wire racks and leave as much empty space as possible. Buyers like storage in kitchens and if your cabinets are jammed full it will appear your kitchen lacks storage space. Accessorize simply with a vase of fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit.

If you have a dining room, set the table for entertaining. If you have an eating area in the kitchen, put a colorful runner and some casual plates on the table. Buyers like space to entertain so setting the stage can show them the possibilities for entertaining guests your home has to offer.

Lastly, here are some general staging tips for every room. Dark colors should be repainted in more neutral tones. Try to stick to one color pallet throughout the house. It will unify the spaces and make the home feel more cohesive. Shades of tan, gray or soft green are some options or you can always go the safe route and use various shades of white. Keep decorative items to a minimum. One large vase on a coffee table is much more striking than 6 small decorative pieces which can look like clutter. Keep your accent pieces in a similar color palette to keep rooms from looking too busy. Use mirrors to brighten up dark spaces. Put away the family photos and replace them with geometric or vintage artwork. Consider using some architectural pieces in your décor such as old windows, mantels or wrought iron pieces. Colorful vintage books also make an attractive display when stacked on a shelf or table.

Don’t forget the exterior of your home. The curb appeal is the first impression buyers will see and it may determine if they come inside or keep driving. Make sure your house numbers are visible from the street. Your walkway and porch should be freshly cleaned and/or painted. Paint the front door a standout color. Red, bright blue or sunny yellow are good choices. Put down a colorful rug or doormat and some pots of colorful flowers. Keep bushes and grass trimmed and mowed and keep the front of your house free from clutter. Lastly, don’t forget to take care of any odors that buyers may sense in your home. Pet smells, cigarette smoke and cooking odors can linger and will turn off potential buyers. Make sure to deodorize thoroughly and take trash out immediately to avoid unpleasant smells greeting your buyers.

Proper staging is one of the best ways to insure you get top dollar for your home and make you stand out from the competition. Hiring a professional is great but if that isn’t in your budget you can follow these tips to present your home at its best without breaking the bank. Time spent cleaning, de cluttering and staging before you list can result in less time on the market and

getting top dollar for your home. For more tips on getting your home ready to sell visit my website at

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