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You need your home to sell quickly and your agent is pushing you to consider home staging.

You know he’s looking out for your best interest, and of course, his argument for staging is valid. In 2015, the National Association of Realtors surveyed more than 2,300 real estate agents on the effectiveness of home staging. In their final report, 96% of buyer’s agents reported home staging has an effect on how a buyer views a home. Survey results also indicated buyers are likely to offer more money for a staged home compared to a similar non-staged home. (You can find that report here.)

However, if you’re still living in your home while it’s on the market, it’s certainly not practical to move all your belongings out and function for weeks in a model home. In the interest of being practical, here are some ways you can put staging practices to work for you while still living in your home.

Clear Away the Clutter

The cheapest and easiest way to improve the visual appeal of your home is to clear away the clutter. In home selling terms, clutter is more than shoes left at the end of the bed and too many magazines stacked on the end tables. The goal is to create as much visual “white space” as possible so prospective buyers can envision making the space their own.

Here are some tips for clearing the clutter:

  • Keep all spaces tidy. This means no stray shoes, magazines, purses, stacks of mail, newspapers, or toys.
  • Clear the kitchen counters. No dishes on the counter. Stow away as much as possible so counters look neat and spacious.
  • Clear out extra furniture. If necessary, store extra pieces of furniture so you have as much floor space as possible. Rooms packed with furniture give prospective buyers the impression that your home is small and lacking storage.
  • Don’t forget the closets. If your closets are packed, clean them out. Make as much space as possible on shelves, and don’t have anything sitting on the floor.
  • Put away the toiletries. Even necessary items can look like clutter to a prospective buyer. Stow away any excess bottles of soap and shampoo, and keep counters free of items such as toothbrushes, razors, make up and other toiletries.

Keep Things Neutral

A neutral environment will encourage prospective buyers to visualize their own things in the home. Set the stage for them (pun intended) by making the spaces in your home as neutral as possible.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Depersonalize. Remove all family photos (save them for the new place), stow away your favorite collectibles, and put away the team colors. You don’t want to risk losing a buyer because they’re loyal to the rival team!
  • Out with the old. Change out any bold or dated decor, like floral wallpaper, overly ornate fixtures, or old tile.
  • Paint. Invest a bit of time and money to give the walls a fresh coat of paint, in a neutral color such as off-white or gray.
  • Consider your decor. If you’ve made a bold decorative statement in your home (western theme, shabby chic), consider toning it down while showing your home to prospective buyers.
  • Make the bedroom gender-neutral. Scale back the flowers and lace, or chrome and leather, and stick with a crisp, tailored look in neutral colors.

Make Your Home Sparkle

Most importantly, have your home as clean as possible when prospective buyers visit. This step can’t be overstated! Your home may be beautiful and perfectly staged, but dirt, grime, and stains will turn buyers away. If necessary, invest some money in a professional cleaning service so your home will look its best.

Make sure these things are on your cleaning checklist:

  • Entries and exits. Keep the front porches swept, the front door wiped down, and any mats or rugs clean and tidy so visitors get a great first impression.
  • Windows. Yes it’s a pain, but your windows should be gleaming all the time.
  • The hidden corners. Buyers may inspect the places that are out of sight, out of mind. Check inside cupboards and the toe kicks below counters.
  • Hard surfaces. Be sure counters are sparkling, and tile and grout are scrubbed clean.
  • Don’t forget to look up. Check all the ceilings and corners for cobwebs or other natural dust collectors.

By using some smart staging tips, you can create a “show ready” home and still live comfortably while your home is on the market — and increase your chances of selling quickly, and for the right price.

Looking to buy or sell? The Kevin Allen Jones Home Team will walk with you each step of the way! Give us a call or fill out the contact form above to get started! We would love to help!