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Home Buying
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Landlord-Tenant Issues

How do you stage a house to put it up for sale?

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January 19, 2008 9:28PM

The trick with "staging" is to make the house appear to be lived in, but decorated so impersonally that the potential buyers can visualize the house as their own. Clean, clean, clean. And don't neglect the outside of the house. As soon as the weather allows, plant some inexpensive perennials, and make sure that your yard is immaculate. Front doors and porches often look a bit shabby, especially after a tough winter. Clean, and paint as needed. You only get one shot at a first impression. Get a friend or neighbor to help you by having them go through the house, looking for anything that needs attention. Stuff that you've seen every day for years, so it no longer catches your eye. Remember that things like paint, switch and outlet plates, and light fixtures are cheap, easy things to fix or replace. Agents know that a completely empty house strikes some people as "cold", and that careful, professional decoration can make a rather ordinary home seem luxurious. If you're doing it yourself, you should start by renting a room at a storage facility. Remove anything that could be consided "clutter" and take a look at large pieces of furniture. The big screen goes into storage, along with the china hutch. His and hers dressers in the bedroom? Lose one of them. Closets full? Anything you won't need right away goes into storage. Portrait of Great Aunt Martha over the fireplace? (Hey, you've been wanting to get rid of that thing for years anyway!) Bathrooms. Remember that set of towels you got as a gift? The pretty ones that are both scratchy and don't dry worth a darn? Get 'em out and use them, or more to the point, hang them up and hide the ones you actually use. Emphasize clear pathways and open space throughout the house. Neutral colors whenever possible, except for the bright, cheerful flower arrangements in the living room and at least one other major room. If there is a new home development in your area, take a walk through the model home. That is the ideal, even if it is often unattainable if you're still living in the house. Obviously, you aren't going to be able to do everything, nor can I give you a complete set of instructions in a WikiAnswer.