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Here are 11 quick tips on how to stage your home like a professional.  Staging sells homes and it is worth the extra time and effort.

1.) Clean the house.   Make furniture, counter tops, windows, and mirrors shine.  Stagers use glass cleaner, wood polish to assure everything looks it best.  Right before a showings go through your home and clean them again.  Make it shine.

2.)  Use throws.  A simple throw or pillow can make your old couch or chair look great.  Old furniture can be a detriment when selling a home.  Nice decor and nicer furniture sometimes sells homes.  Of course it's not worth it to buy new furniture to sell a home.  Even though buyers are not getting the furniture they see how beautiful the house is and it helps sell a home.  Using accent pillows or throws can add wow to a room.    

3.) Put away the messes.  Nobody needs to see your dirty dishes, or dirty laundry.  Put it away.  If you are in desperate time crunch, place dirty clothes in the dryer or washer, or dishes in the oven and close the door. 

4.) Downplay your personality.  Buyers are distracted by family pictures, collections, and unusual artwork that are clearly not their taste. We want the buyer to be able to picture yourself in your home.  We want them to stay focused on the house not on your weird "clown collection" or your last trip to Rome.

5.) Leave the home smelling great: The average person may not be able to simmer cinnamon or whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies when the office calls to set the showing.  Light a candle, use Frebreeze, or a light spray.  DO NOT USE major smelling sprays or perfumes.  Do not over do it.  When selling it is smart not to smoke in the house.

6.)  Flowers.  Add fresh flowers or nice floral arrangements in the kitchen, dining room, and maybe even in a beautiful master bath.  An alternative could be a nice bowl of fruit in the kitchen.

7.) Organize and clean out closets: Make it look like these areas have lots of space.

8.) Each  and every room needs to have a purpose: One trick professionals use is to make the buyers know which room could be used for.  In a home that has 5 or 6 bedrooms one or two bedrooms could be changed into an office or craft room.  Organize toys that were in in the living room and place them in a children’s room or a playroom. Set the basement up as a theater room, or set the "game" room up as if you are ready to play monopoly.

9.) Set the mood: Welcome buyers into your home with a nice note or sign.  Light the fireplace, play light jazz or classical music in the background.  A light beverage or snack offered when they arrive is a touch to make home buyers take a harder look at your home.

10.) Look at your front entry daily and where you walk in at:  Many times do not use our own front doors.  Clean up the spider webs, bugs.  Make a good first impression by having your entrance ready for buyers.  We all come in and drop keys, coats, and other junk where we enter.  Organize and clean those areas.  

11.) Clean up kitchen & bathroom counters: Less is best.  A clear counter is going to make your kitchen and bathroom look better.  A trick from the pros is having a small basket located under your bathroom sink that you can put all toiletries items in after each use. This way it is quick to clean up every day.