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MailTribune.com
  • Top ten rules for staging your house to sell

  • Studies show that staged homes sell for more money and far more quickly than the average home. Real estate agents often can help your home look its best, but Southern Oregon is home to a handful of professional stagers. Even if your home isn't for sale, follow these tips and dress your home for success.
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  • Studies show that staged homes sell for more money and far more quickly than the average home. Real estate agents often can help your home look its best, but Southern Oregon is home to a handful of professional stagers. Even if your home isn't for sale, follow these tips and dress your home for success.
    "In this market, it's important that your house is memorable. So make it stand out," says Meridian Kristi, owner of Southern Oregon Home Staging and Interior Redesign, "because selling a house is about emotion. You want a space that says [to the buyer] 'Hey, I want to be here.'"
    Remove clutter
    This is the easiest, cheapest way to increase your houses appeal. It may even require getting rid of some furniture to open up spaces.
    Most people have more stuff than they need. The question to ask, says Kristi, is if you love it. If you don't love it, let it go. Sell, recycle, donate, or store it. It's a great time to get rid of stuff... and you don't have to spend time and money moving it. Dump out the junk drawers, clean out the closets, toss bad pictures, anything expired, and go through the kids' rooms too.
    Depersonalize and neutralize
    "It's all about presentation," says Re/Max Realty Group agent Cynthia Naumes. She suggests neutralizing your home. Remove the drawings from the fridge, family pictures, and anything that could be offensive. You want people to picture themselves in your home and that's difficult with too many personal touches. Repaint bright or oddly colored walls in a neutral tone. Removing dated wallpaper is also a must.
    Scent-sational
    When you walk into a house for the first time, it should smell fresh. "Unpleasant scents, like pet odors or smoke, are a huge turn off," says Kristi, "Buyers know that they're going to have to replace and paint everything."
    Cleanliness counts
    Clean is always inviting. Think like a professional when looking at the cleaning tasks. Clean lights and light switches, doors and doorknobs, cobwebby corners, and all woodwork, appliances, furnishings and flooring. Don't forget the windows!
    Honey-Dos
    Doors that squeak, drawers off their tracks, blinds that catch; little things that you've learned to accommodate through the years need attention or they'll get negative attention and bring up questions about how the house has been maintained.
    Let the Sunshine In
    Light is good. Flaunt the clean windows by opening up the blinds and draperies. Both professionals advise removing any window coverings that aren't clean, appropriate, current, or in good working order. Turn on a lot of lights throughout the house for added illumination.
    Re-design
    Rearrange your possessions to show your home's features at its best. Highlight the fireplace, interesting architectural porticos, vaulted ceilings, large windows and attractive views. If the office is in the kitchen or dining room, move it into the den or transform the guest room into a work area.
    Curb appeal
    "It's hard in this weather, but you want to have a clean yard," says Naumes. "So clean the leaves, spread fresh bark or rock [in planting beds], and add seasonal flowers for curb appeal." Weed around the mailbox, trim and deadhead flowers. Make sure the front yard and entryway are clean and well lit. Consider adding some potted plants for a pop of color on the way to the door.
    Talk to a professional
    Local professionals know about your local market and can advise you on the best ways to market your home. Naumes advises her clients, if they're able, to get a home inspection and take its recommendations, so the buyers have no unseen surprises.
    Living in a bright and well-adorned home is a gift everyone who walks into your place will appreciate. So look at your home with a fresh pair of eyes, follow these tips and, even in a depressed market, it will help speed the sale of your home.
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