Home Staging Advice from a Professional

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Nowadays, if you want to sell your house quickly and for top dollar, a coat of paint and a good cleaning aren’t enough. To inspire the all-important fantasy element that makes a buyer want to live there, you’ve got to romance it a little and that’s where home staging comes in.
For a reasonable fee, a home stager will assess your home objectively, and work to maximize assets and minimize flaws.

This might include decluttering closets; adding, moving or storing furniture and accessories; recommending minor repairs; and polishing up the décor to make it sparkle. But, says Toronto stager Caroline Altman of Lighten the Load, there’s a lot you can do yourself to prepare your home for its star turn, whether you hire a professional stager or not. Here are her top ten staging tips.

  1. Emotionally detach. Especially if you’ve lived there a long time, it’s hard, but crucial, to let go, and think of your house objectively as a product on a shelf. Your memories will last forever — but hopefully the selling process won’t.
  2. Depersonalize. Remove trophies, children’s artwork, religious artifacts, and family pictures. You want buyers to fantasize themselves here, not feel as if they’re intruding on your personal space.
  3. Declutter. Remove extraneous furniture and accessories; rooms that are pared down feel bigger, and also allow the buyer to imagine her furniture in the space.

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