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The amount of time that a house spends on the market and the price that it ultimately sells for rely on a number of factors. This can be anything from location to curb appeal, interior design to workmanship. What the majority of these have in common is, of course, the visuals—that is to say, how the property looks at first glance and, by extension, the impression it makes on future buyers. 


It goes without saying that you really want your home to look its best the moment it hits the market. Whether you’re hosting an open house or having promotional photos taken for listings (or both), here are some tried-and-tested tips to successfully staging your property and making it market-ready.


Clear out clutter.


Clutter is the proverbial thorn in every homeowner’s side. Unfortunately, people are mostly clutter-blind when it comes to their own space. Therein lies the rub because the first and probably the most important step in staging a home for sale is decluttering. Not only does clutter distract buyers from the property’s finer features, but it also gives the impression of less space.


While decluttering pretty much involves the obvious—that is, putting away knickknacks, mail, and just about anything that’s not where it’s supposed to be—how about trying a different tack? See this as an opportunity to start packing for your impending move. After all, who doesn’t love hitting two birds with one stone?


Curb your presence.


As the name suggests, depersonalization is the process of making your home less personal to appeal to potential buyers. This is because they need to be able to actually see themselves living there which simply won’t happen if there are vestiges of you in every turn. The easiest way to do this is by removing family photos that you may have on display, as well as personal items like toiletries, unwashed laundry, toys, collections and memorabilia—the list could go on and on.


Beyond that, depersonalization could also entail more serious work. Just because you loved that patterned wallpaper or funky wall color doesn’t mean potential buyers would, too. Ditto with unique furniture, specialty decor, and the like. Again, see this an opportunity to not only start boxing up and preparing the things you love for your new home but also to create a blank canvas of sorts for the house’s next occupants.


Check out the competition.


The housing market can be rather competitive in some areas. As romantic as throwing all caution to the wind may sound, it’s still more prudent to know how your property stacks up amidst the competition. So before you put up that ‘for sale’ sign, you first need to understand the market.


These days, there are countless sites and tools online that you can use for research. A quick search with the right parameters can unearth similar properties in the Roseville area and corresponding prices, which can be of invaluable help when it comes to pricing your own. You can also check out listings from local real estate agents. While you’re at it, you can even visit open houses in the area and take a look firsthand at how these properties are being staged and presented. Chances are, you will find a wealth of useful information during this reconnaissance, and possibly even a great idea or two in setting the stage for your own property.


Change what you can.


Staging your home to appeal to potential buyers requires changes, big and small. It’s a lot less daunting when you look at the big picture and focus on areas that make the biggest difference, such as the entryway, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and the master bedroom. It may just be a small matter of cleaning up and moving around furniture, but you must also be prepared to make repairs and minor updates when needed.


Indeed, selling your home is not an easy task. However, with the right mindset, a healthy dose of commitment, and a great deal of effort, it can be made easier. If the higher market value and the quick sale of a well-staged home are not rewards enough, then the sense of accomplishment most definitely is.


Alice Robertson