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Get your home staged and ready to sell yourself

Homes that are streamlined, decluttered and that appear roomy will sell faster than those that have excess furniture and closets bursting at the seams.

One color that's always welcome and fresh is

One color that's always welcome and fresh is white. It's important to select a white that looks warm and welcoming, and not sterile and stark. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/krblokhin

Homes on the market need to look great in high-quality photographs so they can be previewed online, a common starting point for homebuyers today. That makes a staged home a good investment for home sellers, but it doesn't have to break the bank. These tips can help you stage your home and make it look great while saving you money.

Clean slate

A good starting point is your local storage center. Rent a room to store excess items until your home sells. Homes that are streamlined, decluttered and that appear roomy will sell faster than those that have excess furniture and closets bursting at the seams. Make it a point to clear out closets so that they aren't more than 50 percent full. Take down artwork and accessories to reveal more wall space. Look at the flooring too. Are your floors full of throw rugs and bathmats? Pick them up to open up your floor's visual space.

Repair

Scuffed walls, dripping faucets and chipped woodwork stick out like a sore thumb to homebuyers. Give your walls a scrub or repaint spots and marks, and touch up trim work that shows scratches. Simple repairs should also be done to make sure there aren't any obvious problems, like a torn gutter. After that, assess whether your home needs repainting. While it might be a hassle, there's nothing like a freshly painted home that scores highly for most homebuyers.

Color counts

One color that's always welcome and fresh is white. It's important to select a white that looks warm and welcoming, and not sterile and stark. But choosing a shade of white that doesn't read blue, green, gray, yellow or pink is not always easy. Pair with a crisp, bright white trim and ceiling for a refreshing look. Then add in some colorful or tasteful decorating accents, and your rooms will pop.

Create appeal

It's true that the sale starts before a homebuyer even opens the door. Give your home an extra dose of curb appeal by adding fresh plantings, mulching planting beds and cleaning light fixtures. A pair of potted plants by a freshly painted front door will add an extra welcoming touch.

Trim any overgrown bushes or dead limbs, and pressure wash sidewalks, driveways and porches. Indoors, try some new accessories. Make sure the foyer is bright and inviting, and give everything a good deep clean (especially in the kitchen).

In the living room, create a decorator look by pulling furniture away from walls and into a conversational arrangement, with the sofa opposite chairs, for example. Create a hotel suite in your bedroom with neutral colors and accessories. Do away with fussy prints and aim for a room that would look suitable in an upscale hotel. If you have kids, neutralize bright colors so buyers can see the room and not the bubble gum pink walls that will have to be repainted.

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