Today’s real estate market is crowded with inventory, so if you want to sell your home, it has to stand out. Staging, or making it appeal to the broadest possible group of people, is one way to do just that.

 

That means depersonalizing your home so buyers can visualize themselves living in it. Basic staging steps include:

 

Neutralize  Put away family photos, religious items, and collections.

De-clutter – Pack up knick-knacks, clear off countertops, remove up to half your furniture. You may even want to consider renting a storage unit until your home sells.

Rearrange  Arrange furniture so buyers can move smoothly through the home. Highlight rooms’ focal points, such as fireplaces, with furniture groupings.

Let it shine  Clean or replace carpets, wash or paint walls, pressure-wash siding and decks, and scrub, scrub, scrub—especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Turn on all lights and open drapes for showings.

Landscape  Mow and edge the lawn, trim the hedges, and plant flowers. If your yard doesn’t look well-maintained, buyers will assume your home isn’t and drive on by.

 

If your funds are limited, spend money where it shows. Buyers form first impressions from your front door and foyer, so make sure they sparkle. Is the doorknob wobbly? The doorbell broken? The doormat shabby? If you’re debating replacing carpeting in the entryway or a back hallway, choose the entryway.

 

Be sure your changes make economic sense. Do normal maintenance, such as replacing stained, chipped counter-tops, but don’t install an expensive hot tub.

 

Consider hiring a professional stager. Realtors can recommend stagers, or you can consult the International Association of Home Staging Professionals’ website at iahsp.com. Costs vary, but the National Association of Realtors reports that spending 1 to 3 percent of your home’s asking price will generally yield an 8 to 10 percent return.

 

Whether you’re fixing up your home for resale, or looking to buy a new home yourself, Ascentra Credit Union can help. Stop by any of our branches to speak with our mortgage experts or call 1-800-426-5241 ext. 281 today. Visit us on the Web at ascentra.org to get the latest rates or to start your free prequalification online.

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