When you’re selling your home, you aren’t just selling a house; you’re selling a lifestyle for the next person to enjoy there. You want to display the best parts of your house and let potential buyers see all the possibilities. Staging your home allows it to “speak” to buyers, enabling them to picture themselves living there. Here are a few staging tips to make your home irresistible.

Sell the Lifestyle, Not Just the House

1. Play Up the Kitchen

According to Realtor.com, a modern and well laid-out kitchen is a major draw for house hunters, and one of the most important things you can do to attract buyers in to get your kitchen as clean as possible. Nothing will turn people off faster than a home that feels dirty, and the kitchen is often one of the toughest areas to clean.

If there are any broken, discolored or scratched cabinets or hardware, repair or replace them. A fresh coat of paint can renew your kitchen’s look as well. Clean out the cupboards and pantry so visitors can get a better idea of storage space. Staging is all about showing your home’s possibilities, so don’t be afraid to set up plates at a breakfast bar or place fresh flowers in the window to draw people’s eyes to these features.

2. Update Your Decor

If you haven’t changed your home’s look in a while, consider investing in some upgrades. Modern, versatile decor will allow potential home buyers to picture their own items in the space. Instead of bright, trendy or kitschy items, use neutral throw pillows and rugs. Swap out distracting patterned drapes for sleek, modern window treatments.

Decluttering your home will give the illusion of a bigger space and will also help you get rid of unwanted things before moving. Pack up or put away your family photos, sports trophies, collectibles, and children’s toys. Clear out closets and other storage areas as well.

3. Let the Light In

Opening up your home with lots of natural light will make prospective buyers feel welcome, and make your space look larger and brighter. Clean windows and sills and remove any heavy, dark drapes. Replace them with light-friendly shades or blinds. Add supplemental lighting around dark areas, corners or hallways to make the entire house inviting and open. Replace any burned-out light bulbs with energy-efficient ones and update any outdated light fixtures. Dust ceiling fans, lamps, and chandeliers, and clean out bugs and dirt from light covers.

4. Remove Your Pets (Temporarily, of Course)

You might want to make your dogs and cats scarce if you have people coming to look at your home. Not permanently, of course, but keep in mind that potential homebuyers might be turned off by the sight of pet hair or the smell of kitty litter. Remove pet food and litter boxes, and clean up pet hair. A jumping or barking dog might be a turnoff for visitors, not to mention your pets might feel anxiety with strangers coming in and out of the house.

When you’re planning on showing your home or hosting an open house, make arrangements for your animals to stay with friends and family or at a daycare.

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