5 Must-Dos before a Home Showing

Thoughtful home staging is more than just tidying up and cleaning every room. It could mean a quick sale and higher selling price if done right. Here are five ways you can leave a positive impression on potential buyers.

Eliminate Clutter -- Clear the clutter from around your home. It's easy to overlook things you see every day, so try to approach all spaces with fresh eyes. Consider having a friend come over to help point out unnecessary items. Larger pieces like coat racks and side tables can make a room feel smaller.

Clean Out Storage Spaces -- Make space in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, closets and other storage areas. Pack up items you don't regularly use, and put them out of sight or donate them. Leaving these areas completely full may give potential buyers the impression that your home doesn't have enough storage space for their needs.

Clear the Way -- Make sure potential homebuyers can move through your house easily. Remove furniture that blocks the natural flow of traffic or hinders sight lines into other rooms.

Remove Personal Items -- Family pictures, children's artwork and other personal items should be removed or pared down to avoid distraction. Personal belongings can also make it hard for potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Remember Curb Appeal -- Make a strong first impression by sprucing up your front yard and entryway. Replace the house numbers and exterior light fixtures if necessary. Keep the lawn mowed, the yard free of clutter and toys, and the plants well maintained.

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