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Simple fixes and staging practices can focus buyers’ attention in the right places and keep them from getting sidetracked by personal items in the home. Here are some staging suggestions from Deborah Ehrlich-Layne of Tampa, Fla.-based Staging Plus, Handyman Matters, and HGTV’s show, “The Stagers.”

  • Eliminate countertop clutter. A countertop covered with small appliances and utensils looks crowded, not spacious.
  • Pack up the too-personal. Don’t leave toiletries on the counter. Stash family photos.
  • Be prepared for snoops. Prospective buyers pull open drawers, look in closets and peek behind the shower curtain.
  • Make sure things work. Dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs and squeaking hinges detract from the home’s appeal.
  • Think “white-glove clean.” Mop, dust, vacuum, clean baseboards and wash windows. Make sure the house looks fresh and smells neutral.
  • Make sure the front door is clean and the hardware polished. Power-wash drive and walkways.
  • Store furniture that makes rooms feel crowded.
  • Show every room for the kind of room it is. Maybe you’ve turned your formal dining room into a home office. Get rid of the desk and computer, and bring back the dining table and chairs.
  • View your home through the eyes of a perspective purchase. Would you buy the home?
Source: The Dallas Morning News (09/05/2008)