1. Clean your house from top to bottom. Whether it’s hiring a professional or just using some good old elbow grease, the home needs to look and feel brand new. One of the best ways to do this is to thoroughly clean it.

2. Have uniform paint and flooring throughout. This presents a “clean slate” feel to the buyer. Buyers want homes that are as move in ready as possible. A fresh coat of paint in a light neutral tone will always help a home to sell more quickly.

3. Clear the clutter. One of the biggest problems is having too much stuff in the home. Organize your home as much as possible. Get rid of extra furniture, and remove items that cause clutter. Even the bookshelves should be pared down and styled for a more decorative look. Think model home!

4. Remove personal items. Hide personal items like family photos, or items that have names or family photos printed on them. If you have children, be sure to put all of their toys away and remove stickers, drawings and other hints of children from the home. Buyers want to come into a home and imagine themselves living there, not know all about the people who currently do.

5. Pretend you’re having a party. A vase of fresh flowers on a kitchen table goes a long way in helping a home to feel fresh and clean. Soft music playing is just as welcoming during a party as it is for an open house. A candle or two will help the space be warm and inviting.

6. Don’t forget the outside. You may want to do a little gardening or hire a landscaper to make the outside of your home a little more presentable. No matter what the season, having a well groomed yard helps a home to be more appealing.

7. Hire a professional stager. If all of this is just too much work, the best thing to do is hire a professional. Many will offer a consultation where they will tell you what needs to be done and you can execute their plan. Others offer full service, which would include removing items, staging your furniture and bringing in items that they feel will add to the marketability of the home.

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