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Keeping Your Staged Home Maintained And Clean

Once you’ve decluttered, depersonalized and arranged your furniture, you’re ready to start showing your home. But how do you maintain a staged home and keep it in show-ready condition for buyers while also living in it?

When it comes to maintaining a staged home, it helps to be proactive. Creating your own checklists and schedules and delegating chores to members of the family who are willing to help is a great way to get started.

Messy homes give buyers the impression that the owners don’t care about the house and don’t take good care of it. Some minor daily maintenance will go a long way to keeping dirt from piling up and small behaviors like returning items to drawers will help you prevent clutter.

Do staged homes sell better?

There are no guarantees when selling a home, but you should always aim to put your home’s best foot forward. Staged homes eliminate clutter and personal items in order to let potential buyers imagine themselves living in the space.

According to Forbes, “a staged home will sell for 17% more on average than a non-staged home, and 95% of staged homes sell in 11 days or less. That is statistically 87% faster than non-staged homes.” If you want the best shot at selling your house quickly and for top dollar, you should stage the home and keep it clean in between viewings.

Can you live in a staged home?

You can absolutely live in a home once it is staged, but be prepared for a potentially stressful situation. When you first stage your home, you’ll be doing a deep clean and purge of excess and personalized items. This is great if you plan to have a big open house or a full weekend of showings, but after the initial burst, showings usually come in one at a time, and often at the last minute.

You will need to keep your home as clean as possible and clean up as you go. Also, plan to develop a quick cleaning routine so that you’re able to get your home ready for last-minute showings. It might help to establish a staging area – like the attic or garage – to put a couple of big boxes to hold things you want to remove from your house. Just remember, potential buyers could open any closet door or check out the garage or attic, too.

It is equally as important to be realistic with your real estate agent about your availability for showings. A lot of real estate agents use apps to allow buyer’s agents and sellers to coordinate showing requests. Many agents will pressure you to accept any requested showing. However, if you have a strict work schedule, kids on a tight bedtime routine, or any other specific needs, you need to be clear in advance so they can mark those times as unavailable on the schedule. And if something comes up, you don’t have to accept a time, no matter what your agent says.

Cleaning Checklist

Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep your staged home maintained to sell once your home is decluttered and ready to present to potential buyers. Remember – hopefully you won’t have to do this for long.

  1. Plan Your Week

Many areas of your home don’t need to be cleaned daily, so try designating those areas to specific days of the week. Maybe you clean the hardwood floors on Monday, the tile on Tuesday, baseboards on Wednesday and glass surfaces on Thursday.

This is a great system for keeping your home at a certain base level of clean, but also be prepared to do some spot cleaning right before showings.

  1. Stay On Top of Landscaping

The front of your home is the first thing that potential buyers will notice. No matter what season it is, make sure that you have stunning curb appeal and buyers can easily access the front door. Keep the grass mowed and the sidewalk clear of leaves. Keep fresh flowers on your porch and don’t forget to water them. Sweep of the porch and shake off the doormat as needed.

  1. Keep the Entryway Clear of Clutter

Place mail, shoes and jackets in the proper place every time someone enters the home. Get out of the habit of tossing items on the table or ground and leaving them there to build clutter. You never know when you might need to quickly evacuate for a showing, so having this space clean and clear will make that process much easier.

  1. Clear and Wipe Down Surfaces

Every night before bed, take 10 minutes and remove items that don’t belong on your countertops, tabletops and vanities. This keeps the home looking cleaner and when you wake up in the morning there’s nothing to put away. Also take the time to wipe off countertops and the kitchen or dining table so there aren’t crumbs. Crumbs won’t make or break the sale of your house, but you want potential buyers to see a clean slate and not think the house is a mess.

  1. Keep the Floors Clean

Doing some light sweeping and vacuuming on a daily basis is extremely valuable. If you live a busy and active lifestyle it may be a good idea to invest in a robotic vacuum to take care of some of the mess while you’re at work. That way if a buyer calls and wants to see your home that evening, it won’t be a mad dash to get home and clean. Regardless, try to sweep up after any messes immediately to make getting ready for showings easier.

  1. Cover Up Lingering Odors

Avoid cooking smelly food in your home while it’s on the market and dine out for those foods instead. Run your garbage disposal with a little white vinegar or half a lemon to help kill odors. Always take the kitchen trash out with you when you leave for a showing.

If you have pets, don’t forget to manage their needs as well. Make sure you empty litter boxes regularly, scoop the poop in the yard and regularly bathe your furry friends. You can also add aromas that buyers find pleasing but don’t overdo it. Strong air fresheners can bother people’s allergies and make it seem like you are covering up a problem.

  1. Clean Dishes and Remove Garbage

Never leave dishes out when potential buyers are coming. Empty the sink and the drying rack. It’s actually best to put your drying rack away under the sink as they often look kind of gross and take up a lot of counter space. You want your kitchen to look clean and spacious and a drying rack can make it feel cramped and dirty.

You might also want to consider using paper plates while showings are going on if doing dishes becomes a problem for you. Always take out the trash before a showing and get in the habit of dumping any small trash cans, such as in the bathroom, into your larger kitchen trash can regularly. You don’t want your buyers focusing on your used tissues instead of on your beautiful bathrooms.

  1. Pick Up Your Clothes

Keep the laundry constantly moving throughout your home. Wash clothes as soon as you have enough for a load. Clothes should either be stored in a hamper or in your closet or drawers. Don’t leave clothes on the floor left or lying around because it shows buyers that there isn’t enough storage room in the home. Expect that buyers will look in your laundry room, so clean up the bottles or supplies that you have on the shelf and don’t leave dirty or clean clothes laying around.

  1. Make Beds Daily

You can instantly make the bedroom look put together when you make the bed. Make the beds neatly and place pillows each morning, so you don’t have to worry about it if there is a last-minute showing. If your kids have a lot of stuffed animals, arrange them neatly on the bed or place them in a basket in their bedroom.

  1. Keep Bathroom Clean

Make sure to wipe down the shower and surfaces daily so you keep mildew away. Pull shower curtains closed, but be prepared that buyers will likely peek inside. Be sure to use a toilet brush to clean your toilets regularly and put down the seats. Hang or stack towels. Many agents recommend picking up any bathmats so that potential buyers don’t get them dirty with their shoes and so that they can see the floors better.

  1. Store Personal Items

Store personal items out of sight whether it’s shampoo, jewelry or medication. You don’t want to distract the buyer or risk anything going missing from your home. Try to clear off the counters in your bathrooms of all toiletries as well as any dresser tops or vanities that might have a lot of small items on them. Consolidate and minimize for a streamlined, buyable looking home.

  1. Prepare the Living Areas

One of the most important rooms to many buyers is the family room. Take the time to lovingly arrange any blankets or pillows on your sofa. Put remote controls in a basket or drawer and clear off the coffee table. Make this space feel homey and inviting – but not like you just walked into the other room to get a snack – to make potential buyers feel at home.

These crucial tasks could make or break the sale of your home, so have the whole family pitch in to do their part. Consider making a game out of cleaning or have a reward system. Remind them this situation is not permanent, but it could be good practice for when you move into your new home.

Remember that you’re in competition with many other homes for sale and buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in your home despite your occupancy. Focus on these tips to keep your home in good condition and show-ready.

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Blog Video

Holiday Home-Staging Tips To Help Sell Your House

It’s that time of year again when family and friends descend on your home to carve the turkey, light the menorah or trim the tree. If you play your cards right, the holidays can be a great time to sell your home; there’s less competition in the market and home shoppers are highly motivated.

Even with less competition, it is important to stage your home in a way that will appeal to the masses to attract the most potential buyers to your home, even if it means changing your personal decor for a while. If you’re looking to sell your home during this busy time of year, making your home festive while also keeping it show-ready is a delicate balance. Try these tips to keep your home in the holiday spirit while on the market.

1. Be Tasteful At The Curb

Curb appeal is the first thing that potential buyers notice about your home. Keep the tinsel, multicolored lights and those blow-up characters in storage. Remember that neutral decor has mass appeal and, when in doubt, keep it simple.

The entrance to your home should be understated. Try using white lights for elegance. Keep to a simple color scheme to highlight your home’s exterior colors. Use natural elements like pine cones, seasonal flowers and greenery. Don’t forget to hang a seasonal decorative wreath on your door or windows.

Remember that potential buyers will be driving by your home at all hours, even if they don’t have a showing scheduled. Keep your lawn cut and clear of leaves, keep your driveway and sidewalks free of snow, and sweep off your porch more frequently than you might otherwise. You want to be sure that your home looks extremely well-maintained from the street.

2. Light Up Your Home

With the days getting shorter, it’s important to focus on your light sources. You will want to have good lighting on both the inside and outside of your home. Since it gets dark before dinner time, many of your home showings will likely be after dark. Have a bright porch light so potential buyers can clearly see the front door and the key to get in. White twinkle lights add a festive touch and help to provide a little extra lighting.

When buyers or guests approach the house, having all your interior lights on illuminates the home and lures them inside to a warm, inviting atmosphere. If you have a home showing during the day, keep the curtains open to let in natural light. A well-lit home allows potential buyers to see your entire space and appreciate every detail.

3. Holiday Style Should Enhance Home Style

Every home has an architectural style – specific features that characterize a home – and you should include that style in your holiday decor. Before you put up the holiday trimmings, make sure they match the home’s theme and color scheme to avoid any distractions.

If you have a traditional home, classic decorations will accent better than contemporary decorations. Midcentury modern homes should be paired with vintage decorations. Keep holiday decor in line with your home’s style to best accentuate the selling features of your space.

4. Seasonal Vs. Religious Decor

While Thanksgiving is commonly celebrated regardless of religious beliefs, Chanukah and Christmas are connected to their respective religions and excessive religious decoration could be a turn-off for interested buyers.

Keep your religious decor to a minimum and show your spirit with seasonal accents instead. Seasonal decor could be snowflakes, greenery, winter branches, wrapped gifts, ornaments, owls or reindeer.

Try not to use decorations that are too personalized, because buyers will have a hard time picturing themselves in the home. This is not the year to display all of your kid’s pictures with Santa. Keep it simple and remember that you have no idea who your buyer might be or what they might like, so go for things that are universally likeable.

5. Reuse Current Decor

If you plan to put out a bunch of holiday decor, you really should remove some of your everyday decorations to keep the space from getting too cluttered. To keep your holiday decor simple, plan on using items that you normally have lying around your home. Reuse lanterns, candlesticks, vases or bowls, cake stands, picture frames and other accessories, but dress them up with festive trinkets to change the look of the piece. Less is more on house showings.

For example, place ornaments inside the lantern, add pine cones in an apothecary jar or wrap a colorful ribbon around the bottom of a clear vase with seasonal flowers. If you have a lot of framed photos, consider temporarily swapping the photos with holiday wrapping paper for a subtle festive touch. Small accents are really all of the holiday decor that you need when selling your home.

6. Pay Attention To The Color Scheme

When adding holiday decor in your home, you’ll want to think about the current colors you are displaying. While silver and gold go with any color, Christmas bright red can clash with your light blue walls or be too bright for an earth tone color scheme. So, use colors that will complement the palette rather than be an eyesore. Try to have your colors blend in more than you usually would.

When in doubt about what will look best in real estate photos, take some photos yourself. Before the official photographer comes over, snap a few pictures on your phone. Look at them – or better yet, show them to someone who does not live in your home – and note what draws your eye. If the holiday decor is overwhelming, you need to scale it back. You want your home to be the star of your listing photos.

7. Accentuate Your Home’s Positive Features

When staging a home, it’s important to make focal points stand out. To do this, avoid blocking beautiful views, cluttering up the shelves or mantel, or hiding any other unique features in your home.

Don’t display large collections of holiday decor. Rooms filled with decorations can feel smaller and collections distract from features of your home. You want potential buyers to walk away remembering your wonderful home, instead of only remembering your overwhelming Christmas village.

Choose a few specific areas of the home to decorate and key accents to show off those highlighted features. If your house has a high ceiling, accentuate the space with a tall, narrow tree tastefully decorated to showcase the space. If there are arched windows or doors, highlight the shape with garland. Keep holiday decorations simple and let your home really shine.

The Big Picture

Remember – home buyers are not buying your stuff. If your holiday decor is overwhelming or distracting, they may not be able to see or appreciate the home underneath.

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Press Coverage Video

2015 Real Estate Outlook Summary

As the leading FSBO website, ForSaleByOwner.com has unique insights into all aspects of how consumers sell and buy homes nationwide. While data and sentiments on the industry seem to change almost daily, one thing is certain: big changes are coming.

This 2015 Real Estate Outlook report reflects our perspective on what’s to come and how to navigate the changes on the horizon.

1. Bottlenecks to Recovery But a Brighter Road Ahead
While the housing recovery has gained momentum, it is not yet as widespread as anticipated, largely due to consumer hesitancy and low levels in new home construction. However, consumer confidence across the United States remains high.

  • 79% believe that when they search for a home they will be able to afford it
  • 70% say that owning a home is still a big part of the American Dream
  • 91% of Americans buying or selling a home in the next 12 months would consider selling by owner

2. Increase in Inventory Will Shift Market to Buyers’ Advantage
While 2013 and 2014 were dream scenarios for sellers, a noticeable shift is taking place that may very soon give buyers more power. Signs pointing to this shift include a less frenzied purchase process, more moderate price increases and improved consumer optimism.

  • 64% of U.S. consumers who have sold by owner in the past agree that now is a good time to buy a home in their area
  • 56% of by owner sellers believe that 2015 and 2016 will be a buyer’s market

3. Smartphones and Data Empower Home Buyers to Go Agent-less
The digital age has empowered consumers with access to more information than ever before. This is certainly true for the home buying process as 92% of consumers search for homes online. This rise in information right at your fingertips has also increased by-owner home sales.

  • 27% of total searches related to buying a home came from mobile phones in June 2014 – up 19% over last year
  • Mobile queries for open houses grew 36% in June 2014 over last year
  • 32% of Americans are more likely to consider selling by owner than they were a year ago

4. Real Estate Agents’ Roles Being Redefined
Just as the Internet has given the consumer more autonomy and power in the process of home buying and selling, it has also changed the role of the real estate agent. Less than half of Americans agree that the service agents provide is worth the fee, which means that as the digital revolution continues to change the way people buy and sell homes, it will only be more critical for real estate agents to stay relevant in the marketplace.

  • ForSaleByOwner.com sellers’ average home sale price is $255,000, 8.5% higher than the typical agent-assisted selling price of $235,000
  • ForSaleByOwner.com sellers consistently receive 97% of their asking price, in line with agent-assisted home sales
  • 17% of total Americans have previously sold a home by owner, with 88% stating they would sell by owner again

5. Gen X Bearing the Burden of the Housing Crisis
There is a clear generational divide when it comes to motivations and intentions around home buying. Confidence among Baby Boomers continues to improve, while true homeownership rates for Gen Xers are at their lowest level in two decades. Although Millennials are hesitant to buy (64% are still renters), their outlook and decisions will shape the market in the years to come.

  • 21.6% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they planned to purchase a home in the next year compared to 13.6% of 35 to 54-year-olds
  • Nearly 70% of Millennials believe owning a home is still a big part of the American Dream
  • 35% of Millennials believe that the general value of real estate agents is diminishing
  • 67% would consider selling by owner

6. Bright Lights, Big Cities: Urbanization Shows No Signs of Slowing

The trend toward urbanization isn’t slowing down anytime soon as Millennials and Gen Xers either currently live in a big city or intend to do so in the next two to three years. While there has been much anecdotal evidence pointing to Boomers’ inclination to move away from the suburbs to the cities, the number of Boomers living in single-family homes in the suburbs today is at least as high as before the housing bust.

View and download the entire report here.

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5 Scary Home Staging Mistakes to Avoid

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Expert Home Staging Tips to Avoid Deal Killing Criticisms

If you think that home staging isn’t important, or if you’ve left it off your “to do” list entirely, you may want to rethink that position, and here’s why:

Staging your home to sell before you list gets you prepared to sell and gets you better photos for your listing, which will create more views for your listing online. In turn, you drum up more interest in your property, which can translate into multiple offers and a greater chance that you will get the price you want. Getting the price you want equals a faster closing and a faster closing means… Well, you fill in the blank of what it means to you.

Today, 90 percent of home buyers search for homes online before ever actually setting foot on a property. Just imagine if you listed your home for sale today and you uploaded and posted pictures of your home right now. What would your photos reflect? What might the feedback from prospective buyers sound like? What opinions would they have of your home’s condition, upkeep, cleanliness and space? Would your home move to the top of their “must see” list, or would they decide that you’re asking way too much for far too little?

Not staging your home to sell or at a minimum consulting with a professional home stager to get advice may cost you more in the end, but following these 5 expert home staging tips can help you avoid any deal-killing criticisms.

Staging Tip #1: Decluttering

They say a happy home is a messy home but no buyer wants to see your cluttered counter tops and kids’ toys everywhere. If you think you can get away with decluttering by simply shoving things in your closets, drawers and garage you could be vulnerable to a deal-killing criticism.

Here’s how to cut through the chaos and declutter your home:

Pre-Pack
Pare down your possessions by packing away items that are out of season or used infrequently. If you are listing during the summer put away your winter clothing and vice versa if you are listing during the winter. You should also pack any unnecessary kitchen items such as holiday dinnerware or flatware.

Use Off-Site Storage
If you have big, bulky furniture or personal items that are cluttering up your home, consider utilizing a self-storage space. Often you can find a provider that will offer you the first month free or at a discounted rate without a deposit.

Organize for Open Spaces
There are probably plenty of objects around the house that you want to part with. An effective way of decluttering and removing unwanted items is to organize them by where you plan to take them – whether that’s the document shredder, an electronics store for recycling or a charity for donation – can be highly effective.

Staging Tip #2: Depersonalizing

Make sure that you separate the concept of decorating from staging. Decorating is personalizing while staging is depersonalizing in order to help the buyer visualize your home as their home.

These tips for depersonalizing your home will help buyers fall in love with your home:

Neutrality
Depersonalization is all about neutralization. From a neutral color palate to storing away your personal collections such as posters and memorabilia, you want to make your home a blank canvas that any house hunter can paint him or herself into and discover where they will add their personality.

Room Overview
The most important rooms to focus on are your living room and bedrooms as they will be the most personalized areas in your home. The kitchen and bathrooms are more utilitarian and functional, but you should still make sure that you are removing personal items from countertops and cleaning out cabinetry.

Staging Tip #3: Odors and Aromas

Smell is the sense with the strongest connection to emotion, which means an unpleasant smell can send potential buyers running for the hills. Make sure that you cast out evil odors and incorporate pleasant aromas.

Odors to Eliminate
Home shoppers will be able to detect all of the unique smells in your home from the smell of the previous night’s dinner to your dog or cat. Some specific odors that you should be on the lookout to eliminate include:

  • Smoke
  • Strong Cooking Scents
  • Pet Odors
  • Body Odors

Aromas to Add
After cleaning and eliminating any unpleasant scents, you can rely on the following 5 smells that have almost universal appeal:

  1. Lime
  2. Grapefruit
  3. Bergamot
  4. Orange
  5. Peppermint

Baked goods can also be an inviting smell for homebuyers as long as you avoid overly complex scents. Stick to simple chocolate chip cookies, bread or cupcakes to entice house hunters.

Staging Tip #4: Cleaning

A deep cleaning that covers every area and item of your home is a crucial staging technique. You need to make sure that you are as systematic and thorough in cleaning your home as a potential buyer will be at inspecting it. Follow these tips to keep your home clean for staging:

  • Dust from ceiling to floor including ceiling fans and light fixtures, furniture, archways, overhangs, walls and baseboards.
  • Deep clean your carpets.
  • Clean your wood and tile flooring.
  • Make sure that you give your kitchen and bathrooms special attention and don’t skip over a single detail.

Most importantly you need to make sure that you continue to clean throughout the time your home is for sale. Don’t risk all of your hard work coming undone because you let your cleaning routine slip.

Staging Tip #5: Use a Professional

To avoid deal-killing criticisms when selling your home, get professional home staging advice or hire a professional home stager before you list.

Decluttering, despersonalizing, eliminating odors and cleaning are essential steps in properly staging your home. If your busy scheduling is keeping you from completing any of these essential elements then it may be time to call in a professional home stager.

Whether you utilize a home staging expert for their services or just for their advice, you can avoid making any crucial mistakes while focusing on communication with the buyers a beautifully staged home will attract.

Darlene Parris is Interior Redesigner, Organizer and Home Stager with Upstaged!, based in Los Angeles.

This article has been republished for additional educational purposes. This article is not affiliated with any links or products that appear on the same pages. Read more about our editorial policy.

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23 Easy Home Staging Tips for Any Budget

Going the extra mile to spruce up a home and make sure it looks like a million bucks is a home seller’s first, best step towards finding a buyer. Homeowners might think they’ll need to spend a bundle, but many projects don’t require a lot of money. These ideas will work with any budget.

Display the Best Features of Your Home
Whether they’re gazing out a car window or looking at a photo on a smartphone or tablet, the first view prospective buyers have of your home probably will be from the street. As a seller, your goal is to impress them so much with your home’s curb appeal that they want to know more. If you fail to do this, buyers simply will go on to the next property.

“You only have one chance to make a first impression, and you want it to be a good one, one that a buyer will remember,” says Donna L. Stoutenburg of Artistic Endeavors 4 U, a staging and redesign company based in Streamwood, Illinois. “It’s imperative that your house looks good from the street.”

9 Inexpensive Projects to Increase Curb Appeal
1. Make sure exterior walls are not chipping or dirty. If there’s any dirt or grime, consider power washing.

2. If window treatments or furniture can be seen from outside your home, ensure that they complement the exterior.

3. Remove unsightly items that distract from your home’s overall appearance like toys, debris and dead vegetation.

4. Trim the lawn and pull any weeds.

5. If you have a mailbox, clean or replace it. Also make sure the house numbers are recent, legible and match the architecture’s design aesthetic.

6. Utility boxes often can be seen from the street and almost always look obnoxious, so camouflage them by painting them the same color as your home.

7. Repaint the front door.

8. When seasonally appropriate, add flowers to planters to create memorable splashes of color.

9. Sweep or shovel the entrance and all walkways.

Want to really impress? Stoutenburg tells her clients to paint their walkways. Although special paints are required, the process is straightforward. “Scrub the area thoroughly, give it a good acid wash and let it dry. Apply a coat of primer, then the colored paint and you’ve updated this (exterior) space,” she says. Be sure to check the weather forecast before you start: Stoutenburg cautions that successfully completing this project requires a sunny day with no wind.

Cook Up Something Memorable
Because members of a household spend so much time in the kitchen, this room requires special attention, according to Leslie Molloy, a Certified Kitchen Designer and residential designer at Normandy Remodeling in Hinsdale, Illinois. “People want to move into something that’s ready, and minor tweaks can really help a lot,” she says.

Patricia Marie Kelly of Marie Kelly Unlimited, a home staging and interior redesign firm based in Algonquin, Illinois, agrees, and emphasizes that kitchens are an area where clutter is a no-no. “No one wants to smell, see or view your dirty laundry … or a week’s worth of dishes piled in the sink or last night’s dinner in the garbage,” Kelly says.

4 Quick Kitchen Staging Suggestions
1. Repaint cabinets that are an outdated color like olive green or harvest gold.

2. Replace knobs and finishes on cabinets and drawers.

3. Remove magnets, postcards and school artwork from refrigerator doors.

4. If you have a little more to spend, consider replacing appliances and, possibly, installing a new granite or composite counter.

3 Simple Ways to Make a Bathroom Shine
1. “A lot of times bathroom fixtures are simply construction grade,” Stoutenburg says — meaning they’re functional but uninspired. For example, many bathrooms have “Hollywood” lights — a line of a half dozen or more exposed bulbs above the mirror that make you feel as if you’re getting ready for your close-up. She says that although there are kits that can simply cover up this dated fixture, the lights are not that expensive to replace.

2. Want to quickly stage a bathroom and make it look more upscale? “Remove the shower curtain, replace it with (just) a liner and add a floor-to-ceiling drape,” Stoutenburg suggests. “The drape would be made of linen or a similar fabric.” Use a tension rod to secure the drape.

3. Nothing emphasizes an outdated bathroom like a color toilet. “You can replace that for about $125 or so,” Stoutenburg says.

When It’s OK to Be Boring in the Bedroom
This is one room where private tastes quickly become public atrocities if not carefully staged. Surprisingly, Barb Schwarz of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals suggests borrowing a lesson she credits to Disneyland and Disney World, where placement of everything is carefully considered to convey a harmonious experience. When staging bedrooms, that means removing anything that would prevent a prospective buyer from seeing themselves in that bedroom.

4 Easy Expert Bedroom Staging Tips
1. Remove all evidence of hobby clutter. Schwarz has made clients deep-six golf ball collections, teddy bears, Hollywood memorabilia — and even Disney character posters.

2. Avoid bold, shocking colors. Many parents allow their children to decide what color to paint their bedroom walls, and the result is what you’d expect. Repaint in neutral tones.

3. Clean the carpet or the floors.

4. If you notice at the last minute that your favorite bedspread is torn or has a small stain, consider either flipping it over or adding strategically placed throw pillows or an extra blanket.

3 Details to Add to Any Room
Accessorize. Accessorize. Accessorize! It’s the little touches that can really make a big difference in every room.

1. Spice up a dull living room or den by adding a few throw pillows in fresh colors.

2. Enliven your home with strategically placed plants. If they’re real, make sure they’re healthy. Artificial plants can look surprisingly lifelike these days, too.

3. Want to make sure prospective buyers appreciate a room with a tall ceiling? Place tasteful, neutral artwork near the top so visitors look all the way up.

Follow these strategies and with just a little cash and elbow grease, you’ll ensure that your home is the one that prospective buyers will want to see again.

Read more: Prepare Your Home for Photos and Visitors

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Video

Why do some of the words in my Video Showcase voice over sound funny?

The voice over in the Video Showcase is computer-generated, which means that some words may be pronounced incorrectly. To correct this, you may want to review your script, making sure that all words are spelled correctly. You may also consider replacing the words that do not sound right. Unfortunately, we are unable to correct the way the computer generated voice pronounces words.

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Video

Can I change the music that is played in my Video Showcase?

No, it’s the same for all.

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Video

When I change my listing will my Video Showcase update automatically?

No, but you can change the voiceover script.

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Video

What is the difference between an Uploaded Video and a Video Showcase?

A Tour Link video is a virtual video that is created using photos of your property. If you have selected The Partner or The Professional package, a Tour link video is included.

An Uploaded Video is a video you have recorded and edited prior to adding to your listing. The content of the video is entirely up to you. This is a great option for anyone who knows how to use a simple editor. Or you can hire a professional.

You can choose one of these two for each listing. Once activated, that service will appear for the life of that listing and can’t be switched to the other service.