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Let your home shine with simple staging tips

  • The trick to staging your home so it sells promptly is to declutter it and arrange it so the buyer can envision living there.

    The trick to staging your home so it sells promptly is to declutter it and arrange it so the buyer can envision living there.

Updated 11/7/2016 11:27 AM

Your home will sell -- if you stage it well.

Why stage your home? So it will appeal to the largest number of buyers and therefore be more likely to sell quickly and for top dollar. The goal is to have buyers say they can see themselves living in the home.


How do you accomplish this? Many home sellers hire professional stagers to give their home a model home look. But their secrets are out, and you can do it yourself.

Highlight your home's strengths and downplay its weaknesses. Look at your home critically. What's the best feature of each room? How can you highlight that feature? Furnish your home to show how functional it is. Bottom line: showcase your home to impress buyers, said Jane F. Shifrin, Real Estate Loan Officer for Consumers Credit Union based in Lake County with service centers in Lake County and Northwest Cook County.

Here are some tips to help you become the best stage director of your home.

Grab them from the curb

Brighten and refresh the home's entrance with a welcoming front door, pots of colorful mums and a welcoming bench on the front porch. Power wash the entry and walkways; weed the garden and mow the lawn.

Paint with purpose

Refresh a dull dated room with rich neutrals such as taupe, mocha or greige (gray-beige) for living spaces and a neutral green or blue for bathrooms. This is an easy way to give your home a current, sophisticated look.

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Neutralize your home

People want to see your home, not your stuff. Personal items such as photos, collections, personal awards and electronics are a distraction and will make it difficult for buyers to envision their furnishings in the space.

Haul away furnishings

Too much furniture makes your house feel small and cramped rather than warm and cozy. Stagers whisk away as much as half of owner's furnishings to make the house look bigger.

Create a vignette

In the living room, symmetrical arrangements are pleasing to the eye. Pull your furniture away from the walls and use pairs of sofas, chairs and lamps to create an inviting conversation area. Mismatched furnishings and dining chairs create visual interest.

Focus on the fireplace

A cozy fireplace is inviting during the chilly fall months. Make it the focal point of the room or draw attention to the mantel with artwork or accessories.


Style the dining table

A dining table can look bare and bland between dinners. Think visitors and wake up the table with casual place settings, table runner and candle arrangement or other accessory at its center.

Display artwork

Create a sensory experience and liven up the living space with tasteful artwork or photography. Choose pieces that harmonize with the style and color of your home. When hung above a piece of furniture, artwork should not be wider than the furniture.

New light fixtures

Replace old or dated light fixtures, door hardware, light switches and outlets to give your home a current look.

Go green

Repurpose used items for home accents and bring in elements from nature to give your home a touch of green. Put twigs in a vase filled with clear marbles; use a wooden pallet to create a coffee table; or fill an old bucket with a bouquet of flowers for your porch or patio.

Seasonal scents

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere with the favorite fall aroma of apples and cinnamon. Before a showing, burn a candle, simmer a pot of apple cider with a stick of cinnamon or bake an apple pie.

Pets be gone

Evidence of pets living in the home can be a turnoff to many buyers especially those who are allergic to pets and sensitive to pet odors. Keep your critters out of sight and remove pet toys and doggy bones.

Play up the patio or balcony

If your patio or balcony is a tiny space, play it up with a cafe table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and a tray of dishes or vase of flowers. When people look at the scene, they won't think small, but what a charming spot for breakfast.

This article is sponsored by Consumers Credit Union.

For more information, contact Mark Nunez, real estate loan officer at 847.672.3416

This article is sponsored by Consumers Credit Union.