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When selling your home, chances are you have completed such pre-listing preparations as cleaning carpets, sprucing up the grounds, making necessary repairs, perhaps even repainting. Frequently overlooked however, is the element of stagecraft—what staging is to drama applies to your home. And probably the most effective staging calls for the elimination of clutter.

Removing even a quarter of the collectibles, antiques and other treasures in your home allows prospective buyers to view actual space, as well as desirable features and detailing. Additionally, “uncluttering” lends a larger, more open, brighter appearance to your home—qualities most purchasers’ value.

Concentrate on these objectives when setting the stage in your home:

  • Create less personalized surroundings by removing family photos, refrigerator “art work”, kids’ posters and personal mementos.
  • Maximize the impression of ease, comfort and space by storing the superfluous furnishings found in high-traffic areas.
  • Sell the sizzle!  Amenities such as fireplaces, French doors, and custom details deserve to be “front and center,” unobscured by plants, hangings or furniture.

Conversely, and equally as significant, creating an inviting, warm ambiance—one in which prospective buyers can imagine living—sets the stage for the sale of a vacant home. Since you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, simple “scenery” can offer the illusion of home.

Consider these possibilities:

  • “Furnish” the living room with a few select items that lend character to the space.
  • Place a table, arranged with table settings, candles and a floral arrangement in the dining area of your home.
  • Display a few items on built-in shelving, cabinets and countertops, particularly in the kitchen, living and family rooms.

Whether furnished or vacant, prepare the sale by becoming the stage manager in the theater of your own home.