Before You List, Must-do Showing Tips

Staging pro Sharon Brown with Homescapes by Design in Roseville, Minn., offers her clients a checklist before they list their home for sale. The point of the checklist is to make sure the home is show-ready before the for-sale sign goes up and the first potential buyer walks through the door, and even before photos are snapped for the MLS.

The following are the changes Brown most recommends to her clients in getting a home ready to list:

1. De-cluttering and removal of all personal pictures and items. Have the buyer to see the space as something they could own. Too many personal items crowded in a space makes that a challenge for buyers and clutter can detract from the features of a home.

2. New neutral, good quality rugs.

3. Re-painting several rooms into neutral colors, if needed.

4. Replacing and updating lighting fixtures.

5. Make any small repairs (or big ones if needed).

6. Purchase of matching appliances in the kitchen for a cohesive, finished look.

7. Update major furniture (furniture can be rented for the duration of the sale).

8. Move furniture to show the rooms to their best advantage, including moving very large furniture out of rooms to give them a more spacious feel

9. Incorporate decorative details that help give the home an inviting, finished feel. See the before and after photos below.

Before: Over-cluttered family room, with outdated furniture

Photo Credit: Florida High Performance Green House, www.flgreenhouse.com

After: Staged, de-cluttered room with more updated furniture.

Before: Overloaded kitchen counters and dated decor

Photo credit: Sharon Brown, Homescapes by Design

After: Completely clean counters (counterspace sells kitchens!).

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