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Home staging can help sell your home

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The housing market is making a comeback, and that's great news.  But, there is still some work you have to do to get buyers interested in your home. So, what can you do to make your home stand out against the others?

Realtors will tell you first impressions mean everything. When someone walks into your house, you want them to think immediately about making it their home. This is where home staging comes in; it doesn't mean spending a lot of money, but it does require a lot of elbow grease.

Declutter -- that's the first rule of home staging says realtor Michael Neville. He says to remove books and hide any personal items and store them. You should declutter every room in the house.

According to HomeGain.com -- a web site that offers free real estate advice -- home staging makes a financial difference.  Their survey finds nationally for every $300 ($290) spent on decluttering, it raises your sale price nearly $2,000 ($1,990)

"We're usually seeing in Georgia a 2 to 3 percent increase on sales," said Neville.

You can use boxes to pack your personal items. While the items are important to you, they are not important to the potential buyer. Store the boxes in a basement, an attic or rent a storage space.  

DeKalb County realtor Ashley Derrick says most real estate agents today offer free home staging as part of their service, and always has to remind clients of this.

"Do not take anything personally that your realtor says. The one thing the realtor should be is honest," said Derrick.

Derrick says you need to keep the outside of the home looking good, but don't spend a lot of money on landscaping.

Both Neville and Derrick say if you're thinking about selling your home within the next year, start decluttering now. It takes a lot of time, and relieves a lot of the stress if you can do it a little bit at a time.

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