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How to stage your home before listing it

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PORTLAND (WGME) -- It may be a sellers' market, but many homeowners are still looking for ways to make their listings stand out.

Liz Henry at Hearten Home says staging your home can make a huge difference when selling.

"So that can be anything from going into a completely empty home and bringing inventory of furniture and accessories and getting the home ready to sell, or it can be going into a home that maybe a couple's lived in for 30 years and they need some direction on the current market," Henry says.

Henry's first piece of advice is to de-clutter and de-personalize.

"People want to walk into a home and envision themselves living there, they really don't want to focus on the current homeowner's items," says Henry.

If the home is empty, use furniture to show prospective buyers how they could use certain spaces.

"I think a lot of times people have a hard time envisioning what a space could be," Henry says.

Stick with neutral colors, white linens, fresh flowers, even take down window treatments to let in more natural light

"Homes that are staged sell on average for 17% more than homes that are not staged," says Henry.

According to a 2017 profile of home staging by the National Association of Realtors, 49% of buyers' agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers' view of the home, 77% said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home, and about 1/3 said staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1-5% compared to other similar homes on the market not staged.

"Photos are the number one marketing right now for real estate, so you want those photos to look really great online and that's, again, staging is so important for that," says Henry.

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