Consumer Alert: Staging a home for sale

Realtors say homes that are for sale should be set up as neutrally as possible to appeal to all buyers. Caption Realtors say homes that are for sale should be set up as neutrally as possible to appeal to all buyers. Caption

Realtors say that when selling one's home, how it is staged is very important. They say that proper setup can help a homeowner sell the house faster and possibly for more money.

Veteran realtor Faith Murphy says that the key to proper staging is to keep things simple.

"Nobody lives in a model home, obviously," she says. "But you want to make it look like a model home."

Murphy says homeowners should keep many of the rooms as empty as possibly. Walls should be painted with neutral colors and old carpeting should be removed.

Homeowners are advised to put some furniture in their garage or storage unit if necessary. Murphy says that the key is depersonalization. Personal photos and knickknacks should also be removed from the areas.

Murphy says that she does take a different approach for kitchens. She advises homeowners to leave some furniture, like a small kitchen table inside.

"[Potential home buyers] have no imagination most times," she says. "You have to put them there."

Murphy says that major renovations on a home right before a sale are usually a bad idea because the homeowner won't get the investment back. 

"You could put in $25,000 into a new kitchen and it could be very beautiful, but it's not the taste of the prospective buyer," she says.

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