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Tips for Showcasing Rooms

General
  1. Clean the house. For buyers, dirt is the biggest turnoff.
  2. Remove the clutter to open up the rooms.
  3. Use paint to transform the walls; neutral shades are better than bright colors.
  4. Depersonalize the home by removing family pictures, children’s drawings and owners’ collections.
  5. Use the garage or carport for storing boxes, or rent a storage locker on a short-term basis.

Exterior
  1. Tidy the landscaping, removing dead leaves, branches and plants and pruning back overgrown shrubbery.
  2. Plant colorful annuals in containers near the front entrance.
  3. Update the front yard and porch lights.

Living areas
  1. Entryways should be as open and inviting as possible. Remove extra rugs and extra items from an entry table if there is one. Move personal effects to an inconspicuous location.
  2. Remove heavy window treatments to make the rooms look brighter and more airy.
  3. Take extra leaves out of the dining table to make the room seem larger. Remove tablecloths and polish the tabletop. Set the table with two place settings of good china.
  4. Leave a few pieces of art on the walls at eye level.

Kitchen
  1. Put the toaster oven, microwave or coffeemaker in the pantry to clear the countertops.
  2. Clear the clutter from the pantry. Make it look as large as possible by clearing out nonfood items and grouping similar items.
  3. Take down all personal photos, reminders and kids’ artwork from the refrigerator.
  4. Clean the front of all cabinets. For wood, use lemon oil.
  5. When the counters are clear, make them shine.

Bedrooms
  1. Remove excess furniture to add “space” to the room.
  2. Put a new comforter on the bed.
  3. Display pillows on the bed in soothing colors.

Bathrooms
  1. Remove as many personal items from view as possible.
  2. If necessary, buy a set of coordinating towels for display. If the bathroom color scheme is bright, use neutral towels to tone it down.
  3. Cleanliness is crucial—shower doors, faucets and knobs should shine.
  4. Keep the toilet lid down and hide the wastebasket.
  5. Remove extra area rugs to make the space look larger and cleaner.

Patios
  1. Repair any damaged flooring and pressure wash the entire patio.
  2. Add a seating area, if necessary, to indicate an attractive outdoor lifestyle.
  3. If the view is less than desirable, add potted palms and/or hanging plants to provide a natural “curtain.”