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I just did a staging consultation a few days ago in NJ. I thought I would share some easy ways to make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Paint! A fresh coat of neutral paint gives you more bang for your decorating buck than anything else. Your best choice is the ever popular Benjamin Moore's Navajo White. Even if your current palette is relatively new, any scuffs or marks will convey an unkempt vibe. Improve the lighting Replace any dated light fixtures.. How do you know? If it’s over 15 years old and looks it yet isn’t a vintage or antique piece. Buyers are not looking for "retro." De-clutter Take the collectibles off the mantel, put the mismatched armchair into storage (or donate it) and purge your closets down to what you’re actually wearing this season, packing away the rest. Ideally, all this extra stuff should go to charity (if in good condition), trash or into storage. The more you store onsite, the more cluttered your home appears.

Give dated bathrooms a facelift A nice bathroom helps sell a house but don’t invest in a total renovation. Renos are costly. Bring an out-of-date bath up to speed with gleaming white walls or ceramic tile and new lighting (Home Depot has a good selection.) Buy neutral new shower curtains, a simple new bath mat and vanity set, and have fresh flowers in the room during open houses.

Take down curtains Dated (over 10 years old) window treatments need to come down. If privacy isn’t an issue, leave the windows bare to maximize natural light and make the room’s dimensions seem more generous. Otherwise, buy basic cotton or linen drapes from a well-priced retailer. Always tie drapes back during viewings and open houses.

Put up mirrors Make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter by adding an attractive wall mirror. A boxlike dining room will benefit from a leaning floor mirror. IKEA has a nice one for $99. Update porch hardware Increase your home’s curb appeal by updating the hardware on your front porch. Buy a doorknocker or bell, mailbox, kick plate, doorknob and lockset in a set or in complementary styles. Brushed nickel is a neutral finish that will never date. Oil-rubbed bronze is another favorite. Porch light Update your porch light to coordinate with the new hardware.. They don’t have to be an exact match or even come from the same period, but the finishes and styles should look pleasing together. Liven up the front yard Refresh your front yard seasonally. In spring, summer and fall, trim back dead plants and foliage and plant attractive annuals or perennials in flowerbeds. In winter, keep the walkway shoveled and cut back any tree or shrub branches damaged by heavy snowfall. A pair of planters flanking the front door and filled with seasonal arrangements instantly suggests pride of ownership. Don't forget the backyard Simple fix-its will make the most of your existing yard layout. Replace any damaged boards on your deck or fence, and apply a fresh coat of paint, or stain and sealant if the finish needs it. Weed and groom your garden and add some perennials for colour when in-season. If kids’ toys are taking over the space, put some in storage.

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