Get Your House Ready for its Close-Up

Make a good impression on potential buyers with these tips for staging your house and preparing for a sell.

Make every surface of your home shine before listing it for sale.

First impressions can often decide whether someone wants to see more of your act, or gong you before the show even starts. To ensure a Chuck Barris "Wow!" instead of a gong of rejection, run through this checklist before your open house:

  • Plant new flowers, especially up the walkway to your home.
  • Clear off your front porch.
  • Burn potpourri (or bake cookies in the morning, then leave them out for your visitors).
  • Clean! Clean! Clean! (Yes, even the baseboards.).
  • Place fresh flowers on the dining room table.
  • Remove all clutter from the house.
  • Leave every light on and every door open.
  • Hide the picture of Uncle Dave in his Speedo.
  • If you have a Realtor, leave the house while buyers are looking at it.
  • If you are representing yourself, sell the house and the neighborhood, not your astounding card tricks (even the one you filmed for YouTube).
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