Check out these great tips from a local MN blogger...

Home staging is a popular trend in preparing your home for a sale.  Professional home stagers, as well as real estate agents, can offer valuable advice on how to prepare your home to make it sell faster, and at a higher price. The suggestions that you get from these professionals come from their prior experience and knowledge of why some homes sell quickly, and why others remain on the market for extended periods of time.  The following are some important things that you can do to stage your home on your own.

1. Make Perfect Use of Lighting:

Proper lighting can make your space appear bigger and more appealing to prospective buyers. Let in natural light to make it appear airy and spacious. Dark spaces that look tight are far from making a good impression.  You must do away with those.

2. Use Muted Colors Rather Than Bold Ones:

Muted tones are appealing to a bigger crowd, so if you are looking at sparking an interest among a good number of prospective homebuyers, you must go for greens and browns and yellows rather than oranges and purples and red.

3. De-cluttering, Removing Extra Furniture, and Cleaning The House Are 3 Essential Tasks When Preparing A Property for Sale:

You have to remove as many personal objects as possible.  This is particularly applicable to photographs.  You may want to remove decorative and bulky furniture for the purpose of making the rooms more spacious.  Buyers love to peak into closet and kitchen pantries, so these must be in order.  You must clean the house thoroughly, which includes floor and window cleaning.

4. Refresh The Kitchen and Bathroom By Using Simple Solutions:

You can readily repaint the kitchen cabinets and replace the countertop tiles with new ones.  Adding new knobs to the cabinets and replacing the tap and sink can do a lot to give your kitchen a much more modern and fresher look. Replacing the toilet and vanity is highly recommended if they are old.  The shower/bath area must be perfectly clean and shiny.  You may want to add a new shower curtain, some towels, and candles to improve the bathroom's overall appearance.

5. Major Repairs and Renovations Should Be Made Well In Advance:

If you plan to replace the roof shingles or add an extra bathroom, you have to do this even before you get a professional evaluation of your property.  Buyers must be able to see the finished product.  Nothing else will do.

6. Make The Exterior Of Your Homes More Welcoming:

The first impression always counts especially when it comes to buying a home.  Mowing the lawn and trimming the shrubs and trees are essential things that you must do.  You should also consider planting some yellow flowers for a more cheerful mood.  Painting the mailbox and adding a new welcome mat will also pay off.

7. Paint The Interior:

Painting the interior is one of the most effective strategies to use to prepare a house for selling.  You can DIY it at a very low cost  Just remember to use soft welcoming colors.

8. Take Out Your Personal Items:

Picture frames with your own photos, religious symbols, cultural items, and certificates might turn off your prospective buyer, thinking that you have not moved on from owning the house.  Downplay your personality among the items that will be left behind to make it easier for you prospective buyer to adopt the house as his own. 

9. Organize:

Put in order all those things that are left after you have cleaned up and de-cluttered.  Look at your house as no longer yours, but as a product waiting for a buyer.  Put items in their rightful places, following a simplistic, minimalistic design.  This way, it would be easier for anyone to associate himself with your house and have interest in acquiring it.

If you have children, their toys should go into storage bins or baskets.  The bins/baskets should be in the closet.  Dresser tops should be clear.  The rooms should be almost empty because kids rooms are usually a lot smaller than the master bedroom and all that stuff lying around will make those bedrooms appear smaller than they really are.

10. When Your Realtor Calls To Say There's A Showing, Get Out Of The House:

It's best if you're not there because you'll make the buyers uncomfortable.  They'll be so busy trying to avoid you, trying to talk quietly, that they might not give your house the attention it deserves.  You may think it's a good idea to be home so you can answer any questions the buyers may have.  Trust Me - Your're Wrong.  If there are questions the Realtor can't answer, there are phone in use today.  The Realtor will call the listing agent to get answers.