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If you're selling your place in the near future, you'll likely spend some time getting it ready to go on the market, a key part of which is staging it for sale. Unlike interior design, which is based on personal taste, staging--which can be done by a broker, seller, professional stager or a combination of the three--is about appealing to as many potential buyers as possible.
“The object of staging is to flatter the apartment but not be too obvious about it, like being properly dressed without drawing attention to what you’re wearing," says real estate broker Gordon Roberts of Warburg Realty.
Below, several staging mistakes you'll want to avoid:
1. Getting too personal. Try to keep family photos and knick-knacks to an absolute minimum. You want buyers to be able to imagine themselves in a space. Plus, you don't want them to spend precious open house time looking at your stuff rather than your great place.
2. Ignoring scale. Furniture that’s too big will make a space look smaller. And don't be too sparse when staging a large loft-like apartment.
3. Dimming the lights. “You need to use incandescent light for a warmer, more inviting glow. Watch out for the cool light or ‘green cast’ in some of the newer energy efficient bulbs," says real estate broker Deanna Kory of Corcoran. No matter how light and bright you think your apartment is already, up the wattage. Only have a ceiling light? Add a cheap table or floor lamp, and make sure there are at least three light sources per room.
4. Mismatching appliances. If your dishwasher's black, your fridge is stainless and your stove is white (or some color combination like that), now’s the time to decide on one color for all and consider investing in new machines.
5. Appealing only to men or women. Gender neutralize any mancaves, pink-and-frilly boudoirs, and the like. Otherwise, you risk turning off half of your buying pool. Once again, neutrality is key.
For more help, read the full story: "10 apartment staging mistakes that can cost you a sale."