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Clear the Clutter to Boost Home Sale Appeal

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Need advice for a winning edge in selling your home? Ensure your home stands out by highlighting its best features and eliminating items that prevent a potential buyer from picturing themselves living in the house. Collaborate Design Studios offers some tips to help homeowners sell in todays challenging real estate market.

No doubt one of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is not being objective about how their house looks to a possible buyer, said Kim Pozzi-Pesavento, senior designer at Collaborate Design Studio, based in Deerfield, Ill. Too often, homeowners think their personal touches and decorating styles add value and visual appeal to the house. Most of the time just the opposite is true because too much personality in a home design might be fine for you but it makes it difficult for anyone to visualize your house as their future home. Pozzi-Pesavento believes sellers who successfully market their homes in a buyers market usually follow a few simple, proven rules. First, clear the clutter, she said. Your home should look like someone could move in tomorrow. Toys on the floor, for example, might convey a homey family image, but they are a distraction, as are too many family photos and other personal stuff.

Other timely tips offered by Collaborate Design Studio to home sellers today are:

- Neutralize rooms to broaden your market. You limit your market when there are too many taste-specific colors. Someone who hates deep blue, for example, wont be able to look past it when evaluating your home, Pozzi-Pesavento said.

- Clear excess furniture. The rule for furnishings is, less is better. In addition to making a room look more spacious, removing excess furniture also lets the buyer better determine how they can furnish or use the room to accommodate their lifestyle preferences.

- Keep the home well-maintained. Shaggy shrubbery, overgrown foliage and peeling paint take away from the buyers critical first impression. You dont need to spend a lot to keep your property in top shape for maximum curb appeal.

Some other advice based on our personal experiences: -Bring ina professional. Interior designers or professional staging companies are a great option. They come in with a detached perspective and have no sentimentality about that ugly old chair that you just love, or the Velvet Elvis tapestry that youve had since college. They are only interested in helping you make your property look its best, which in the end is the goal.

- Dress up a vacant property. If the home is vacant, consider virtual staging. So much of the home buying process is done electronically that curb appeal really starts with the listing photos. It is amazing what can be done to make a vacant property look much more appealing, for a very reasonable price.

- Clean, clean, clean. Few things are more off-putting to buyers than going into a property that isnt clean. Many cleaning services will come in and do a one-off clean before an open house or a listing appointment. Theyll get to those spots that you never seem to get to, or that you have looked at for such a long time that you just dont notice anymore.

For more suggestions and ideas, or to discuss a plan for selling your property, please contact a Bostonia Properties representative.

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