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You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Nowhere does this saying strike a greater chord than in the real estate industry, where most buyers jump to a conclusion about a potential home after just one glance.

One way to make your home stand out is to consult with a professional home stager. The idea behind bringing in a stager is creating a positive and memorable first impression to prospective buyers.

Stagers not only help eliminate clutter, but also provide advice on adding colors, help in rearranging furniture and bring in accessories to help spruce up a home. Their goal is to make a home look like something out of a catalogue. If their job is done correctly, buyers will be enticed after seeing online photos or virtual tours of your home.

Professional stagers aren’t just visual artists, they take into account buyer demographics and buying psychology. They also utilize design elements, such as lighting, when planning out a space. Stagers understand traffic patterns and highlight the positive attributes of a home while downplaying the negative features.

If a professional stager isn’t in the budget, you can take a page out of their handbook by following a few steps. Begin by putting away any unnecessary items and eliminating the clutter.

While certain furniture can add to a space, don’t make the mistake of bringing in eccentric furniture to try and make a statement. Prospective buyers may not have the same taste and your statement may drive them away. Remember that less is more when it comes to staging.

The first rule of home staging is to not get too personal. In other words, it’s not the time to bring in your unique style and create a look that appeals to just you. It’s all about de-personalizing the space and creating the appearance of a model home to appeal to the masses.

The focus of staging is to showcase your house in the best and most generic way possible. Remember, people have different tastes, so you want a neutral palate that captures the widest net of potential buyers.