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Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Stage Direction Here���s How to Accelerate Your Home Sale By Barbi MacKinnon STAGING YOUR HOME FOR SALE IS REAL WORK, but it���s easier if you know what to do ��� and not to do. The Staging Girl, my Ballantyne-based company, specializes in strategic home staging. We give workshops to Realtors�� and work directly with sellers. Like any project, staging takes organization, planning and elbow grease. Here are the key steps. Step 1: Say this aloud: ���Staging is a sale Photo by Ken Turco, HD Visual Solutions process. This isn���t personal. It���s business.��� Your goal is to sell your home to someone else. It needs to be attractive to the largest group of people. This means you may love your porcelain chicken collection, your college shot glasses and hunting trophies, but many buyers may not. Get packing. Step 2: Colors count. Ask 10 people what ���neutral��� is and you���ll get 10 answers. This kitchen began with too many accessories and other items on the countertops, creating clutter. Choose a color that accents your ceiling height and the trim around your doors and windows, but don���t tie your buyer into a color scheme. If you have white ceilings and white trim, Step 4: Your home must be clean. then painting your walls white will not help you. A flat finish Buyers and Realtors�� remember a dirty house. helps camouflage any problems in the walls. Pick a color that Use mild cleaners. Be sure to clean the right way. meets the criteria above and makes your home feel warm. For example, grind up a lemon with ice in your disposal to get rid of sink odor. Use oven cleaner in cast iron tubs and Step 3: Personal pictures are needed. toilets to get rid of stubborn The trick is knowing how many to use, what stains and soap scum. Use sizes work and where to put them. candles and air fresheners Some stagers believe for-sale homes should never sparingly. The best smell in have personal pictures. Not true, in my book. A few well- your home is none at all. chosen and well-placed pictures make the house feel put away the pictures of your dogs and cats. Buyers are Step 5: Too much stuff: If you think you wary of a home that has been occupied by pets. You have too much furniture or don���t want anyone to imagine a smell that isn���t there. too many accessories in any Photo by Jim Merrill like a home, not a furniture showroom. But it���s wise to Photo by Ken Turco, HD Visual Solutions Barbi MacKinnon SPRING 20 1 3 has a degree in residential planning and retailing from The Art Institute of Atlanta. She began honing her staging skills as a 10-year-old helping her Realtor�� mom. She opened The Staging Girl in 2007 and can be reached at 704-430-3600. room, you are probably right. Remove unnecessary pieces. Your buyer shouldn���t have to walk around furniture to move through the room. Do you have hardwood or tile floors? Let���s see them. The dining room���s pronounced color scheme makes the room look smaller and ties a potential owner into colors they may not like. BALLANTYNE MAGAZINE 33

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