Nine Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Attractive

These days, staging your home involves more than decluttering and inexpensive fix-ups. You can spend big bucks. Or not. The following tips can help you add value to your home:

1. Listen to your real estate agent. He or she views hundreds of houses a year and knows what works.

2. Watch the trends and incorporate them in simple, effective ways. In 2012, buyers will be looking for extra storage and great laundry rooms. Declutter all your closets and add inexpensive but attractive storage in the laundry area. Fresh paint and attractive baskets can go a long way.

3. Position one of today’s colors – any shade of blue from cobalt to turquoise, for example – against neutral walls, either by painting an accent wall or by adding hints of color with accessories.

4. For accessories, try light woods, brass and stone.

5. Switch down your lighting – dimmers create a warm, romantic mood in bedrooms and dining rooms.

6. Hardwood floors are still number one, but sisal and seagrass carpeting are becoming popular.

7. White or off-white kitchen cabinets are still in. Painting cabinets may be labor intensive, but you may avoid that “dated kitchen” label.

8. Stainless steel appliances remain popular, but building them in to match kitchen cabinets is very now.

9. Move out all but essential pieces of furniture. Buyers want to imagine their possessions in your home.