real estate

5 dirt-cheap home staging ideas

Scrub and deodorize
 Scrub and deodorize

No one wants to look at a dirty, smelly home -- especially not prospective buyers. So make sure your house or condo shines from top to bottom.

Page says cleaning and deodorizing a home before every showing "should be first and foremost."

The goal is to help buyers imagine themselves living in the home, Page says.

"When buyers see an unkempt home or smell something when they first walk in, they become turned off immediately," Page says. "They can rarely see past it to look at all of the great features in the home."

Radice suggests having the house professionally cleaned so that everything is spotless -- windows, sliding glass door tracks, garage, basement, ceiling fans, etc.

"This is worth the money spent," Radice says.

She also recommends baking cookies in the oven, bringing cinnamon sticks to a slow boil in a pot of water or using air freshener to mask smells before each showing. Ridding the home of litter boxes is also a must.

The cost: Varies by the location and size of the home cleaning service, but typically less than $100 to clean a four-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot home. Cookie dough runs about $3.

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