A rebounding real estate market is good news for companies that help you prepare your home for sale

POSTED: Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 6:34pm

There's ample evidence the housing market has turned around.

That makes it a good time for a refresher on how to prepare your house for sale, and introduce a business that can help you do that.

Marcyne Touchton and Cathy Bailey are professional home stagers with a reputation for moving houses.

On average it takes 144 days to sell a house, meaning sellers need advantages.

That's where staging comes in.

Whether you hire a pro or do it yourself, be prepared for some reality about your real estate.

"Believe it or not, how you live is not how a house should be viewed at when it's for sale," says Prudential Real Estate president Earl Lee.

So, stagers advise you follow the Three Cs of showing your house: Color, clutter and cleaning.

"We're not talking about just wiping off the counter top, we're talking about Q-tip clean," Touchton says.

That means extra work if you have indoor pets.

"Make sure that the litter box is cleaned every day, that it's odor-free and that it's not in a conspicuous place," Bailey advises.

On color, they say no more than three throughout the house.

Their strongest advice concerns clutter.

"Clutter eats equity and you have to make sure, the basic rule is no more than three things on the countertop," Touchton says.

Rid the house of anything that can clutter what a potential buyer sees, which is likely far different from what you see.

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