Secrets of a Stager: 10 Tips for an Instantly Irresistible Home

HGTV's Meridith Baer gives us a masterclass in seducing prospective buyers.

Host of HGTV's Staged To Perfection and the woman at the helm of the most successful home staging company in the world, Meridith Baer knows a thing or two about how to move a listing. So we asked  the styling guru to take a break from her staging-630-homes-a-year schedule, and let us in on the tricks of the trade that have made her a go-to for such clients as Madonna and Harrison Ford.
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-13 1. Buy crisp white sheets for all of the beds: If you're just going for looks, Bed Bath & Beyond has a hotel line that does the trick and is well-priced. Classic Bedding Sheet Set, from $165, Bed Bath & Beyond
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-09 2. Wash the windows: Clean inside and out and take down old window screens for clear crisp views. Make sure to let your prospective buyer know that you have the screens in storage. Common Goods Glass Cleaner, $8, Common Good 
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-07 3. Wrap your old books in kraft paper: One uniform color gives a streamlined and clean look. Kraft Paper Rolls, from $16/each, Staples
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-11 4. Make new pillow covers: Shop the fabric stores for something fresh. If you don't sew, take the material to your local dry cleaners and ask them to make you a few cases. Schumacher Bleecker Fabric, $86/yd, Decorators Best
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-04 5. Declutter: Take a look around and get rid of anything and everything you don't want, don't need and don't like--especially the little stuff. Put items you're on the fence about in plastic bins. Sterilite Latching Boxes, $80/set of six, Target
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-01 6. Paint it white: A fresh coat of white paint makes rooms look inviting. Steamed Milk Paint, price upon request, Sherwin Williams 
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-12 7. Get rid of marks: Eliminate scuff marks on walls and moldings. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, $7, Walmart
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-06 8. But white orchids: They last for months, are cheap at Trader Joe's and Costco, and look great in simple containers. White Orchid Plant, $45, Avas Flowers
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-05 9. Pick up new white towels: Put them in all of the bathrooms and use the old ones as rags. You always need more rags. Real Simple Bath Towel, $13, Bed Bath & Beyond
dh-secrets-of-a-stager-market-03 10. Organize kids' toys: Put everything in pretty baskets--I like the options from Pier 1 Imports and Cost Plus World Market. Carson Water Hyacinth Shelf Baskets, from $12, Pier 1 Imports 
signature   Photograph: Courtesy Meridith Baer 
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