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With the winter thaw comes the spring selling season. Typically a critical time for those looking to sell their properties prior to summer, it is more important than ever for home sellers to put their absolute best foot forward.

When it comes to properly preparing a property for sale, many experts argue that successful home staging is the key to the most lucrative sale. Staging is often seen as a key marketing tool as it relates to selling a property for the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

Stumped as to where to begin to get your home sale ready? Here are seven expert home staging selling tips to help get you started:

Purge! The first aspect relating to preparing a property for sale relates to the removal of all excess. From extra furniture to clothing, now is the time to make your home feel as spacious as possible.

Create a basic marketing plan. A seller may need their real estate agent's help with this one. The goal of this step is to simply decide who your target buyer is, as in some cases this may influence the staging process.

De-personalize. When a potential buyer walks into a property, it is important for them to feel that it could be their home. Everything from personal photos to religious references should be removed.

Neutralize. Even something as simple as repainting or replacing carpeting can be a deterrent for potential buyers. Taupes and grays are ideal colors to create a neutral, soothing color palette.

Hire a professional stager. When it comes to what is for most Americans their single biggest asset, you may want to trust the staging of your home to a professional. One can begin by researching local staging companies; some may specialize in a specific style or geographic area. Additionally, the Real Estate Stagers Association is a great place to start when looking to hire a professional stager or staging company. Concerned about cost? Most professional stagers are able to work within various budgets.

Return a room to its intended use. For example, a bedroom currently used as a home office should be staged and styled as a bedroom.

Create a timeline. When you place your property on the market can be critical in capturing the most amount of potential buyers. Earlier in the selling season is best.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design home staging expert and short-term rental/vacation home designer with offices in New York City and the Hudson Valley.