MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As spring housing market demand continues to grow, sellers are spending hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on a perhaps counter-intuitive trend: invest in making the home look more appealing to live in, and then move out.

Home staging picked up in popularity around 2015, according to Edina-based realtor Emily Von Vett. The timeline’s overlap with the growth in social media isn’t a coincidence. Regardless of budget, she has a few must-do moves to increase a home’s value.

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“We go to a job interview wearing a specific kind of outfit, that really has to speak to whoever we’re targeting. It’s kind of the same thing in a house,” said Von Vett. “So it’s lighting, it’s light fixtures, it’s having a bright paint color instead of feeling like we’re walking into a cave.”

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She suggests a warm grey paint color, eye-level lighting, and, depending on the home and the budget, new flooring.

“Flooring is usually a make or break, unfortunately. It doesn’t mean that people have to put solid Brazilian cherry hardwood floors. There’s a lot of inexpensive products on the market, like luxury vinyl plank tile or laminate products,” said Von Vett. “It doesn’t have to be the best, it just has to serve the purpose.”

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Homeowners on a very tight budget can also consider moving sofas slightly away from the wall, to create a more intimate space. She also says removing family photos will help potential home buyers visualize themselves in the space, rather than the family who lives there.