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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - All this week we're turning Today in St. Louis into your real estate headquarters.

Five days of help for anyone thinking about buying or selling a home.

NewsChannel 5's Jennifer Blome sat down with one of the top sellers in the St. Louis area to learn the secrets of the St. Louis housing market.

The first thing we found out is that simple cosmetic changes can make all the difference.

Let's start with selling a house this spring.

Realtor Kelly Hager says there's a right way to prepare your home. Think of it as a price war and a beauty contest, and be realistic about price. Almost every single seller wants to price a home $20,000 dollars too high. A good realtor will look at comparable sales in your neighborhood and come up with a realistic price.

Once there, your selling strategy becomes a beauty pageant.

"The best advice I can give you is de-cluttering your house. De-cluttering your house is the most important piece because nobody wants to walk into a house and A. there's too much stuff around and B. they can't picture it as their own home. So make sure you de-personalize it, de-clutter it, that's a number one," said Hager.

Home staging is also very important. People when they walk in want to be able to view what their living room would look like if they were to move in. So, it's really important to have your home staged or at least talk about, having a stager come through and show you how to pull in different pieces you may already have in your house and really help you get the design you're looking for.

After de-cluttering, paint walls in neutral, warm colors.

Get rid of brass. It's out of style. Replace it with brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze.

Replace your carpeting in a neutral color.

It's also a good idea to use pots of flowers for bursts of color and then take them with you when you move.

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