When preparing your home to be sold, you want to make the house as attractive as possible to potential buyers. This process of preparing your home to be seen at its best is called “staging”.

The goal of staging is to create an idea space that highlights its best features and minimizes its imperfections. Properly staged homes sell faster and for more money than non-staged homes. No matter the size, or value of your house, staging will enhance its appeal to potential buyers.

Well staged spaces creates and emotional attachment between the buyer and the home. Upon entering the house, the buyer should be able to project themselves in the space. You want the buyer to envision themselves living there, filling the space with their own details, not yours. Remember, you are preparing a product for sale. Try and see your home from the buyer’s point of view. They should be able to see the potential presented by the space.

A properly staged home is warm and inviting. It is open and uncluttered without feeling empty and cold. It has a comforting balance of color, shape and texture. These goals can be achieved by focusing on three objectives: simplifying the space, organizing what remains and beautifying the whole.

Step One: Simplify

The first step in staging a space is to remove all the clutter. The objective is to make the space as roomy as possible. So get rid of the junk and go for the simple. Here are some tips:

  • Discard unused items by having a garage sale or making a donation to a local charity.
  • Get rid of the stacks, such as magazines, books and papers. If it is in a pile, it should go.
  • Pack your personal items, such as knickknacks, family pictures, trophies and awards.
  • Look at the furniture in the room. You will want to keep only the best. Put any excess or oversized pieces in storage and arrange the remaining furniture to accent how the room is used.
  • Take down and pack away any draperies or lighting fixtures that will not be staying with the house. Replace the draperies and fixtures with simple, neutral-colored ones.
  • In the kitchen, clear off the countertops. Store any small appliances, sponges and soaps inside cupboards.
  • Finally, store all the things you have removed somewhere other than the house. Just just move the clutter, remove it.

Step Two: Organize

Now that you have gotten rid of the excess items, you want the space to look neat and orderly. Organized cabinets, closets and cupboards give the impression of ample storage space. So open them up and do the following.

  • In cupboards, remove any old or mismatched cups, dishes or containers. Neatly stack what remains.
  • In the pantry, straighten out the cans and boxes. Place tall items in the back and small items in the front.
  • In closets, group like items together by color and type. Neatly stack folded items. Put shoes together in pairs. Make sure all hangers are facing the same direction.
  • Pack away seasonal items such as holiday goods or out-of-season clothing. This provides a head start on the moving process, too.
  • Always be ready for showing by keeping frequently used items in containers that can be stored quickly and easily.

Step Three: Beautify

The most important step in beautifying your space is to clean, clean, clean! Afterward, you can add the touches and details that truly highlight your space.

  • If your walls are dingy, freshen the space by painting the walls with neutral colors that will appeal to all buyers.
  • Unify your space by using a consistent accent color throughout the room. For instance, if you have red pillows on the sofa, add red candles on the mantlepiece and a red vase on a shelf of the opposite side of the room.
  • Group your accent pieces by materials or subject matter, such as having silver items or candlesticks together. Try to vary their sizes, shapes and heights.
  • Create a serene environment in the master bath by displaying candles and a basket filled with spa soap and bath items.
  • Open drapes and blinds to let in the natural light. Make sure to turn on lights to brighten the space and remove shadows.
  • One or two green house plants will add color and life. Remove the plants from their plastic containers and place them in decorative pots or baskets.
  • Use area rugs to tie together furniture groupings.
  • In the kitchen, place a bowl or basket of colorful fruit on the counter. An herb pot or flowering plan on the windowsill will add color and texture.
  • Set the dining room table as if you were having a dinner party, using your best linens and dishes. Add color and height with a centerpiece.
  • In every bathroom, put out clean, plush and color-coordinated towels and make sure they hand straight. If your towels are worn, replace them with new ones.
  • Make the master bedroom look luxurious. If the bedspread is worn or faded, consider buying a new one that can be used in your new home. Add some color and texture with accent pillows on the bed.