Preparing your home for sale is vital in our competitive real estate market. The preparation of your home for sale will not only showcase the value of your home but can also increase its value to potential buyers.

Follow our top 10 tips for staging your home to sell below:

1. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes

Walk around your home and put yourself in the buyer's shoes. What do they see? How will they feel about your home? Is it attractive, open, and clean? Does it smell good? Start by fixing these things at once. A buyer will notice these elements immediately. 

2. Create a welcoming front porch area

Nothing says "welcome home" like an attractive entrance! Whether you have a large front porch or tiny stoop, spruce it up with a decorated doormat, potted plant, and attractive porch furniture. During the time that buyers will be checking out your home, keep the porch light on in the evenings. If you want to go the extra mile, create a path to the front door with solar lights!  

3. Get rid of all clutter 

Clutter builds up around a house that you live in, there's no way around it. Especially when you're packing to move and trying to sell your home at the same time. Clear away all cupboards, floors, closets, and surfaces to create an appealing look for potential buyers. This may require borrowing space in a relative's garage or utilizing offsite storage space. 

4. Don't get attached to "your style" 

If you find yourself getting discouraged while staging your home because it doesn't feel like your style, don't be alarmed. It's perfectly fine if it's not your style! We recommend reigning in any unique styles for the sake of appealing to the masses. Keep it clean, simple, and neutral. This is the best way to appeal to potential buyers.  

5. Opt for neutral colors 

Building on our last tip, we recommend opting for neutral colors when staging your home. Now's not the time to play around with bright yellow or lime green. There is variety within the neutral palette, however. Rich colors like mocha, olive green, and charcoal grey can create a classy backdrop and refine your home's decor. 

6. Set up your dining room 

Although a clean dining room is good for potential buyers to see, setting up the dining room is even better. A large table can look uninviting, so decorating the table like you're about to have a dinner party can increase interest and appeal. Line it up with a series of smaller vessels and a nice collection of dishware.  

7. Showcase your closets 

It may be tempting to stuff your closets full of boxes or unwanted items, but simply stuffing them full and shutting the doors may come back to haunt you. It's more than likely that visitors at your open houses will want to take a peek inside of your closets. If they open the doors to see a mound of unorganized mess, it will not bid well on the impression of their home. Aim to keep 20-30% of open space in each of your closets to give an impression of spaciousness. 

8. Take advantage of the extra rooms 

No matter how you've used your spare rooms personally, take a step back and think about the most useful purpose for your extra rooms. Each room should have a clear purpose, ideally with an appealing purpose to potential buyers. Some ideas for your spare rooms are offices, guest rooms, another kid's room, etc.

Buy cheap furniture or borrow some from a friend to make the purpose of the room especially clear. This will likely have a big payoff when the offers start rolling in! 

9. Show people how they can use the "awkward" spaces 

Do you have a nook under the staircase or an alcove in your home? Take the time to decorate this space in a unique way. Set up a small workspace, install built-in shelving, or create a comfy reading nook. This will transform the space from "wasted" to a desirable selling point. 

10. Don't forget to stage the outdoor areas of your home 

The outdoor spaces of your home should be treated with as much care as the indoor spaces when you're getting ready to sell. Create small dining areas, spruce up your garden, clean your pool or fire pit, and keep the grass groomed. It's equally important to decorate for the season that you're selling in. Play up the cozy vibes in autumn and winter, or go for playful vibes in the summer and spring.