Prepare your home with these tips for staging it to appeal to the widest audience and help buyers to see your home as their own as they walk in the door. Try it yourself – walk in the front door an try to view the home as if you are a buyer.

First impressions are everything, especially when a buyer is viewing a potential home. Staged spaces provide aesthetic appeal and offer the opportunity for buyers to visualize themselves in that space.

Give every room a purpose. Buyers will walk in and out of a room quickly if it is not obvious how the room should or could be utilized. When rooms have a purpose, the home feels more comfortable and it is easier to imagine living there. A buyer can being imagining where their belongings would fit, how they would make the space work for them.

Often, buyers are viewing multiple homes and if they need to “figure out” how a house would work for them, they will move on to the next.

Remember the 60-second rule: That’s all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some simple, significant ways to maximize your home’s appeal.


  • Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.
  • Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
  • Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
  • Tighten and clean all door handles.
  • Clean windows inside and out.
  • Power-wash home’s exterior.
  • Ensure all gutters & downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
  • Paint the front door.
  • Buy a new welcome mat.
  • Place potted flowers near the front door.


  • Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts “the flow” or makes the room appear smaller.
  • Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
  • Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
  • Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Shampoo carpets.
  • Remove excessive wall hangings and knickknacks.
  • Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
  • Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
  • Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
  • Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
  • Fix or replace discolored grout.
  • Replace broken tiles.
  • Replace worn counter tops.
  • Special details for showings.
  • Turn on all the lights.
  • Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
  • Keep pets secured outdoors.
  • Buy new towels for bathrooms.
  • Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
  • Replace old lamps or lampshades.
  • Play quiet background music.
  • Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
  • Infuse the home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.
  • Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
  • Vacate the property while it is being shown.