Always remember, you can’t make a first impression twice. The initial appeal to the eye makes all the difference. Home staging is the process of decorating your home in a way to attract buyers. If you expect to get the most out of your home, staging is an absolute necessity.

Now, the first and foremost element that will either grab the customer or stop him right where he stands is the curb appeal. When someone drives up to your house, what are they going to see? Are your walls dirty or is the paint chipping? Is your yard full of dead bushes and plants? Are the weeds covering up the side walk and the front door? Your lawn needs to be neat, clean, and maintained. Make sure that no clutter makes your yard unattractive such as children’s toys, trash, or old furniture or appliances. If your porch has any furniture, make sure it is clean and fresh looking. If home staging is ignored on the outside of your home, the buyer will get the impression that the inside is shabby—they probably won’t even come in.

Whenever people walk into your home, they need to be greeted by a wow factor. The wow factor should be the focal point of your home. A nice focal point could be a window with a view, a nice fireplace, a unique piece of furniture, or even a painting or wall hanging that attracts a viewer’s attention. Bear in mind that your viewer’s main focus doesn’t need to be something hideous looking or strange looking.

If you will step into a foyer or a hallway area before reaching the living room, then focus some home staging techniques on the hallway. Make your walls interesting with pretty colors; but make sure the colors are easy on the eye—nothing psychedelic that would hit the buyer in the face too hard. An elegant rug would be attractive in an entrance way. Make sure that the layout of the house flows smoothly from one room to the next. Every room does not have to be the same color but the colors should complement each other. Most designers think it is a good idea to use neutral colors so as not to overwhelm the customer.

When choosing home staging furniture, do not put very large furniture in a very small room—this will make the room look and feel smaller and more cluttered. In a small room, keep the furniture decor simple. In a large room, you may choose large pieces. Remember to group like pieces of furniture in the same section of the room and to put decorative pieces that are a matching set together. If the set is scattered all over the room, no one will notice it—and who knows, you could use a unique matching set of collectibles as a main focus point.

Remember also when home staging a house, a buyer will most definitely notice the condition of your floors. Hardwood floors are a strong selling point. If you have carpet and no hardwood floors, make certain that your floors are clean and your carpet looks as new as possible. Torn or tattered carpet should be covered or replaced when staging your home. If your floors are hardwood, make sure they aren’t scraped, chipped, or scratched—clean, shiny hardwood is beautiful—even in a kitchen.

Bedrooms should not be crowded when home staging a house. You need maybe one dresser, a couple of nightstands on either side of the bed, and a nicely dressed bed. Beds with no headboard are not as appealing as beds with a head board. Even something against the wall at the top end of the bed could substitute as a headboard.

You don’t have to spend a lot of cash on home staging; you can rent some living room, dining room, or bedroom furniture if the need arises—then, return the furniture after the home is sold. Small repairs to the walls, floors, ceilings, and outside of your home is worth the money spent if you want your home to sell quickly.