Selling a home is a lot like a first date.  It’s all about setting the mood!  It’s what realtors call staging. You want to draw attention to the best aspects of your home.  Here are ten tips on how to stage (and sell!) your home.
1.       Get organized
Remove clutter such as paper, shoes and coats. Hide any personal collections you may own like trophies or snow globes as well as family portraits.  Counters should be clean and clear, no excuses and unless you have a designated fitness room in your home, hide the treadmills and dumbbells.  You want your house to look lived in but not as though YOU live there.
2.       Move furniture
Less is more when it comes to furniture. You only need enough to show how spaces are meant to be used not so much that a room appears cluttered.  You may want to move couches away from the walls to create better traffic control.  If you have a large painting or TV hanging above your fireplace remove it so that the fireplace becomes the focus.
3.       Pay attention to detail
There are things that potential buyers may pick up on subconsciously. Lighting is important. There should be 100 watts of light for every 50 square feet.  Keeping your entry way especially free of clutter will make your home automatically feel larger.  Throw out any old doormats and replace them with new ones. If there’s a deer head hanging on your wall, I suggest you hide it to avoid any controversy.
4.       Use colour
When painting, it’s best to keep walls neutral but don’t be afraid to use colour when decorating. Yellow is a very welcoming colour and works particularly well on a front porch or in a foyer.  Use colourful curtains to draw attention to windows or bright cushions on bar stools.   Colour shouldn’t distract buyers so stick to only a few throughout your home.
5.       Go outside
It’s important that your home appear as great from the curb as it does inside.  Stand outside with a notepad and write down any changes you think can be made to improve the outer appearance of your home.  Make sure your bushes are shaped, mulch is fresh and lawns are mowed. Replace any broken or dirty plant containers and spray wash any walk/drive ways. If you have a front porch try upping its appeal by adding a comfortable seating area.

6.       Appeal to all of the senses
Turn off all TVs and have some music such as jazz or classical playing softly in the background. Put out some freshly baked cookies for sight, taste and smell (let buyers know that they’re welcome to help themselves!). Try to let in as much natural light as possible.  Keep pets out of your home when you know you have potential buyers coming or confine them to a single room, yard or crate. A simple trick is to grind a lemon in your garbage disposal; it smells great and is good for the disposal!  Also, remember that non-smokers are generally very sensitive to the smell of smoke so it’s not the best idea to have a smoker inside your home when you’re trying to sell it.

7.       Make repairs
Focus on those little “honey do” jobs you’ve been putting off like a dripping faucet or a squeaky door.  The last thing a buyer wants is to purchase a home that comes with an already existing list of chores for them to do.

8.       Temporarily update what you already have
A slip cover is a great way to hide an old piece of furniture while still having it be functional. Is your couch looking a little drab?  Add some decorate pillows or a soft blanket draped over the back. 
9.       Give each space a use
Don’t force buyers to imagine everything themselves! If you know what a space can be used for, show it. If you have an eat-in kitchen, set the table. Don’t leave your extra rooms empty; set the stage for a home office or craft room.

10.   Set yourself apart from other homes
It may sound silly but something as simple as a flower bouquet on your kitchen table has been said to stand out in buyers’ memories.  Think of one or two things that you can do which will make your home unique but keep it small, hanging a giant nude painting in the living room isn’t the sort of memory anyone needs! Instead, try creating your own coffee table centerpiece with something interesting like blown glass objects.