If you’re selling a home in Nashville, your REALTOR® will most likely talk to you about home staging – the act of making your home as appealing as possible to the widest range of buyers. The fact is that staged homes sell faster (and for more money) than their non-staged counterparts do, so it makes sense to take some time boosting your home’s appeal.

15 Home Staging Tricks Most People Don’t Know

Check out these 15 simple home staging tricks that can help you sell your home faster and for more money:

  1. Be ruthless when you declutter
  2. Give every room a purpose
  3. Remove half the clothes from your closet
  4. Hire a professional cleaning team
  5. Replace your decor with neutral pieces and mirrors
  6. Get rid of heavy drapes
  7. Make cosmetic fixes
  8. Clean up your yard
  9. Make your entryway welcoming
  10. Use buyers’ senses
  11. Add texture
  12. Reserve vibrant colors for accents
  13. Use plants to your advantage
  14. Make every room look comfortable
  15. Turn on all the lights

Scroll down for a closer look at each.

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Home Staging Trick #1: Be Ruthless When You Declutter

Go through every room in your home looking for items you haven’t used in the past six months or more. These items have no place in your space while your home is on the market. You don’t have to get rid of them, but they can’t stay here; set aside boxes for items you don’t have the heart to part with so you can take them to storage.

Home Staging Tricks - Give Every Room Purpose

Home Staging Trick #2: Give Every Room a Purpose

Every room in your home should have a clearly defined purpose so buyers can imagine themselves living there. If you have a catch-all room, or a room that serves as a guest bedroom/workout room/clean laundry collection point, you need to clear it out and give it a reason for being. Talk to your real estate agent about what that room’s purpose should be; if another bedroom would help sell your home, make it a bedroom. Likewise, if a home office or workout room would help sell your space, that’s where you should focus your effort.

Related: 7 essential tips for first-time homebuyers

Home Staging Tricks - Remove Half the Clothes From Your Closet

Home Staging Trick #3: Remove Half the Clothes From Your Closet

Even if you have a very spacious closet, you should remove half of your clothing and put it in storage. That’s because buyers want to see extra space in closets; extra space shows them that there will be enough room for their own belongings.

Home Staging Trick #4: Hire a Professional Cleaning Team

Before you list your home for sale, it makes sense to hire a professional cleaning team. Ideally, you’ll find a company that can give your home a deep-clean so it’s ready to show. The two best things about hiring a professional cleaning team: You save time, and professionals know exactly where to clean. All you need to do is maintain what the experts have done during the time that your home is on the market.

Related: How to use a VA loan to buy a house in Tennessee

Home Staging Trick #5: Replace Your Decor With Neutral Pieces and Mirrors

Take out all personalized decor, including family photos, religious items, and certainly anything that could be considered controversial or risqué. Replace it all with neutral decor, such as what you’d see in your favorite luxury hotel. Mirrors are always a great addition, as well, because they make spaces appear larger by reflecting light.

Home Staging Tricks - Get Rid of Heavy Window Treatments

Home Staging Trick #6: Get Rid of Heavy Drapes

Heavy drapes make spaces feel more closed in, so you should get rid of yours before you list your home for sale. Replace them with light, airy window treatments that make your rooms appear larger and more comfortable.

Home Staging Trick #7: Make Cosmetic Fixes

If your home needs any cosmetic fixes, such as scuffs removed from the walls, light bulbs replaced, or dents and dings repaired, handle those before you put your home on the market. Doing so will revitalize your space and make it more buyer-friendly.

Home Staging Trick #8: Clean Up Your Yard

Prospective buyers start forming an impression of your home before they even set foot through the front door – in fact, the impression they get when they pull up at your curb sets the tone for their entire tour of your home. Make sure your yard looks great, your porch is clean, and all the windows are sparkling. Cut the grass, pull the weeds and freshen up your flowerbeds, too.

Related: Suburban living

Home Staging Tricks - Make Your Entryway Welcoming

Home Staging Trick #9: Make Your Entryway Welcoming

Make a buyer’s first glimpse inside your home a wonderful one. Make sure your entryway is well-lit and tastefully decorated, and put down a welcome mat.

Home Staging Trick #10: Use Buyers’ Senses

Buyers rely on more than just their vision when they tour homes. Your home should smell clean and fresh. And if you’re up for it, it never hurts to bake a fresh batch of cookies shortly before a showing. Bonus: You can leave the cookies on a plate on the table with a small note that offers them to your guests.

Home Staging Tricks - Add Texture

Home Staging Trick #11: Add Texture

Your home should appear warm and inviting, regardless of the season. One way to make spaces feel more inviting is to add texture. That may mean placing a large area rug beneath your dining table, putting a fluffy throw blanket at the foot of your bed, or adding a few woven baskets to shelves.

Related: A look at the late Leon Russell’s home

Home Staging Trick #12: Reserve Vibrant Colors for Accents

Don’t overwhelm buyers with too much vibrant color. Buyers typically prefer more neutral colors that they can customize themselves, so reserve bright colors for decorative elements that will obviously go with you when you move, such as throw pillows and pieces of art.

Home Staging Trick #13: Use Plants to Your Advantage

No home staging task is complete without live plants. Choose plants that thrive in low light and with minimal watering; that way, you aren’t creating too much extra work for yourself (and you won’t scare buyers off with dead plants). Plants that are great for home staging include English ivy, peace lily and mother-in-law’s tongue.

Home Staging Trick #14: Make Every Room Look Comfortable

Every room in your home should have something in it that makes it feel more comfortable. For example, rolled towels in your bathroom make it appear like a relaxing spa; a soft throw blanket draped over the edge of a chair in a reading nook makes a space look cozy; and antiques can make a home office feel more “homey.”

Related: Nashville among the nation’s top cities for home appreciation

Home Staging Trick #15: Turn on All the Lights

When buyers come to see your home, turn on all the lights and pull back all the drapes. Make sure your blinds are all raised, too. Bringing in natural light can help make your spaces appear larger, and it enables buyers to clearly see your home’s best features.

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