1. Get it CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. If your house isn't clean, it instantly sends up negative thoughts that the home is not well maintained.
2. Visit model homes and examine design magazines for inexpensive decorating ideas. Always keep in mind you are not decorating for yourself but for the general public.
3. Start with the outside. Give the house a fresh coat of paint, add shiny hardware to the front door and plant a few flowers to send a message the house is loved and well cared for.
4. De-clutter every room to make it look larger. Closets and drawers should be no more than 30% full. Pack family pictures, trophies and knickknacks, you are moving anyways get a jump on it.
5. Invest in eco-friendly but bright lights. Open the drapes or remove them completely. Light, bright rooms give the impression this is a happy place - and everyone wants to move into a happy place.
6. Make sure a room's primary use is obvious. A bedroom should look like a bedroom, not an office, hobby centre or gym.
7. Bedrooms and kitchens are difficult to stage because they are in daily use, but make the effort. Clear everything off the counters and nightstands, roll up the rugs and hide the laundry hamper. Buff the cabinets with car wax and clean under the sinks. Invest in matching bed linens and new towels.
8. Minimize the "pet effect". Remove food bowls and litter boxes to the utility room. Deodorize thoroughly.
9. Organize the utility room and garage. Hang up the bicycles, roll up the hose. Renting a storage locker is worth the cost if it helps you sell faster and for a higher price.
10. Once your house is staged, invite your Realtor and other friends over and walk them through to get an objective opinion.