Having a home professionally staged has many benefits. Staging can help present a property in its best light, potentially making it more appealing to prospective buyers. Many times, staging may help a home sell more quickly and sometimes even for a higher contract price.

Bringing in professional home stagers can be expensive, and sellers may not always be eager or able to assume those costs. In those cases, homes can be staged by the sellers themselves with input and advice from you. Here are some tips you can share that can help get a home ready to show:

Prioritize the best features.

Ask yourself what will most likely attract buyers to the home, and then focus on those things first. For example, if the home has a beautiful fireplace or a fantastic view, be sure to have sellers arrange furniture and lighting to play up those features. If a large master bathroom is a selling point, have them spend time spiffing it up.

Clear clutter and personal items.

You probably get tired of hearing this and of saying it, but when it comes to getting a home ready to show, your sellers shouldn’t skip this step. Whether they donate it, sell it, or pack it up to move to the next house, getting the clutter out can help draw potential buyers in.

Get other opinions.

When you live in a home, especially for a long time, it’s natural to start to overlook flaws and imperfections. Suggest that sellers ask close friends and family members to tour the house and offer honest feedback and different ideas about how to make the home more attractive and inviting.

Focus on spaciousness.

Remove extra furniture and put it in an attic or in storage. Add as much light as you can to each room, either by using more lamps, opening window treatments, or installing brighter bulbs.

When in doubt, take it out.

If sellers question whether something should remain in the home for showings, it probably shouldn’t. This goes for furniture, accessories, collections, photographs, and closet contents.

Add inviting touches.

Look for ways that each room can welcome potential buyers. Drape a cozy throw across a chair, place a book on a bedside table, stack folded towels by the tub, and set the table with placemats and place settings.

Don’t forget outdoor areas.

Today’s buyers often want to enjoy outdoor living areas, so be sure to play those up as much as possible. Borrow or rent outdoor furniture to showcase decks, patios and porches. Spruce up gardens and landscaping and add color with blooming potted plants.

Add home warranty coverage.

An American Home Shield® Home Warranty with the Seller Coverage Option can help reassure potential buyers by offering important coverage during the listing period. For up to six months, until the coverage transfers to the buyers, sellers can enjoy the benefits of American Home Shield ShieldEssentialSM protection, which includes coverage for major components of the most crucial home systems that can be the most expensive to repair or replace, including heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and more. Ask your Account Executive for more information and for signs that you can place in the home to alert potential buyers about this special added-value coverage.

Staging a home is a lot of work, so be ready to give your sellers a standing ovation when the curtain goes up for the first showing. One way that you can do this is to take before and after photos to show the difference that their efforts have made. Be sure to pass along any compliments from agents and potential buyers, too.

For more helpful tips from our partners at American Home Shield, visit their blog!