[ by Deanna Lawley, Homefinder ] 

If you’re preparing to put your house on the market, follow these DIY home staging tips to capture the vote of your home’s next owner this season.

1.  Boost curb appeal.  If a potential buyer drives by and is turned off by the exterior of your house, you can be sure they won’t be interested in seeing the interior. Before you list your home, make sure you install easy-to-read house numbers, power wash your siding, walkways and driveway, and repaint the exterior as needed. On a weekly basis, be sure the front windows are washed, the lawn is raked and foliage is well-tended.

2.  Eliminate clutter and remove any personal touches.  Remove knick-knacks, piles of paper, collections of magazines and personal photos. Eliminate clutter by donating items you no longer need, throw out broken items, and use a self-storage finder to locate an offsite facility where you can store larger belongings that take up valuable space. Make an effort to keep your floors, countertops, shelves and closets clean and clear.

3.  Neutral refresh.  Refresh your walls with a new coat of paint, but stay away from dark or “fun” colors. Select an elegant, muted color palette to give potential buyers a neutral backdrop, so they can easily envision their own furniture, belongings, and personal style throughout your house.

4.  Make the house a home.  Even though you are preparing to move out, create a homey atmosphere to attract potential buyers coming through. Style your kitchen or dining room table with complete place settings and an inexpensive, seasonal fresh flower arrangement. If necessary, rearrange the living room furniture to create an inviting seating arrangement that’s conducive to close conversation.

5.  Stage seasonally, indoors and out.  Do you have a fire pit in the backyard? Set the scene with outdoor seating, plush chair cushions and several cozy blankets draped over the backs of the chairs. Turn on the fireplace in your living room and strategically use autumn-scented potpourri, or simmer hot apple cider on the stove (set on extra low). Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and open windows to let in the crisp, early fall breeze.

As you prepare to put your home up for sale, stand on a solid platform of good staging and watch your home become the front-runner among potential buyers.

Photo courtesy of Houzz.com.