You’ve decided to sell your home, but no one is biting. What gives? What staging secrets might you be overlooking? Follow these honest, need-to-know tips for showing your house and watch the offers start rolling in.

1. Declutter Your Living Spaces

You want buyers to see your home as a clean, tidy space that they would be happy to call their own. Check desks, open shelves, visible cabinets and countertops for stray items and organize or remove them. And remove religious symbols, unique art pieces, taxidermy and other decor that not only take up space but may provoke an unwanted response. Extra clutter can be a real distraction and make it hard to sell your home.

2. Air Out Your Home

We’ve all heard of the classic trick of baking cookies before an open house to create a warm, homey environment. But it’s just as important to air out your home so potential buyers aren’t greeted by any objectionable odors. Toss leftover food and take out the trash. And avoid plug-in air fresheners, which may turn some people off.

3. Make Animals Invisible

Are you a pet owner? Chances are many of your prospective buyers are, too. While your pet may be cute and cuddly, not everyone is an animal person. Plus, your pets may remind buyers of the wear and tear that animals can cause in a home. One pro tip for showing your house is to remove signs of pets, including toys, beds, hair, cat litter and pet food.

4. Boost Your Curb Appeal

While your home is on the market, make sure your plants and lawn are well kept. Replace your worn out welcome mat, trim the hedges and tidy the shrubs. Curb appeal truly does affect a buyer’s first impression of your home.

5. Clean Your Yard

Now that you’ve taken care of the landscaping you’ll want to make sure the rest of your yard looks great, too. For many homebuyers, a nice backyard will be a major selling point, but prominent garden decorations like garden gnomes and yard flamingos could detract from your yard’s appeal. And don’t forget to clean up after pets.

6. Make Repairs

This critical part of the selling process will likely need to happen weeks before you’re ready to sell. Once you’ve decided to sell, walk through your home and note any areas that need repair. Replacing lights, fixing faucets and patching drywall are simple ways to get your house ready to show.

7. Lighten Up Your Rooms

Potential buyers love good lighting, because it provides a bright and cheery environment, as well as the impression of cleanliness. Make sure your home is as well-lit as it can be. To maximize the amount of natural life reaching your interior, take down drapes, wash windows and increase the wattage of your light bulbs.

8. Remove Personal Touches

It may be hard, but one pro tip for showing your home is to depersonalize it. If you have family pictures and keepsakes in every room, buyers may have a harder time envisioning themselves and their families in your space. Stow away stuffed animals and old family portraits. You can always display these again in your new home.

Protect Your New Home with Farm Bureau

Once you’ve sold your home and settled into another, connect with a Farm Bureau agent in your neighborhood to learn how our homeowner’s insurance can help you protect your new home.