Staging has become standard procedure for sellers getting ready to list their property. Buyers expect to see a well-organized, well-kept house. According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, 62% of sellers’ agents say that staging a home leads to a faster sale. Staging is a tedious task, but it could mean the difference between a low-ball offer and an outright bidding war. Before your first open house (or your next one), use these 7 tips to stage your house like a pro.

1. Rearrange the Furniture

When it comes to staging, form is more important than function. Focus on the look of the room, not the layout. Consider removing any piece of furniture you can live without to emphasize your square footage. Rearrange sitting areas to create inviting spaces that encourage conversation. Your home should look cozy, comfortable, and clean.

2. Pack-Up the Family Portraits

Help potential buyers visualize your house as their future home and take down any family pictures or knick-knacks that distract from your décor. Depersonalizing your house creates the perfect blank slate for open houses and walk-throughs.

3. Clean Out Your Closets

Big closets are a big plus. Be sure to play up your storage space where it matters most: the master bedroom. Avoid an overcrowded closet and keep clothing to a minimum. Get rid of any out-of-season apparel or accessories. To showcase your home’s storage potential, leave your closet doors open during viewings.

4. Declutter

A staged home is a tidy home. Hide your mail, keep your tech accessories (like charging cords and cables) out of sight, and put your shoes in their proper place. A cluttered house can make buyers feel cramped, give them a little room to breathe by getting organized.

5. Deodorize—Especially if You Have Pets

Your home won’t sell if it smells unpleasant. In today’s market, pet odors are especially problematic. The scent of furry family members can linger on carpets, couches, and other soft fabrics. Be sure to vacuum your floors and furniture before an open house. For an extra fresh home, put away your pet’s belongings and burn a lightly-scented candle.

6. Let In Lots of Natural Light

Sunlight has a way of making any room feel bright and airy. When showing your house to potential buyers, open up your curtains and blinds to flood each room with lots of natural light. This instant fix not only makes your house feel bigger, it can make your house feel cleaner too.

7. Don’t Forget the Little Details

Attention to detail can go a long way when it comes to staging your home. Serious sellers will clean every nook and cranny. Remember to dust the hard-to-reach and oft-forgotten places, like air vents and the tracks of your doors and windows. Here are a few other areas that are sometimes overlooked:

  • Rain gutters
  • Underneath appliances
  • Pantry shelves
  • Door frames
  • The top of built-in cabinets

If you really want to stand out, fresh flowers are the perfect finishing touch. Adding a pop of color or a little greenery to your décor is an easy way to elevate your home. Flowers are a small detail that buyers definitely notice.

Staging your house is a must in this competitive housing market, but it doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Just a few small tweaks and updates might be all you need to get your home ready to sell. Simplify the process with these quick tips.