Enhance the furnishings. Think your home's layout needs some professional fine-tuning? Consider hiring a staging company. For about $150 to $250, a stager will give you a consultation that includes a walk through your home and tips on how to improve each room. Staging for a vacant home, meanwhile, can run $2,000 or more and involves outfitting select rooms with new furniture based on your budget. "You don't need to stage every room," Bray says. Instead, she typically only stages rooms that have the biggest impact, such as the master bedroom, family room and kitchen.
"People should show each room in its intended, original function," Bray adds. For example, a formal dining room that you turned into a playroom or office can confuse prospective buyers and make it difficult for them to envision how they would use the space.
Polish the curb appeal. According to Corbett, "Selling a house is a lot like dating: A pretty face will get buyers in the door." So cut the grass, trim shrubs and prune hedges to make sure the lawn looks manicured. You don't have to plant a full-blown garden, but a few flowers can make a home more inviting. Some real estate agents recommend placing potted plants on both sides of the front door.
When it comes to the home's exterior, consider whether you need to paint, patch weathered gutters or repair light fixtures. Driveways and sidewalks should be power-washed. Even replacing worn house numbers or an old mailbox can elevate a buyer's first impression, Holubar says.
The entrance is most important, Corbett says, since most buyers see the front door first. A fresh coat of paint (in an inviting color), a shiny door handle and a new doormat can make all the difference.