When you want to sell your home and get the best possible value for it, maximizing its appeal to potential buyers is quite important. One great way to get more buyers interested in your home and ensure that they make good offers for it is to "stage" your home properly. 

The basic principle is simple: What you're trying to do is make your home look like a livable place that's ready for a buyer to move into immediately. This process isn't as hard as you might think! Here are some simple home-staging tips you can put to good use.

The first step in any good staging job is to take care of every possible bit of repair work your home might need. Damaged floors, stained carpets, chipping or faded paint - all need to be addressed. If you need to do any painting, remember that choosing neutral colors is a smart move. A clean color palette makes it easier for would-be buyers to imagine how your home will look with their own furnishings. 

Never forget that potential buyers are always on the lookout for a long-term investment in a really comfortable home. (Even resellers will want to minimize the amount of work they have to do if they intend to "flip" your property.) In virtually every case, the image you want to project is of a home that's ready to welcome a new family and take great care of them for many years to come. This might mean a lot of work on your part, but the effort is worth it!

If you're no longer living in your home during the sales process, you'll need to add furniture as part of your staging work. Whether you have furnishings of your own to use or you need to borrow (or even buy) some, good furnishing is essential. A "lived-in" look (as long as it's tidy) will increase your home's appeal and make it more attractive. A properly-staged home should look like an active household for open houses and showings.

One clever way to secure great-looking furniture for staging is to work with local furniture retailers. In many cases, you can strike a deal to show off some of their furnishings during the sales process. If you provide them with a real benefit, (by promoting their store and giving their contact info to potential buyers)  you can secure some terrific furniture without spending much money at all.

Good staging pays as much attention to a home's exterior as its interior. Sprucing up your landscaping isn't tough at all. Laying down fresh bark or wood chips in planters will make them presentable. Potted plants and flowers can be strategically placed to enhance the front-door appeal of your home with minimal effort. By starting to entice potential buyers well before they cross your threshold, you can get much better results.

Any outdoor living spaces attached to your home (e.g. decks and patios) need to be treated to display their full potential. Try setting up an outdoor lounge or grilling area to show off the possibilities for potential buyers. Don't worry about the current season too much; buyers will easily be able to imagine the appeal of such outdoor spaces throughout the year. While this can sometimes be one of the most challenging parts of staging, it's certainly worth the effort. Attractive, livable outdoor spaces can add immensely to the overall value of your home in the eyes of potential buyers.

Once the staging process is complete, don't forget to document the results of all your hard work! Take plenty of photos so that you have selling tools you can use with Realtors or online listings such as the MLS. This ensures that you can reap the full benefits of good staging even before potential buyers visit your home.