How to Sell Your Home For the Best Price

couple meeting with real estate agent
Photo: Getty
By using a technique called “home staging,” you’ll entice potential buyers to drop big bucks for your pad.

You just spotted your dream home. The only thing standing in your way? Well, it's that small hiccup of unloading your old place. So how do you put your casa on the market and then sell it at the highest price possible? Savvy home sellers are now using a concept called “home staging," which, in a nutshell, is strategically updating your décor—sometimes with the help of a professional service—so your space appears more valuable to prospective buyers.

Since the majority of people who want to buy a home are looking to upgrade, your mission as a seller is to project a lifestyle of success, glamour, happiness, and organization. Here's how to do it yourself without dipping into your next mortgage payment.

  1. Glamorize Your Curb Appeal

    Photo by Shutterstock

    Whether it's all new sod, fresh landscaping, new exterior paint, landscape lights, or simply an updated front door and handle, curb appeal is paramount to luring buyers inside.

  2. Make a Memorable Entrance

    The minute a potential buyer walks into your home, he or she shouldthink, “Looks good, smells good.” Put an oversized mirror in your entryway(people love to look at themselves). Fresh flowers and scentedcandles will go a long way in making a knockout first impression.

    Check out these entryways for inspiration.
  3. Update Any Old or Worn Aspects of Your Home

    Photo by Dawn Breeze

    If you have hardwood floors, have them sanded and stained a richercolor, which will look more luxurious. If you have carpet, have it steamcleaned or replaced with a light taupe berber carpet; it’s appealing tomost people, and the light color makes rooms seem larger. If you havestone floors, have them pressure cleaned.

  4. Position Your Pieces

    Move your furniture around in a way that permits people to clearlywalk through without having to stop and adjust their path. That maymean moving a coffee table out of the room entirely. Open your mindto new furniture layouts that highlight the spaciousness of a room, andplay around with focal points. For example, the fireplace doesn’talways have to be the focus of your seating area. Maybe a patio viewor pool area is more pleasing to the eye.

    Give these Feng Shui tips a try.
  5. Modernize the Kitchen

    Stainless steel appliancesimmediately add perceivedvalue to any home. Astainless steel refrigerator(any brand), stove, anddishwasher go a longway to quickly updatingyour home for the sale.

    Check out more great kitchen ideas in our decor gallery!
  6. White Out Your "Five-Star" Bathrooms

    Everyone loves to go on vacation, so bring the same thick, white,luxury hotel towels into your home bathrooms. Displaying awood tray with infused scented reeds or scented candles, beautifulblooms like orchids, as well as a Q-tip and cotton holder is an easyway to project a posh hotel look.

    Click here for more bathroom ideas!
  7. Clean, Reconfigure, and Reorganize Your Closets

    No one, including Prince, wants to look at your clothes from 1999. Your closets should look good and smell good. Have closets filled to half of their capacity; all your shoes should be carefully stored on racks, not on the floor. If your closets are scraped up or dingy, paint them white. Put in cedar blocks for scent and always have matching hangers for every item of clothing. Again, you’re projecting a lifestyle of organization and great success, and your closets need to reflect that.

    Try some of these affordable organization tips.

  8. Make Your Master Look Luxe

    Present your masterbedroom like a toptierhotel suite. Youonly need a fewitems to impress:thick white sheetsand pillows; a thickwhite duvet andduvet cover; a nicetray with a coupleof reading books;scented reeddiffusers (or scentedcandles); a nicewarm color on thewalls; one plant toreach the ceiling(adds perceivedheight to any room);and, if there’s room,a nice chair with areading light in thecorner. Clear theroom of clutter, bills,and notes. You wantnothing except whatyou’d find in aluxury hotel suite.

    Our decor gallery has some more great bedroom ideas.

  9. Tech It Up

    Hook up your iPodto inexpensive wirelessspeakers placedthroughout thehouse, and haveFrank Sinatra’sgreatest hits playingduring the openhouse and viewings.If you don’t haveone, consider buyinga flat screen TV. Ittells buyers this is amodernized, updated,impressive home.

    Read some tips for buying a new TV.
  10. Add The Illusion of Square Footage

    Photo by Dan Wonderley

    Increase the look of your space bydramatizing what outdoor areasyou do have, no matter what thesize. If you have one small patio,put an oversized leaning mirror onthe back wall to double the size;then get a café table with twochairs. Set it with two placematsand colorful napkins.

    Click here to see some awesome backyards.