Selling a home is a part art, a part science, and a little bit luck. One of the things that can be done to increase the odds of a quick sale or a good offer is to stage it. Using furniture and decorations allows people to see how the house will look when it is a home, not just an empty space.

When staging your home to sell it faster, the first thing to do is reduce the clutter. Excess furniture should go into storage or be moved to the new home before opening for showings. Everything should be kept neat and tidy, as well as clean.

Every room should have a purpose when staging the house. If you have a ‘junk room’, consider moving everything out and setting it up as an office. This is easy to do with just a desk and chair, lamp, and wall decorations.

Make sure everything is well lit, even if this means buying a few more cheap lamps. In fixtures where it is safe, replace your bulbs with higher-wattage ones. Try not to use a single light source for any room.

Repaint in a soft, neutral shade of almost any color. Bold colors will either be loved or hated, but most light tans, blues, grays and greens will be appealing to the majority. To add space to a room, paint adjacent rooms the same color and add draperies in that shade, too.

Move paintings and artwork away from a single, high line on the walls. Staggered art will catch the eye and draw attention. Use accent pieces in odd-numbered groupings, usually three. Provide cheap appeal by raiding your yard for some flowers or even just leafy branches.

A kitchen doesn’t need to be completely redone in order to get a great overhaul. Replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts can have the same effect of jazzing the place up and making it look new again. If your appliances don’t match, consider whether you could make them match by painting or replacing the doors on refrigerators and dishwashers.

Fix things that need repair. Nothing turns off potential buyers like missing pieces of wood floors, ancient carpet or cracked sidewalks. All of these things can detract tons of value from your home, far more than they would cost to repair.

Learning how to stage your home is simply about making it appealing to the majority of people. Don’t be afraid to look for outside inspiration. Consider home and garden magazines, staged set-ups in catalogs, and television design shows.