Simply listing a home is not always enough to get prospective buyers to fall in love with it. Instead, real estate agents and sellers are turning to home staging in order to help a house feel like a home.

A feature in Entrepreneur magazine describes home staging as an interior designer "editing" and rearranging a seller’s furnishings, or bringing in better items, to help prospective buyers imagine the best possible version of the property.

“If a seller puts up pictures of a vacant home, or it looks cluttered or terrible, and you put that next to a staged home, at the end of the day the staged home will get more attention, more buyer leads and more money,” Linda Saavedra, with Showhomes franchise in Tampa, said in an interview with Entrepreneur.

An article in The New York Times explained that staging is more work that just eliminating personal family photos and the eccentric souvenir sculpture in the living room. People can easily go too far with their attempts and instead push buyers away.

"A mantra among real estate agents and home stagers is that sellers need to declutter and depersonalize their homes before putting them on the market. But overly enthusiastic sellers may take this advice too far,” said Jarrod Guy Randolph, an associate real estate broker at Town Residential in Manhattan.

Birgit Anich, a home stager in Norwalk, Connecticut, had these other tips:

  1. Remove religious, political or erotic artwork and books that buyers could be offended by.
  2. While flowers are a good touch, don’t make arrangements too fussy.
  3. Try not to introduce a scent into the home, even if it smells good to you. 
  4. Add life to a home with decorative accents to warm it up, such as art, books and rugs.