There is no doubt about it: there are a lot of homes on the market. Understanding that, how do you – as a seller – cause your home to stand out from your competition? Home staging, says Barb Schwartz, CEO of, is an oft overlooked function of real estate selling.

Home buyers need to mentally ‘move in’ to a home to see themselves living there. If you cannot accomplish that then you’ve lost them. Schwartz offers six simple tips to help sellers in a downtrodden market improve their position. Here are the final three:

4.) Work in ones or threes. Arrange items on hard surfaces – such as coffee tables – in ones and threes. If you have a large surface use 3 items, for smaller surfaces use one. If you put 10 things out you’ve overdone it and created clutter. For three items, they should be closely grouped in a triangle.

5.) Decide from the doorway. A buyer will get their first impression of a room from the doorway, so when evaluating your staging efforts you should do the same thing. Stage the room, go back to the doorway, re-stage, go back to the doorway and keep doing that until you have it right.

6.) Make your place ‘Q’ tip clean. The home should be immaculate. If you were selling your car, the first thing you would do would be to have it completely cleaned up, inside and out. A home is no different and it goes beyond simply making a presentation. Buyers will wonder what other, less visible problems might come with an unkempt property.

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