Not quite sure why or how to stage your home to sell? The purpose of staging your home is to get it showroom ready. Buyers want to feel like they are stepping into their dream home, and it is up to the seller to create that. Here are some tips to keep in mind when staging your home.

1. Budget
Before you jump into staging your house, be conscious about what you can afford. There can be costs to staging, some greater than others. Storage space for your belongings, furniture rentals, landscaping improvements and cleaning services are some of the costs to consider before you begin to stage your home. Think about ways you could cut costs if needed, and what services you could do yourself before hiring someone to do it for you.

2. Put Yourself in the Buyer's Shoes
Sometimes it can be hard to accept the reality that a stranger isn't going to like how you keep your home. The reason for staging your home is to make a buyer feel like they could live there. It might be difficult to look past it being your home, but you need to visualize it through a buyer's point of view. It is no longer about how you want your home to look or feel like, but how they would want it to look and feel.

3. Use Your Realtor
You don't have to deal with the stress of staging a home on your own. When you're looking for the Realtor that you want to use, be sure to ask them what types of staging experiences they have. Many Realtors will offer their services and expertise to you so you don't have to go through it on your own.

4. Less is More
You might not realize it at first, but your home is full of things that a potential buyer probably doesn't want to see. De-cluttering your home doesn't mean pulling the classic "I'll shove everything into the closet" trick. Potential buyers are going to want to see storage spaces, including closets, pantries and the garage. De-cluttering might mean you have to rent a storage space, or find a loving friend that will let you store your stuff at their house for a bit. Either way, it will be worth it.

5. Clean Until Pristine
Once you've removed your belongings from the house, it's time to clean. Scrub the tiles, steam the carpets and drapes, wipe down the cabinets, clear the vents, etc. Anything that you can clean should get cleaned. If you don't have the time to do it yourself, consider hiring a cleaning service or asking friends and family for help.

6. Furniture and Decor
If you have already moved into a new house with your furniture, or your furniture isn't "new" looking, you'll want to consider renting furniture to fill the space. If your budget allows, you can rent furniture for each room, but most people opt for the common spaces, including the living room, dining room and master bedroom.

Staging also requires de-personalizing your home. Take down your family portraits, paint the walls a neutral color, feature generic art or wall hangings, remove any collections you may have on display, etc.

7. Turn Non-Functioning Into Functioning
A lot of people are guilty of having that one room that doesn't really serve a purpose in their home. Maybe it was supposed to be an office or a workout room, but it ended up being another storage space? Now is your chance to turn the room that doesn't have a function, into a room that a potential buyer will definitely want.

8. Don't Forget Your Curb Appeal
Many people get so concerned with making the inside of their homes look perfect, they end up forgetting about the outside! Now is the time to dig out your old pressure washer, clean out the gutters, and if you've never hired a landscaper, you might want to consider doing that too. A front and back yard that is clean, properly landscaped, and looks like an enjoyable space will really appeal to your buyer.

9. Sense of Smell
The scent of your home is extremely important, but since you are so used to it, you might be "nose blind". A buyer doesn't want to walk in to the smell of bleach and chemicals from your cleaning supplies. They also don't want to smell your garbage, odors from pets, sweaty shoes or smoke residue. Smells often affect a person's mood and emotions, so you want a positive smell in your home. You can light candles, use scented plug-ins or even bake a batch of cookies before someone comes to see your home. Whichever method you choose, remember to not get carried away, and only use one scent throughout the house.

10. Lighting Matters
Dark, dreary spaces aren't ideal for a home. To ensure that your home is well-lit, do a walk through at different times throughout the day. The natural light might be great, but if a buyer is coming over in the evening, you might notice that your lighting isn't supportive enough. It can be beneficial to change your light bulbs and add lighting in places where it is lacking. Your dcor can also have an impact on your lighting. Try using light-colored bedding, drapes and rugs, and also think about adding a mirror or two to help reflect the light in certain rooms. Again, don't forget about the outside of your home either! Exterior lighting can be welcoming and make a buyer feel like they are in a safer environment.