While it should still be welcoming and neutral, your dining room is the place to demonstrate elegance and beauty. For most of us, the dining room is the most formal space in the house, and staging should reflect that. Your buyers may be imagining family traditions, holidays and romantic dinners as they explore this room.
You want to maintain a bright and airy feel, but the lighting can be more dramatic if you like. You're setting up a story for your buyers in which everyone is on his or her best behavior, enjoying a delicious meal.
A common pitfall when staging the dining room, however, is overdoing it. Remember to edit yourself -- you're telling just enough of the story to inspire your buyers, not overwhelm them with your vision.
Take any extra leaves out of the table -- it helps with flow and makes the room larger -- and group no more than four chairs around it. Remove the rest, don't line them up or stack them in the room. Keep place settings elegant but simple. A beautiful centerpiece should add to the effect and draw the eye to the space without being overwhelming. Above all, remember: The goal is to sell your house, not to impress everybody.