Although home staging shouldn't involve much in the way of major renovation, spot updates can bring a house built years ago into today's market. Look around for features that date your house, including wood paneling, shaggy carpet and old appliances. These are immediate buyer turnoffs. Take stock of furniture as well. Is that loveseat a little too loved? Or maybe the bed in the master suite is lacking. In that case, a professional home stager may advise putting your old furniture in storage and bringing in rented replacements.
Home-staging experts also recommend focusing first on the kitchen, since it's the primary room that prospective buyers are interested in. Adding at least one stainless-steel element, for instance, can give it a fresh look for marginal cost. Even changing out the hardware on cabinets and drawers can make a surprising difference.