Spruce up the Yard
With so much staging attention paid to the interior, it can be easy to neglect your jungle of a yard. But in fact, the outside may be even more important when wooing prospective buyers. Scorched grass, overgrown hedges and bare flower beds don't bode well for what's inside the house and may deter people from ever crossing the threshold.
Minimal cash and a bit of sweat equity invested in your yard will pay off in the end. A 2007 report from Remodeling Magazine found that minor landscaping has a 100 percent return on investment. Some home stagers apply green spray paint to bare patches in the lawn and install plastic plants in bedding areas, but other professionals urge home owners to strive for authenticity. Even if you don't have time to repair grass or grow a healthy garden, mulch and potted plants can serve as more attractive substitutes. Patios and decks should be cleaned and prepped as if you're throwing a neighborhood barbecue. Pressure washing the house exterior, driveway and garage door also enhances curb appeal.