When people are selling their homes, they want to make the best impression possible on buyers. It can be hard to navigate what exactly your buyers will want. From the color of your bathroom walls to the staging of your living room, everything needs to look perfect. Beyond that, it can also be hard to stand out against the many other houses out there that are for sale, without going over-the-top. How do you navigate when to set yourself apart versus when to blend in? Here are my tips for accomplishing just that.

Tip 1: Neutral Colors

While many homeowners want to stand out with their decor, the walls and floors are not the places to do so. Lime green and hot pink are eyesores and make a home look juvenile, even if they are in a kid’s room. It can be hard to tell your children you need to paint their walls, but I strongly encourage it. I try to remind buyers that aesthetics like paint choice are easily changed, but some people don’t want to put in the work to change how the entire house looks. Likewise, neutral colors allow for people to more easily imagine their own decor in the space, rather than bright, bold colors.

Tip 2: Fun Staging

Staging is one place where people can have fun. Have you had your tv in the same spot for the last 10 years? Try switching it to a different wall to allow for more space. Do you have a guest bedroom but no plans for visitors? Try setting it up as a home office. There are many interesting ways you can manipulate your furniture in the space you have, so try it out and see what works best and gets the best compliments.

Tip 3: How Personal?

It’s been said by every real estate professional at some point: family photos have no place in a seller’s home. Sure, you might have good intentions. You might think that seeing a happy family in your home will help buyers imagine their own happy family there. However, what they really end up seeing is a happy family who could be displaced from a home they love. Even if your intentions are good, you still need to put your family portraits away.

Tip 4: The Little Things

One way to make a house stand out in a subtle, yet memorable, way is to add a few small touches. Keeping fresh flowers on your dining room table might seem cliche, but many homeowners would not think to do that. If you have any small knick knacks, I would suggest choosing a few that aren’t too personal to keep out. You could have a reindeer statue out for Christmas, or a small ornamental globe on your bookshelf. It’s important not to overwhelm your potential buyer by placing too many objects around your home, but keeping a few tokens out will show them the potential your space has.

Tip 5: Highlight Your Strengths

Many homeowners think of staging as setting up a bland, stereotypical home that any family could live in. This doesn’t have to be the case. If you have a reading nook that looks like something you would find on Pinterest, highlight it! Some homes may have a skylight, and that is a fun addition to point out. Rather than completely stifling all the treasures of your home for the sake of conformity, use the unusual assets to your advantage. Not everyone will have a fully-functional workshop in the backyard, or a near-professional kitchen. These are the things your potential buyer will remember most, and often the things they will fall in love with.

It can be tempting to go to the extremes of standing out or blending in when selling a home. However, taking the time to carefully consider each design and staging decision will pay off in the long run. Take a walk through your house with fresh eyes and ask yourself what your biggest strengths and weaknesses are. Then, act on them. Soon enough, you’ll have a buyer ready to make an offer.