When Selling Your Home, Disengage, De-clutter, De-personalize, and Neutralize
When selling your home, one of the goals is to have the buyers imagine themselves living there and since 90% of people have a very difficult time doing that on their own, disengaging, de-cluttering, de-personalizing, and neutralizing is key. Most sellers find it emotionally difficult to disengage from their home and be objective, but once they decide to sell, they need to stop thinking of it as their home but rather a product or commodity that they want to get the most money out of. A professional home stager views the home with "buyer's eyes" and can make the necessary suggestions to help highlight the selling features, as well as help the buyers to envision it as their future home.
The first thing to do when getting your home prepared to sell is to de-clutter. Decide what you really want and need to take with you to your new home, and throw away or donate what you don't. Pack up the majority of your various treasures, collectibles, and mementos as buyers have a difficult time seeing past all of the "stuff" and focusing on the selling features. Buyers want to know there is plenty of storage, so pare down your kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and pack up out of season clothes and items from closets.
Another important thing that stagers highly recommend is that you de-personalize to help the buyers feel more comfortable while walking through your home so that they don't feel like they're intruding. The goal is to help them to be able to imagine their own family moving in. Remove your family and wedding photos, accolades, religious symbols, and political art or statements. You may feel that it doesn't feel like your home anymore, but that's the point!
Finally, it's highly recommended that the house be neutralized which means taking your personality out of the space such as painting any dark or bright coloured walls a light, neutral colour, removing outdated wallpaper and window coverings, replacing worn or outdated furniture with more contemporary ones (either purchased or rented), replacing "conversational" art with abstract or nature inspired art, etc.
A professional home stager can see the home much more objectively and make various recommendations so that the home feels both warm and inviting for everyone who views it, thus the higher likelihood of a quicker sale for more money.