While home staging is in part about showing a home in its best possible light, it can also help potential buyers imagine themselves in the space. Buyers like it to see what a room really looks like. “Buyers have a hard time envisioning themselves if it’s empty,” said Scott Leverette of McGuire Real Estate in Berkeley, Calif. “I think also a home looks smaller if it’s empty.”

So does staging really help with higher sales prices, multiple bidders and selling the home quicker? In a 2013 study looking at nearly 170 properties valued at $300,000 to $499,000 that were staged, RESA — which obviously has a vested interest in the staging — said that those homes were sold in 22 days on market compared to the un-staged homes that sold on average in 125 days on market.

Before you invest in home staging, make sure you do as much improvement work you can, such as fixing drywall holes and removing stains from carpeting, as home staging can’t fix major cosmetic issues.