If you’re reading this, you’re probably right in the middle of the drudgery—I mean joy! —of selling your home. We understand it can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to make you want to pull your hair out. We scoured the internet for the best tips and tricks for showing your home so you don’t have to.

1. Clean Up

This may seem obvious, but cleaning the house should go beyond just making sure there aren’t dishes in the sink. Make the beds for looks rather than utility. Make sure the mirrors don’t have any leftover toothpaste flecks. Close closet doors, make sure towels are neatly folded, put personal items out of sight. Clean the litterbox, empty half-full trash cans. Tiny flaws may not stick out, but their absence will form a much better overall picture. And don’t forget the yard!

2. Pare Down

Living in a home that is staged for showing can be stressful, but try to keep the end goal in mind. Be open to taking down family portraits, religious icons, or other personalized memorabilia that might draw viewers out of the home showing experience. Tidy the bits and stuff of everyday life into neat out-of-the-way storage. If you can’t fit things out of sight in your home, consider getting a storage unit for the duration of the selling process to help declutter and streamline. A kitchen will be more visually appealing if the line of sight isn’t interrupted by a dishtowel hanging on the oven, and a living room may look cluttered with those ornamental rugs. Keeping it simple makes it easy to imagine the future potential.

3. Engage the Senses

From the moment potential home buyers walk in, you want them to see, hear, smell, and feel comfortable. Turn on all the lights, and let in as much natural light as possible. Keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature for the time of year. Consider playing very soft ambient music if it fits your style. Encourage them to touch and explore—vacuum carpet in a single direction so they want to dig their toes in. Leave doors ajar so they feel welcome to enter rooms. Don’t use candles, air fresheners, or spritzing spray, as many people have allergies to these types of scent products. Opening the windows and airing out the house to bring in a neutral smell helps create a blank slate for viewers to imagine their own potential. If you’re going to pull the ‘baking cookie smell’ trick, offer the cookies to simultaneously engage their smell and taste senses and make some good memories.

4. Make Yourself Scarce

If you are doing an open house, this rule applies to your physical presence. Don’t hover, allow guests to mill as they please, give them space. They won’t talk about how they feel about the house in front of you, and will likely feel uncomfortable in your presence unless they seek you out. If your realtor is staging a private showing, leave the house completely to give them the freedom and ease to form honest opinions.

5. Make Them Want to Come Again

Offering brochures, pictures of the house treats, or even handwritten thank you notes will make your guests feel welcome and appreciated. Consider leaving pens and pre-written questionnaires for viewers to leave comments and suggestions. This helps them to feel like their opinions are valued, and will also help you create a better viewing experience in the future.

Best of luck to you on your home-selling adventure!