By Cathy Hobbs

Tribune News Service

Lifestyle selling techniques may not be something most homeowners are familiar with. But lifestyle is the hot buzzword in home selling, especially when it comes to the world of professional home staging.

Staging is a marketing and selling tool, often performed by a professional home stager, in which an atmosphere or lifestyle is created in a home to appeal to potential buyers and allow them to be able to envision themselves in a space. You don’t have to be a professional to help make your space enticing to potential buyers. Often, using lifestyle elements is the key.

Looking for ideas? Here are tips to keep in mind.

• Determine the mood you want to create or message you want to send within your space, then incorporate appropriate lifestyle elements. For example, in a bathroom the message you may want to convey is the space is spalike. In this instance, your lifestyle element could be candles or bath salts.

• Use colorful accents. Color done purposefully can help appeal to potential buyers. Accents should be used sparingly.

• Develop a clear color scheme. The ideal color scheme consists of typically three colors.

• Consider the end user. The foundation of lifestyle selling is to appeal to the potential buyer, considering how they will likely wish to live in the home and create a space that will appeal. A key question to ask yourself in this process is: “Who will buy this home?”

• Create the look of a model home. Staging is neutralizing and depersonalizing, as well as adding lifestyle elements that give the feeling of a space that is lived in.

• Dress shelves and bookcases. Large empty shelves and empty bookcases can serve as a visual hurdle for many potential buyers. Showing potential buyers how they can be functional is helpful.