10 D's: Tips for staging a house; how decor and diligence can deliver

So you have to put your house on the market. The good news is that interest rates have plummeted, which makes it attractive for those shopping for mortgages. The bad news is buyers aren't breaking down your door. And you've got to compete. We asked the experts how to be a winner in the house-staging department -- and added a few suggestions of our own. Let's call them the 10 D's -- the daily to-do list when you're showing your house.

The overall key, according to Designed to Sell designer Lisa LaPorta, is making buyers feel at home. "When buyers come through and imagine themselves there," LaPorta says, "you can bet an offer isn't far behind." Elizabeth Weintraub, a broker with Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, Calif., says home staging for sale is "about illusions," comparing it to a magician's handiwork.