I've never taken a staging class. I know little about staging and think it best left to the stagers by and large. But there are a few basics that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out.
You tidy up.
You shouldn't leave dirty dishes in the sink.
The dog that loves to bark or just, um, loves, should be crated or taken in the car.
And you don't leave your bills out opened on the kitchen table or your dresser. Because then I'll see them. And anything I see can and will be used against you in negotiations. And we won't even tell you.
I have seen collection notices, overdue notices, divorce/bankruptcy paperwork and other intensely personal matters of private business stuck to refrigerators with magnets, tacked to a cork board next to a phone, on a desk, on a kitchen table or counter, and plenty of other very visible places open for all to see.
When that happens, a good buyer agent will use the compromising information to eat your lunch in negotiations. You won't even know what hit you or why the other side is playing hardball so zealously. The only thing you'll know is that they've got you. And it will cost you.