First impressions are a big deal when you're selling your home. The first thing buyers see is your home's all-important curb appeal - or lack of it. Just like staging inside your home, yard staging takes time and a bit of big picture planning. If your yard staging is a bit blah, here's what you can do to transform it into a wow.

1. Keep lawn mowed - An overgrown lawn is a sign of neglect that buyers view as a red flag.

2. Tend trees and shrubs - Trimmed and pruned trees and shrubs are inviting and clean. Just make sure to collect and discard debris properly.

3. Mind your garden - Weed your garden and remove any dead or dying plants. Prune bushes such as rose bushes and make sure to add mulch to cover any bare or sparse areas.

4. Put away child's play - Collect and store children's toys out of sight in a garage or shed ahead of showings. To buyers, it can look like clutter.

5. Prepare the entrance ways - Remove weeds, use an edger and clear the growth around your driveway, front porch, stoop and walkway. To remove grime and stains from concrete or stone, rent a power washer to blast it away for the cleanest entrance ways.

6. Clear the stoop - Remove debris, pick up old newspapers, remove dead or dying plants in planters or hanging baskets from your front stoop area and front porch.

7. Stage your front porch - Think of your front porch as an extension of your home. Stage the porch area with new or well-cleaned outdoor furniture and colorful outdoor cushions (depending on season). Add a couple of thriving and large potted plants for a relaxing outdoor space that invites buyers indoors.

8. Add color - Once you've cleared away drab and dead debris, add a new and fresh pop of color with blooming annuals in window boxes, hanging baskets or in quality planters along the walkway or drive way.

Most people know how important it is to stage the rooms inside the home to maximize buyer interest and score a top-dollar offer. However, many people don't realize that yard staging and curb appeal are just as important - if not even more important. With these handy tips, you'll be able to stage your yard like a pro.