Buyers in some areas complain about walking into an open house and finding dirty laundry in bedrooms. In places like the San Francisco Bay Area, so many listings are well presented for sale that sellers who don't stage their homes are at a disadvantage. Occasionally, a home shows beautifully as is and needs little work to get it ready to sell. A listing in the hills above Oakland, Calif., came on the market last year without the aid of a professional stager and sold for the asking price within a week. The house had just been renovated and the sellers had great taste. Their furnishings and paint colors were perfect for the house. Most sellers need to put more effort into preparing their homes for sale if they want to sell successfully. Some of this work can be done on their own, l...
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