Home staging takes listing from drab to fab

A little fix-up work is all that's required of sellers

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Staging a house for sale is a concept foreign to many home sellers. But, it has been immensely popular in the San Francisco Bay Area where sellers have reaped huge benefits from their efforts. You don't have to fix up your home before selling. A home can be sold in virtually any condition, if it's priced right. There are basically two reasons why sellers go to the effort and expense to prepare their homes for sale. One is that it helps to bring a higher price. The other is that it usually results in a quicker sale. It's imperative to make cost-effective cosmetic improvements in order to realize an increase in profit when you sell. Major renovations made just before selling -- such as completely remodeling kitchens and bathrooms -- are not cost-effective. Although they improve the appeal of the home, you aren't likely to recoup the full amount of your investment on a quick turnaround. But other cosmetic improvements such as refinishing hardwood floors, replacing outdated floor coverin...