Stage it to the limit

5 ways sellers can maximize curb appeal

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For most home sellers, it probably would come as a "well, duh" suggestion from their real estate agents that they need to keep the grass cut and landscaping tidy. But there's plenty more front-yard primping that could -- make that must -- be a priority for sellers, according to Sue Guers, a Fountain Hills, Ariz., designer and home stager. She says many sellers don't give as much thought to curb appeal as they should because they often enter and exit by car, via their garages. They just don't see the yard the way buyers do, she said. "You've only got a few minutes to make that great first impression," said Guers, who estimates that 90 percent of her company's staging and design work is done on behalf of local real estate agents. "Some people decide within 15 seconds whether to come in and look at the house, based on what they see on the outside. "Remember, you're merchandising a product," she said. "It's got to be new and bright and shi...