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5 Staging Do's and Don'ts

Don't Forget About Curb Appeal

The lawn and landscape deserve as much care as the inside of the house; after all, they're the first thing people notice. When staging, you have to think like a prospective buyer. Would you seriously consider a house with a brown, parched lawn? Probably not. Get the lawn in shape and use mulch and bedding when necessary to fill in trouble spots. Trim hedges and trees, making sure that they aren't blocking the house's visibility. Flowers and bright-leafed plants add welcome splashes of color, especially around entrances. Possibly add outdoor seating or a grill to the patio and deck area — that added touch allows buyers to imagine relaxing and enjoying those features.

Also assess the outside of the house. Cracking paint, broken shutters and sagging gutters should be fixed. Put some extra thought into the appearance of the doorways; buyers and realtors will have an up-close view of them, and you'll want them looking pristine and welcoming. To cap things off, pressure wash the exterior of the house.