Nail the sale: Britt Skrivanek and Athena Gu

Employing smart listing and design strategies helped this couple sell their home - and get back together full time.

Create a better first impression
Bigger is better: To make the living room look larger, stagers moved furniture away from the walls and took out the entertainment center.
Create a better first impression
Buyers usually seek out large rooms, and clutter is never appealing. To ensure that Skrivanek and Gu's house looks inviting to prospective buyers when they first walk in, Barie Pinnell and Evie Boston, stagers at WRE Interiors, suggest a few visual tricks to make the sparsely furnished living room and den look warmer and more spacious.

Among them: Create a focal point in the living room by moving the couches away from the walls and positioning them adjacent to the fireplace. Then add new curtains and throw pillows to brighten up the room. The nearly empty den would look better with a neater desk and bookcase, art work on the wall and computer wiring tucked away.

Becki Gregg, owner of Home Girl Staging, urges Skrivanek and Gu to clear off countertops and clean out closets to make the house look more spacious. She says, "It's hard for a homeowner to see that items they use every day, such as a calendar on the refrigerator or a coffeemaker, just look like clutter to a potential buyer."
The problem Better first impression Fix what's missing Make it look like a bargain Get past old expectations Generate more enthusiasm
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.