Nail that sale: Joe and Jeannie Leocha

This couple in Fairfax, Va., faces a sagging market and needs to get more aggressive with their marketing.

See your house as others see it
Help buyers imagine themselves relaxing with friends: Stagers here opened the china hutch, set the table and added colorful accents.
See your house as others see it
In this market, buyers aren't going to select a home based on its possibilities. Instead, says realtor Damon Nicholas, "they'll choose what they want to live in now."

The Leochas have listed their home as a four-bedroom, but the house technically has only three - the fourth bedroom, in the basement, isn't a legal bedroom because it doesn't have a closet.

Moreover, the design isn't as family-friendly as four bedrooms above ground, and most people want to use a basement as a rec room.

Jeannie believes that a buyer who really wants a fourth bedroom on the top floor could convert the giant master suite into two rooms.

But Candace Moe, a realtor and co-owner of Staged Homes of Virginia, thinks prospective buyers may feel misled once they see the house.

The advice: Change the listing to a three-bedroom with a finished basement, and turn the downstairs space into the study (see photo).
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