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.

Smart cosmetic fixes
A finished basement is worth more than a below-ground bedroom: Stagers took out the bed and moved in den-like furniture.
Smart cosmetic fixes
Of course you hate to spend money on a home you are trying to sell. But a few targeted investments to make the house look better can pay off in a faster sale or a better price.

The Leochas' bathrooms are outdated, for instance, so Moe suggests refinishing the cabinets, installing new light fixtures and updating the knobs and faucets for a more modern feel. Cost: $200 to $400 per bathroom.

If you have a discerning eye, you can figure out the most effective changes to make yourself. Or you can hire a professional stager: A consultation might cost $200 to $400; if the stager executes the plan, expect to pay between $1,500 and $6,000, depending on the work involved.
The problem Marketing Move-in condition Smart cosmetic fixes Make it vanilla Price it right Give extras
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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 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.