At a time when Hampton Roads for-sale properties sit on the market for an average of 90 days, Dayla Brooks said her 2009 listings had an active life of no more than 21 days — 14.8 days, not counting short sales. Brooks, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Virginia Beach, knows that once buyers determine location and price range, the search continues for best in show. “Right now in our real estate market, it’s a beauty contest and a price war at the same time,” she said. “Staging is going to make the difference.” Not to be confused with decorating, staging is making the most of a home’s square footage and “selling a lifestyle,” Brooks said. According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, 94.6 percent of ASP-staged homes across the United States sell, on average, within 33 days. Kimberly Cash, a certified ASP Master and eight-year staging veteran who works for Tidewater Home Staging, said curb appeal begins at the street and goes all the way to the backyard. This means it is important to keep everything fresh — the lawn, edging, mailbox, house numbers, and paint, Cash stated. Other staging experts quoted in this article suggest that sellers get a focal point from the doorway and begin to stage the room from there. Keep bedrooms tidy and uncluttered, and clean thoroughly, because the first impression is the lasting impression. Window treatments and other accessories can be rented for staging. | Read More