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Before and after pics of a staged home

A dining room before it’s been staged. Is staging a magic bullet that moves a house into the sold column? Michelle Minch, the owner of Pasadena-based Moving Mountains Design & Home Staging, shows us the difference staging can make. (Michelle Minch)
The dining room after it’s been staged. Professional stagers -- the people who come into a home and make it look like Martha Stewart lives there -- are growing in ranks, in no small part thanks to the stagnation of the real estate market. (Michelle Minch)
The living room before it’s been staged. (Michelle Minch)
The same living room after it’s been staged. Stagers aren’t maids or house cleaners. But they understand why a couch’s backside shouldn’t face the entrance to a room. And they can create a living space that is, in general, far better than the one the homeowner occupied. (Michelle Minch)
The master bedroom before it’s been staged. Vacant homes are the hardest to sell, said Connie Tebyani, a stager based in Moorpark, because would-be buyers don’t have a frame of reference. (Michelle Minch)
The master bedroom after it’s been staged. Tebyani offers her own batting average as a testament to the power of staging: Of the 15 homes she has staged within the last six months, the average time on the market was 10 weeks after she staged them, and they fetched an average of 95% of their list prices. (Michelle Minch)
A picture of a bedroom before it’s been staged. (Michelle Minch)
The same bedroom after it’s been staged by professionals. If you’re a buyer viewing a home that’s been staged, be sure to do your homework. The National Assn. of Exclusive Buyer Agents in August issued a report, “How to Not Get Tricked by Staging,” at The report outlines some common staging practices and how they could influence a buyer to purchase a home that might be hiding serious defects. (Michelle Minch)