Whether your house needs a major face-lift or simple, cosmetic attention, home staging can turn a potential buyer’s first impression into love at first sight, and given the unsteady economic climate, that may be more important than ever.

How can stagers help you sell? They begin by filling an empty house with furniture and props that they have in inventory, including pictures and area rugs. Or they can “shop” for items in different areas of your house and mix them around to showcase your home’s best side. Home staging usually runs $5,000 and up, but stagers say the cost of their services is more than accounted for in a quicker sale, and potentially a higher sales price.

Ginger and Paul Conti of San Jose, California, a real estate/home staging team, claim to have sold — in an average of 18 days — 150 homes that were previously on the market for up to two years. To find home stagers, check out www.homestagers.com or visit the Interior Redesign Industry Specialists’ site, www.weredesign.com. For referrals to members who specialize in one-day makeovers, contact the Interior Arrangement and Design Association at (214) 826-2474.