Know your audience! Hire an interior designer to advise you of how to spend your money between staging and updating. Period. Unless you are a designer, that is where you begin to reap the return on one of your largest investments. Your home must be current and on trend.
If you are putting your home on the market, it will most likely be a younger buyer. Therefore, the home must be updated as much as possible. Staging has been around for years, and can sell a home quickly when done with a taste level that coincides with the home. However, consider first making important updates that can permanently add value to your home.
When the wall texture is inconsistent and not smooth enough, it greatly reduces the appearance of the overall home. Fresh paint over dark heavy wood can give a room a face lift. Replace dated banisters with a clean, yet interesting style like the one featured in the photo. Do all of the baseboards and crown molding match? Do the hardwoods need to be updated or replaced? Buy new carpets. And finally make a pristine presentation. Click here for a nice article on the staging process and preparing a home for resale by the NY Times.