Whether you call them fakes, silks, artificials, or faux flowers, these "naturals" should be in your arsenal of props when it's time to stage your home for sale.

Even though they are not real, these touches of green add a freshness to rooms that can't be duplicated unless you replace them with healthy, growing house plants and fresh flowers.

As someone readying a home for the real estate market, and preparing for a move, I'm guessing you don't welcome the challenge of tending to houseplants (unless that has been your love all along) and of making sure your cut flowers look like they just arrived from the florist.

Enter silks

Although today they are made from synthetic fibers, these imitations of nature are still called silks by florists, craftspeople, decorators, and event planners.

They can come from the dollar store or be quite expensive. The price difference reflects how closely they mimic the real thing.

Since I encourage people to stage on a shoestring, I won't direct you to the high-end retail silk floral websites and stores.

Instead, I encourage you to keep your eyes open for realistic flowers and greenery at garage sales, flea markets, and second-hand stores. Especially second-hand stores, where there is usually a box of these things in a neglected corner.

Often they are outdated, formal, dusty arrangements that can be bought cheap, taken home, pulled apart, rinsed off, and recycled into more casual decorating props.

I also believe that the bargains at dollar stores qualify for staging.

My rule is that cheaper greenery and flowers have a place but it isn't up close. These less convincing specimens are fine when viewed from a distance, but not so great sitting on the bath vanity or kitchen counter. I use them in flower boxes outside, on porches, and in out-of-the-way locations indoors.

Styling is everything

Often it's the container that makes the whole arrangement classy. I look for these also at second-hand stores. They needn't be fancy. Sometimes an old terracotta flower pot, metal bucket, or distressed wooden box is perfect for an orchid or cluster of ivy.

All you need are some chunks of dry floral foam, and some sheet moss to make some simple stems come to life.

The trend now is away from large, complicated, contrived arrangements, which most people associate with funerals, department stores, and hotel lobbies.

Even a few stems in a glass vase filled with artificial water (a gel available at craft stores) gives a room the fresh factor so important to a staged house.

Here is a site to go to for ideas and supplies.

So, build up your stash of faux greenery and have fun making pretend plants and bouquets, ones that need no care other than a occasional quick rinse.

Hopefully, your home on the market will be sold even before they get dusty.

Get the look, get the book

If you like these ideas I have for staging your home, there's more advice in my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. You can download it now. I guarantee it will make money for you!