Archive for the ‘staging’ Category

The Washington Post Got it Right…Home Staging is a Top 10 Must Do to Sell Your Home

December 31, 2011

We recently quoted in a Washington Post article on the top 10 things your need to know about buying and selling a home. The real estate market here in the Washington DC metro area has been fairly strong these past couple of months, with well priced and well presented homes selling faster than the national average. Speaking to our Realtor partners, we are no where near a seller’s market, so home owners still need to focus on the fundamentals to sell quickly and for the most money.

Specifically, the Post said that staging, especially for vacant proerties, was well worth the investment. They quoted Realtor Rachel Valentino of Keller Williams as saying, “Besides new paint, staging is the best return on investment you can make.”

Realtors, justifiably, have differing opinions on the benefits of staging. I think what is indisputable is that staging improves the presentation of a vacant property. Builders spend upwards of $100,000 to stage model homes. They know that a furnished home shows better than a vacant.

What is open for debate is: How much staging is worth? That question is tough to answer. Here’s one stat, that we can point to…Preferred Staging has staged and helped sell over $16 million in realestate so far this year. On average, Preferred Staging’s projects have sold for 97.5% of the asking price. According to Zillow, the average price reduction for the Washington DC area is over 6%. So, we can say that Preferred Staging homes help sellers save 3.5% of their home value. If staging typically costs about 1%, that is still 2.5% left over for the seller. An additional $10,000 to $15,000 in the seller’s pocket after staging costs…Not too shaby.

For the Realtor, Preferred Staging staged homes typically sell in less than 28 days. That is less time and money you spend marketing and showing. Staging helps your sales “velocity,” allowing you to manage more listings per year and helping you improve your statistics so you win more listings from prospects.

Bottom line, we agree with the Washington Post. Staging is a top 10 must do!

All the Best,

Monica, ASP


Preferred Staging

the art of home preparation

Going GREEN – The Natural Way and the Faux Way

March 11, 2010

I just read an HGTV article about going green the natural way… so to speak.  No, its not about using chemical free cleaners or HEPA filters, but rather the natural air cleaning qualities of house plants.  Yes, house plants.

I grew up with lots of house plants, and have always had plants wherever I lived.  I guess I inherited my green thumb from my father, who grew up on a self-sustaining farm and even now, in his early 80’s, is still an avid gardener.  And one of the first things you learn in science class about plants is that they absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen – a very compatible relationship with humans and animals, to say the least.  So it just always seems natural to me (pardon the pun) to have plants around the house.

house plant

What intrigued me the most about the article, though, are the psychological and intangible benefits that house plants seem to offer.  People report feeling less stressed, can work and solve problems better, feel more attentive and think clearly when plants are around – even images of plants seem to have the same effect.

So how does this apply to home staging and presenting houses for sale?

Well, I’m already predisposed to bringing a bit of the outside into the house.  I naturally incorporate this fondness for greenery in the houses that I stage, and not just with a beautiful floral arrangement here and there, or a fichus tree in the corner.  Plants and flowers often end up in kitchens and baths, but also on end and cocktail tables, and often on nightstands.  I’ve never know anybody who doesn’t like a plant (just like I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like a donut), so there is no hesitation to place a plant in a variety of locations throughout a house.  (The images below are of a HUGE master bath where I created a “magic garden” – my most elaborate use of greenery yet.)

Sawbridge Master Bath

Of course, when staging both vacants and occupieds, I use faux greenery– preferably silk (by the way, FAUX is NOT a 4-letter word!).  For home staging, silk greenery has obvious multiple advantages.  They can be arranged and rearranged to fit the location and placement, and best of all, they don’t need to be watered and won’t die. 

I’d be pretty foolish if I though that potential buyers viewing one of my staged homes didn’t know that the plants are faux.  But I do believe that the benefits of the presence of house plants mentioned in the article – feeling more attentive and thinking more clearly – could very well be a part of the decision making process of buying a house.  One of the goals of staging a house is to create an inviting atmosphere for buyers and to help them envision themselves living in the house.  In my opinion, house plants go a long way to help achieve that goal.

All the best,


Preferred Staging