Archive for the ‘vacant homes’ Category

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,

Monica

Preferred Staging

703-851-2690

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But WHY Won’t You Give Me a Quote Over the Phone?

March 11, 2010

Imagine this phone call:

(ring, ring) Caller: “Hi, I want to put my house on the market in about 2 weeks. It has 4 bedrooms and 2 and a half baths. How much would you list it for?”

I highly doubt any agent is going to give a quote over the phone to this hypothetical client. Obviously, not only do you need to see the property, but you also need quite a bit more information before you can make a fair evaluation of the property to price it correctly.

Would you ask a painter, contractor, or anyone else to whom you intend on paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to provide you a quote over the phone without having them first see the work that needs to be done?

Staging is no different, and is this is why Preferred Staging doesn’t give quotes to stage properties over the phone or through an email without first having seen the property and evaluate what is needed. Just like a Realtor determining the correct market value of a house, we need to take into account all the variables. Is the house vacant or occupied? How many rooms need to be staged? How big are the rooms? Do we need to take measurements? What is the layout of the house? Is it an open floor plan? Is the house traditional or contemporary? Where is the placement of the windows and doors, and how much natural light do the rooms receive? What colors are the rooms? Do they need paint, and would you like us to recommend colors? You get the idea.

Take for example a house in Arlington that we staged last year. It had a living & dining area, a den (of sorts), 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, kitchen and separate laundry area. The tricky part to this house was that it is only 750 square feet – total. (I’ve been told its one of the smallest houses in Arlington.) Had we not seen the house to understand the layout and traffic flow and taken measurements, we would not have been able to stage it properly and present it to its best advantage, which eventually led to it being sold in just 10 days.

We professionally stage all of our properties so that they will not only show to their best advantage, but will also stand head and shoulders above the competition. Preferred Staging prides itself on the quality of our work, quality of our accessories, and our attention to detail, and our success can be seen in how quickly our staged homes sell. Like you, we just can’t achieve this level of professionalism and success through a phone call or email.

All the Best,

Monica

Preferred Staging

703-851-2690