Posts Tagged ‘maryland’

Wreaths around Washington DC (Holiday Staging, Part 2)

November 19, 2008

Let’s start our exploration of holiday decorating for homes on the market with wreaths. We will keep in mind our three different customer segments (Northern, Urban and Southern – see yesterday’s post). I like to start with the wreath because it is the last thing that potential buyers will see before they step into the home – so it sets the stage. The wreath also acts as a centerpiece for lawn decorations and curb appeal.


Before we start, let me say that I know many people do not celebrate Christmas. I do not expect my clients to decorate their homes in a manner which is inconsistent with their personal beliefs. What I seek in those situations are elements of holidays which have been secularized. Wreaths are a perfect example. Many people maintain wreaths all year long, rotating them to match the seasons. Wreaths are no longer Christmas symbols.


Select a wreath that you will feel comfortable leaving up beyond the holidays, or replace your holiday wreath with a seasonal wreath after the holidays. A wreath adds a bit of warmth and color to an otherwise bare exterior during the winter.

 Martha Stewart wreath

In Maryland, I would suggest a wreath that is simple, classic and evergreen.















For Washington DC (and other urban areas), I would suggest something a little more modern. Find something edgy, but non-offensive. This square wreath does the trick.


Pottery Barn wreath














In Northern Virginia, where we are leaning towards the south. We suggest adding some color to the wreath. This Williams Sonoma wreath is a great example:

Williams Sonoma wreath 






















Lastly, when a home is for sale, I do not recommend hanging wreaths from every window in the house. This may be very attractive and really brings out the spirit of the season, but home staging is about neutralizing and showcasing the home. Wreaths in every window will draw the buyer’s attention away from the home and to your decorations. It may also convey a sense of exterior clutter that we do not want buyers to experience before they enter the home.


Tomorrow, we discuss lawn art.


All the Best!




the art of home preparation

Staging for the Holidays

November 14, 2008
We just received our first request for holiday staging/decorating today, so I thought I would send out a quick note… The holidays in the Washington DC area have gotten busier and busier. This year is looking like the busiest of them all, with the change in administrations and everyone working harder to keep the wheels of the economy turning. It has gotten so you cannot even drive in Tysons Corner or Chevy Chase after Thanksgiving!
Preferred Staging can help you with your home preparation by doing as much or as little as you need, from rearranging furniture for better flow and movement through the house, to helping you to decorate.  
The best way to move forward would be to start with a consultation and for us to come and see your house and discuss plans and budget.  More often than not during a consultation we start working towards your goal – moving furniture, changing accessories, etc. 
The holidays will be here before you know it, so call soon!
All the Best,
the art of home preparation

Make Sure Your Real Estate Photos Pop

October 14, 2008
At Preferred Staging, we believe that home presentation extends beyond curb appeal and interior staging. We want Northern Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland listing photos to “pop” off the page. It is well known that having more listing photos is one of the best ways to attract buyers. With almost 90% of home searches starting on the internet, the quantity and quality of photos will increase the probability of a fast sale.
According to, “A property with a single photo spent 70 days on the market (DOM) on average, while DOM fell to 40 with six photos, 36 with 16 to 19 photos, and 32 with 20 photos. Additionally, listings with one photo sold for 91.2 percent of the original price, while homes with six or more sold for 95 percent of the original price.” 
How much more appealing will your listing be with magazine quality photos? Here are some examples… We went to the internet and grabbed some random photos. There is really nothing wrong with the samples, but I think you will recognize how much nicer the enhanced photos are.  
Put yourself in the position of a buyer…how much more likely will you be to ask for a tour of a home with the enhanced photos? 5%, 10%, more? Is that worth it? We think so!
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Not sure your photos can benefit from enhancement?  Send us a photo (or point us to a web site). We will show you what is possible. No charge or obligation for the test, but we think you will be impressed.
All the best,
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation

If it is on HGTV, it must be true!

April 25, 2008

 HGTV is THE source for all things home related

Well, maybe. They certainly have gone a long way towards helping home owners understand that they must prepare their home for sale.
Along those lines, HGTV has just published it list of top 25 Biggest Mistakes in Real Estate.
Here’s the number one thing to avoid…
1. Failing to Showcase Your Home and Make Small Cosmetic Changes

When you are selling your house, you have to really look at it objectively and think about it from the viewpoint of the house hunter. Make minor enhancements to the house and maybe hire a professional stager to come and arrange your furniture. Staging is about decorating your house for the buyers’ taste, not yours. A great place to start is with the front of the home and the main entryway. Home staging is designed to increase the potential selling price and reduce the amount of time the house stays on the market.

I could not have said it better myself…out of all the things home owners should avoid, not staging their home for sale is Number 1.

Take away…

Whether your clients use a professional or not, please share this information with them! A properly prepared home will dramatically increase the changes of a fast sale.
All the best.

It’s Spring! Have You Got Your Curb Appeal On?

April 7, 2008

A Good Looking Approach Helps to Sell Your House

Last month, Realtor magazine came out with some survey statistics.

“According to the Real Estate Agent Community Trends survey, 82 percent of practitioners polled said buyers unimpressed with a home’s exterior will not want to look inside.”

So, 82% of real estate agents believe that their clients will not even enter a home unless the curb appeal is, well, appealing. I am one of those that get caught up on the actual meaning of a word. What caught my attention in the first sentence above was the word “unimpressed”. Maybe I am overstating things, but my reading is that 82% of agents believe that curb appeal must be above average for a buyer to seriously consider a property. How many of your clients have just average (or even below average) curb appeal? Now is the time to get moving.

Northern Virginia has had a nice cool spring so far, which means that lawns are just coming out of dormancy. If your clients have a thin lawn due to the drought last year, there is still time to over-seed and fertilize. Have them spray their lawn with a hard stream to know the seeds off of the grass and down to the ground. Be sure that they use “starter” fertilizer and follow the directions on the packaging. I actually reduce the application rate on the package by about by 25% to 50%. Burning a lawn is just not worth it.

Mow the law twice a week during peak growing times. I know this is a lot of work, but the appearance of a well manicured lawn is well worth the effort!

Now is the time you can begin to add color to the front of the home. Avoid planting until at least early May, as frost is still a concern. Instead, put flowers in pots. The pots can be moved into the garage or next to the home and covered if frost is forecasted.

Curb appeal is a must! Most home buyers will create a lasting impression of a property within the first 15 seconds. Make the most of that time and let them walk away impressed and considering their new home.

All the Best,