Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

Look What A Small Investment Can Do!

March 19, 2010

Look what a small investment can do!

A few weeks ago I did a 2 hour walk through consultation for a home owner that has lived in the house for 45 years. The house has been very well maintained, but as we see all the time with older clients who are downsizing, updating hasn’t been a priority over the past few years. The house does have a lovely remodeled kitchen, but some other rooms needed attention.

The best example was the wood paneling in the basement. The dark paneling absorbed all the light in the room, making it feel like a cold, dark cave – and really dating the house. Once the paneling was painted an off white, some furniture removed and other pieces moved, and some art work rehung, there was a huge difference – it hardly looks like the same room!

Spending even a little money on such updates and for staging is sometimes a hard pill for homeowners to swallow. We really need to educate home owners that home preparation is truly an investment that they will receive a return on when the house sells. The return will either be a better listing price, (is it better to sell the house “as is”, or at market value?), and a faster sale, which in the long run will reduce mortgage payments, utility costs and general maintenance and upkeep of the property. A faster sale also means less marketing dollars Realtors have to spend.

Check out these statistics from HomeGain.com for ROI on home improvements for sellers:

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According to the survey, painting, decluttering and reorganizing the basement will bring a nice return to the home seller – and all for about 2 days of work!

All the Best,

Monica

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MINIMAL COSTS FOR MAXIMUM RESULTS

November 15, 2009

Let’s get right to the numbers:

The national average cost to stage a house is approximately 1% of the asking price of the house.

This is true on some levels, but not for every house. First, this sort of number really only applies to vacant houses, where furniture and accessories have to be rented. Second, I’ve staged many a million dollar house and the cost was no where near $10,000. On the other hand, I’ve staged mid-priced vacants where this formula comes close to being on target.

I’m asked by virtually every new client with a vacant to stage for a ballpark estimate. It is a professional policy of Preferred Staging’s not to give estimates without first having seen the property, as there are too many variables to take into account (room size, layout, natural light, etc.). However, I do offer the above formula as a starting point for the client to understand the cost of staging.

Another number:

Preferred Staging’s proposals to stage vacant houses generally fall between 0.5% – 0.8% of the asking price of the house.

I quickly follow up the first statement with the above statement. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to stage your house.

Remember, all of the above numbers refer to VACANT houses. Occupied houses are a completely different story.

Just last week we staged a very sweet house in Arlington .  The first step was a 2 hour walk-through consultation, which was paid for by the Realtor as a value added service to her clients. Home owners know they have to declutter, but they often don’t know what the next step is in presenting their house for sale. In this case, we talked about moving some furniture to open up spaces, replacing some larger furniture with smaller furniture to allow easier access through rooms, removing and/or switching some wall art, using their own decorative pieces for display, and the addition of a couple of lamps, art work, and greenery from Preferred Staging’s inventory.

One week later we came back and spent only 2 ½ hours at the house; the home owners had done the bulk of the work themselves already. The only items they had purchased were 2 new lamps for the master bedroom nightstands on my recommendation after a brief tutorial on table lamps and suggestions of where to buy them. I generally don’t encourage home owners to buy new items for staging a house unless it’s something they really need and can use in their new home, in which case it becomes an investment, not just a purchase. The final staging cost to the home owners – including the cost of new lamps – is just about $500. That’s 0.001% of the asking price of the house.

The Realtor was very pleased with the results, and the open house had over 20 couples.  The house is priced right and shows well – I’m sure I’ll hear back soon that it has sold.

All the Best,
Monica

703.851.2690

Preferred Staging

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,
 
Monica
703.851.2690
www.preferredstaging.com
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 realtor.com, “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,
Monica
703-851-2690 
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation