Posts Tagged ‘staging’

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 for ROI on home improvements for sellers:


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,


Lighting the Way to Your Home Sale (Holiday Home Staging, Part 4)

November 21, 2008

OK, so now we move to the topic of holiday lighting. If you have just joined us, this is Part 4 in a series of holiday decoration articles specifically written for homes for sale in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland markets. If you live here, you’ve come to the right place. If you don’t, well, you are welcome too!


You can review previous topics here:

Part 1: Keeping the Holidays While Your Home is on the Market

Part 2: Wreaths Around Washington DC

Part 3: To Lawn Art or Not Lawn Art


This is Part 4: Lighting the Way to Your Home Sale (cute, huh!).


OK, so we have created a focal point to the home with an attractive seasonal (rather than holiday) wreath hanging on the front door. During the day, that is all I recommend. Any other visible decorations serve as a distraction. At night, however, we need something more.


When your home is for sale, the lighting I recommend is a spot or flood light illuminating the home. Look at it this way, it gets dark around 6pm during the short days of winter. If a buyer wants to drive by a home after they get off of work, or better, they are testing the commute to your home (that’s a great buying sign!), you want the buyer to be able to see the home! If all they can see is a dark shadow sitting back from the road, what type of impression will that leave?


Sure there are exceptions to this recommendation…if you live where a spot light will annoy your neighbors, or the home is well illuminated with street lighting and a spotlight would be washed out you may want to go another route…tomorrow, we discuss tasteful holiday lights.


All the Best,


Monica Murphy


the art of home preparation