Posts Tagged ‘Washington DC real estate’

To Lawn Art or Not Lawn Art (Holiday Staging, Part 3)

November 20, 2008

Yesterday, we started with at the wreath, and I encouraged everyone to put a wreath on their front door – even if it is just a seasonal wreath (if Christmas is not celebrated in the home). Wreaths add an important element of curb appeal in an otherwise dreary winter landscape. Wreaths create a focal point that draws the buyer’s eye to the door, welcoming them in the home. Lastly, wreaths create a transition between the outside and the inside. You get a jump on a great first impression with an attractive wreath.

 

OK, for those of you who like to put out lawn decorations for the holidays, I have one word for you – DON’T. If your home is for sale, the last thing you want a buyer to see as they approach your home is something foreign in the lawn.

 

I know that many home owners have attachments to their special lawn ornaments. I appreciate that the holiday may seem a little empty with out the traditional display. When you home is for sale, you need to think about the purchaser, not yourself.

 

When a buyer approaches a home, any lawn decorations will be a distraction. The buyer’s eyes will be fixed on the object on the lawn, not the home behind it. If they cannot figure out what the decoration is (such as a deflated blow-up Santa, or a straw deer that is lit at night), they will spend more energy trying to guess. Guessing leads to uncertainty and distraction.

 

This recommendation holds true no matter where your home is: Northern Virginia, Washington DC or Maryland.

 

Tomorrow, we will talk about tasteful light displays.

 

All the Best,

 

Monica

703.851.2690

www.preferredstaging.com

the art of home preparation

Advertisements

Washington Post on Staging

November 15, 2008

Preferred Staging was featured in the Washington Post today, talking about how staging improves the salability of DC metro area homes. This was a big treat for us, coming on the heals of a Washington Times article.

Here are a few excerpts:

  • LaChapelle, for instance, gives much of the credit for her sale to her decision to have the home staged. She feared that an empty house would look too cold and barren.
  • “A vacant house leaves no impression on buyers. In the world of sales, no impression is the same as a negative impression,” said Jane Fairweather, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Bethesda. “If you’re only competing against vacant homes, you’re still okay. But if a buyer sees three vacant homes and then a fourth one that is done up smashingly, the buyer is going to remember that fourth home.”
  • “To really capture a sale, buyers need to be able to mentally move into the home they are considering,” Murphy (that’s me!) said. “When you stage a vacant home, you’re providing an example for a buyer. The worst thing you can do is make your potential buyer guess. You need to do the work for them.”

Read the rest of the post article here. The Washington Times article can be found here. Whew, ok, enough of the 15 minutes of fame, now back to helping people sell their homes!

If you are planning on selling your home, or your home is currently on the market and has not sold and you are in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC or suburban Maryland region, I would love to here from you!

All the best,

Monica
703.851.2690
www.preferredstaging.com
the art of home preparation

Condo Transformed in Alexandria, Virginia

November 3, 2008
Can Do Condos  
 
Looking back across the our back issues of our newsletter, I realized I have never featured a condo! I don’t know why, maybe the single family homes in Fairfax or Bethesda have more drama, there are more rooms to fill in the larger homes of Great Falls, Potomac, MD and Loudoun. Maybe the row houses in Washington DC have a story to tell, who knows! Well, here is our first condo staging story.  
 
We just finished this awesome condo in the Landmark area of Alexandria. This is a big unit with a western exposure. The listing agent, BJ Cyr, has a great photo of the sun setting as seen from the condo balcony. Take a look at the listing photos on BJ’s site. (Since the property was just staged, the listing phots do not reflect the staging.)
 
The living room was a very neutral gray, which goes with any decor. The track lighting allowed us to highlight art work on the walls.
 
Alexandria condo living room before home staging  Alexandria condo living room after home staging
 
The rooms where so large, that we actually placed the furniture against the walls. In this case the the rooms actually look bigger and allowed us to emphasize the stunning view from the 17th floor.
 
Alexandria condo living room before home staging  Alexandria condo living room after home staging
 
On-trend turquois paint in the master bedroom was very unique. With the right bedding, a very soothing environment is achieved.
 
Alexandria condo bed room before home staging  Alexandria condo bed room after home staging
 
With the open floor plan of a condo, you need to coordinate the transition between spaces. In this case, the sofa table in the living room (seen in the distance below) is a similar style to the dining room furniture.
 
Alexandria condo dining room before home staging  Alexandria condo dining room after home staging
 
Alexandria condo dining room before home staging  Alexandria condo dining room after home staging
 
The seller loved the results! She said she was considering moving back in!
All the Best,
 
703-851-2690 
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation
Serving Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC

Washington DC Stagers Featured

October 31, 2008

Preferred Staging was one of 2 staging companies featured in a prominent Washington Times real estate article this week. We were honored to have had the chance to participate. Our contribution focused primarily on staging vacant properties, but they used several before and after photos of our work, including occupied and vacant homes.

Staging is a new concept in Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland, but has been around for decades in other parts of the country. Some experts state that as many as 75% of high-end listed homes in California are staged. But, staging is not just for high end homes. Virtually any home will benefit from staging to help the home sell faster. We can do as little as walk thru the property and give you some ideas to a full home staging project – whatever fits the budget.

If your home is on the market or you are thinking of selling in the coming year, please give us a call. We would be happy to discuss your needs and plans.

All the best,

Monica

703.851.2690

Preferred Staging

the art of home preparation

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Showcase

October 30, 2008
Thank you, thank you!  Many thanks to the hundreds of you who stopped by the Preferred Staging booth at the NVAR Convention in Vienna, VA last Tuesday, October 21st.  We were the only staging company with a booth, and we were able to answer a lot of questions about staging, cost. We spent a lot of time talking with you about timing, how Preferred Staging works, and also how we market your staged properties after the staging is finished.  Lynn, Preferred Staging Project Manager, and I both truly enjoyed meeting so many wonderful REALTORS, the time just flew by!
Everyone is a winner
I’ve said it before, but I think it bears repeating – when house is staged, everyone is a winner. 
 
The home owner wins on many levels, because their staged house sells faster than houses that aren’t staged, and a faster sale means a reduction in carrying costs for them in continued mortgage and utility payments, and upkeep.  They also win because a staged home lessens the need for a price reduction, so they often sell closer to their asking price. 
 
The real estate agent wins because a staged home is its own best marketing tool, making your marketing efforts just that much easier.  Also, a faster sale means fewer marketing dollars you have to spend.  Of course a faster sale means you get your commission sooner, too. 
 
The buyer wins because they’re getting a house that is in top condition.  A staged home never hides anything; a staged home enhances the positives and works with the challenging parts of the house, thereby offering buyers solutions that they may not have considered. 
 
Preferred Staging wins, too.  As we told everyone at the NVAR convention, we’re in business to help sell houses, and when a house sells quickly, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we’ve done our job well.
 
All the best,
Monica
703-851-2690 
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation

AGENT: “I’VE NEVER USED A STAGER BEFORE…” (PART 2)

October 1, 2008

In the last post, I wrote about the first steps Preferred Staging takes when you call us and schedule an appointment to see a listing, including consultations and proposals.  So, now what happens when you have the proposal and we’re good to go?
 
Well, let’s start with the proposal first.  Preferred Staging’s proposals outline what rooms and areas are to be staged, and how much time we believe it will take us to stage the property and de-stage when the house has sold.  We also provide a general list of accessories from our inventory that will be used, which runs the gamut from lamps, mirrors, rugs, and wall art, to place settings, floral arrangements, towels, and those extras that really make a room feel welcoming and inviting.  The final part of our proposal includes the cost of rental furniture, if necessary.
 
If everything is acceptable, then Preferred Staging emails the client (whomever is paying for the staging) a Letter of Agreement.  If rental furniture is needed, then the rental company will email a separate contract.  Preferred Staging only facilitates the contract, which is between the client and the rental company.
 
Once all signatures and deposits are received, then a delivery and staging date is scheduled, usually about 3-5 business days after signing the contract.  We usually arrive at the property in the early morning (around 8am), unload the accessories, and then start to create wonderful rooms and spaces that will entice potential buyers to linger and envision themselves living in the house – a crucial first step in the buying process.  Along the way, we also manage the furniture delivery and set up, hang pictures, set tables, make beds, create spas in the bathrooms…we virtually move in!
 
The time it takes to stage a house depends on how big the property is and how much staging is needed.  A 2 bedroom condo can be completed in about 8 hours, while a 4,000 square foot house can take 3 days.  Each house is unique – in its layout, square footage, price point, what rooms need to be staged, etc. – which is why it’s virtually impossible to provide an estimate over the phone.
 
Next, I’ll tell you how Preferred Staging keeps working for you, even after the staging is completed. 

All the best,
Monica
703-851-2690 
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation

Washington DC Row House Staged and Sold

August 6, 2008
 
Staged and Under Contract in 6 Weeks
 
This DC row house was something of a budget challenge. The client wanted nice, but not expensive.
 
Hey, we can do that! Instead of a full staging in each of the rooms, we went with staging the living room, the room buyers would see immediately upon entering the home. We did a small vignette in the dining area and a few pieces in the master bedroom.
 
Washington DC Living Room Before Home Staging  Washington DC Living Room After Home Staging
 
 Washington DC house entrance before home staging  Washington DC house entrance after home staging
 
 asp logo  DC bedroom after home staging
 
These touches were just enough to give buyers a sense of space and what could be done with the rooms. Can’t argue with success. Staged, listed and under contract in 6 weeks.
 
Check out MLS #DC6738918 if you are curious.
 
If you have a vacant, please talk to us about staging! 

All the Best,

703-851-2690 
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation

Keeping your Washington DC Lawn Looking Great Will Attract Buyers

June 15, 2008

Wow, It’s Hot!

Well after a long wet spring, summer is upon us. With real estate closings happening in days rather than months, there is still plenty of time for buyers to get into their dream home before the new school year starts.
 
Dream home. That has a nice sound to it…”dreeeam hommme.” What do people think about when they say the words “dream home?” In Arlington, it may be a Cape Cod, with a white picket fence. In Potomac, your dream home may be an all brick federal mansion with a circular drive. Whatever the image, chances are there is a lawn involved. We did say “dream home” not “dream condo.”
 
So as the weather heats up, home sellers must start applying water to their lawn regularly. I am talking every 3 days regular, otherwise… Which home do you think will sell first?
 
asp logo   asp logo 
 
Well, unless someone has a Charlie Brown complex and feels the need to buy the saddest looking thing and nurse it back to health, I predict the home with the lush green lawn will sell first. When the temperatures get into the 90s, watering regularly will keep you grass green. Make sure the watering is a deep watering, at least 40 minutes with a regular sprinkler. Deep watering provides a moisture source for several days.
 
A couple of things to remember: Experts suggest watering in the morning to prevent fungus from developing from grass that is wet overnight regularly. If you can’t water in the morning, be prepared to use a fungicide on the lawn proactively according to the package instructions.
 
Always remove the hose from the yard. I know it is a lot of work, but the lawn should appear to be trouble free, and a sprinkler and hose shatter that image.
 
Let the lawn grow a little longer. Most homes in the Northern Virginia, Suburban Maryland and Washington, DC have a fescue or some other type of tall, narrow leaf grass. These are very hardy grasses that will thrive up to 6 inches in length. Keeping the grass trimmed to 3 inches shades the roots, helping to keep the grass cool and green, and the longer leaf helps to fill in bare spots.
 
Remember, it is much easier to keep grass from going dormant than it is to force it out of dormancy after the fact. A regular watering program with a preventive fungus plan will give you a lawn that buyers will want to walk through to get to the front door!
All the Best,
 
703-851-2690 
Preferred Staging
the art of home preparation