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Home Staging and Presentation for Sellers

Why Home Staging is Important When Selling a DC Home

DC home staging and presentation are important components of the home selling process.  Statistics show that staged homes sell faster and at a higher price than empty homes or furnished homes that are not staged. Survey results show a home seller can achieve up to 300% ROI (return on investment) and realize a contract in far fewer Days On Market when their home is professionally staged.

DC Home Staging “Rules”

According to the scientific study by Duke University, these are the top 15 staging rules listed in order of importance:  
  • Remove of personal items from bathrooms
  • Use rooms for their intended purpose
  • Remove evidence of pets
  • Turn on every light in the home during showings
  • Vacant homes should be furnished
  • Remove garbage cans from sight
  • Remove personal photographs
  • Remove attention-grabbing or personal art/accessories
  • Neutral paint colors on all walls
  • Remove small appliances and accessories/tools from kitchen counters
  • Never placing the back of furniture to any room entrance
  • “Tell a story” with staging
  • Sheer, raised, or no coverings on all windows
  • Discriminating use of scented candles, plug-in air fresheners or potpourri (a clean home is the best scent of all!)

Transforming Spaces With Staging

Appealing to Your Target Demographic

You’ve made necessary repairs, painted, de-cluttered with a vengeance and cleaned the home from top to bottom with extra emphasis on bathrooms and kitchen. You and your real estate agent have researched, discussed and pinpointed your target home buyer using demographics, local market data and neighborhood impressions. Staging & presentation will determine what you say to those prospective buyers, and create a persona for the home that will convey that message.
Your goal is to sell the home more quickly and for the best possible price by diminishing flaws and playing up attributes. With proper staging and presentation of your DC home, you can create the illusion that small space is larger, dark space is lighter, awkward space is useful and compartmentalized space has good ‘flow.’
Many buyers often say they “just knew” when they walked into the house they purchased. They felt it reflected their personalities, style and needs. Rather than luck, this is often the result of good staging and buyer research. Buyers will purchase a home that doesn’t meet all their structural criteria if it is designed well enough to “feel like (their) home.”

Create Staging “Moments”

Good DC home staging creates “moments” in each room that are consistent with the chosen “persona” of the home, but relate particularly to the use of the space and play up its best features–those buyers value most. Buyers will remember these moments and talk about them later. They’re “tags” for your home, so make them great!

Staging vs Decorating

Aren’t decorating and home staging the same thing? Not at all. We decorate spaces to our taste and often create rooms with strong colors and statements we like. But 9 out of 10 buyers are turned off by strong colors, patterns, collectibles and overpowering styles. They find it hard to see themselves in a space so definitively someone else’s. Staging should appeal to the ideal buyer demographic in your particular market and price point and allow the buyer to see themselves in the space. Neutral, de-personalized, uncluttered space is a clean palette for buyers’ imaginations.  Good staging accomplishes this, while suggesting the best use for each space, alluding to spaciousness and practicality even where none exists. So when your stager and agent start discussing the rearrangement or total reimagining of your home, don’t take it personally. If they offered their own home for sale, chances are they’d do exactly the same. Every seller wants the highest net price possible for their home!

How The Pros Do It

Professional stagers are designers skilled in making a home feel perfect whatever its flaws, and in creating spaces that not only appeal to the eye and the other four senses, but to the imagination. They know when to stop before it is “too much,” how to make small or disproportionate rooms look large and symmetrical and whip up sumptuousness on a budget. Balance, theme, color palette, texture, sensory stimulants… all are components of professional DC home staging.

Professional DC Home Staging Cost

Consider hiring a professional stager prior to listing your home. A stager can provide a consultation to point out potential problem areas, offer ideas on playing up the home’s attributes and create value that spurs buyers to make higher offers. How much does it cost? Plans vary by staging company, level of sophistication, home size and deadline. Ask your agent for recommendations and bids.


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Serving the neighborhoods of Northwest DC, Northeast DC, Southeast DC and Southwest DC including Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Crestwood, Capitol Hill, H Street, Kalorama, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, Georgetown, West End, Burleith, Foggy Bottom, Shaw, LeDroit Park, Bloomingdale, U Street, Penn Quarter, Mt. Vernon Triangle, Palisades, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, Barnaby Woods, American University Park, Observatory Circle, Forest Hills, Woodley Park, FoxHall, 14th Street Corridor, U Street Corridor, Meridian Hill, Hill East, Barracks Row, Eastern Market and portions of Northern Virginia including Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Great Falls, Fairfax, Vienna and Falls Church.
Refer to your agent and a professional stager for advice on your home. Information provided on this page is intended for the purpose of illustration. Individual circumstances and properties vary. Resources cited are believed to be accurate but are not guaranteed and are subject to change without notice.
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