staging: A Georgetown, Washington, DC Condo Transformed - 05/19/11 06:32 AM
Last week we staged a fabulous one bedroom condo in a prime Georgetown location, right across the street from Rose Park.  This unit has a really wonderful open floor plan with a full kitchen and eat-in area, but what we really loved was the living room with the transom lights and access to the beautiful communal courtyard.
Before we could stage, however, we needed to do some painting.  The previous owner had painted the walls for how they lived there, but it was what I call "style specific" and would probably not appeal to the general buying public.  After some careful research, … (10 comments)

staging: When the Renters Have Moved Out - 03/02/11 12:35 AM
Over the past 3 years I've done quite a few consultations and proposals for home owners who rent their properties but have decided to sell them rather than continue renting.  The situation is usually that the renters have moved out already, or are getting ready to move out, but sometimes they're still there when the house or condo goes on the market.  This last scenario can create some difficulty in selling the house.  Renters have no vested interest in getting the property sold, and they're probably not amenable to having people come through the view the house.  Not only do they … (7 comments)

staging: Look What A Small Investment Can Do! - 03/19/10 01:31 AM
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 … (13 comments)

staging: "Its Not MY Job" - Part 2 - 02/16/10 02:25 PM
"Its Not MY Job" - Part 2 is the continuation of the story started in "Its Not MY Job" Doesn't Get You the Job, or My Respect".
More of the story- the owner of the property had passed away (yes, I wrote a previous blog where another house was staged under similar circumstances), and if I remember correctly, a lawyer representing family that lived out of state was executor of the estate and found the Realtor.  The Realtor was smart to realize that odd shaped rooms with interior elements that were out of date would need staging (e.g., full length mirrors along walls, etc.).  … (14 comments)

staging: "It's Not MY Job" Doesn't Get You The Job, or My Respect - 02/15/10 09:46 AM
“It’s not MY job” doesn’t get you the job, or my respect. Allow me to elaborate.
Not too long ago Preferred Staging was hired to stage a small vacant property. I did a consultation with the Realtor prior to the staging and made a few suggestions, some “stronger” than others. For example, the light fixture in the powder room was not only about 25 years old, but it was filthy and missing a few light bulbs. I strongly suggested a new, updated fixture – something from Home Depot or Lowes that wouldn’t cost more than $50 or so, and would have … (41 comments)

staging: Controlled Creative CHAOS - 02/02/10 02:41 PM
Staging vacant homes are always a lot of fun for Preferred Staging.  It's a great creative challenge to walk into an empty house and then envision how it will look furnished and accessorized.  Although it's not quite as simple as it sounds.  Room measurements, zones (like space between furniture, walking paths, dining versus living, etc.), floor and wall colors, windows placements, and natural light all have to be taken into consideration.
We staged this fabulously renovated 1937 townhouse on 4th St. SE in Washington, DC.  The developer had really made this a showcase house with a huge kitchen, wonderful modern baths, … (21 comments)

staging: Staging in 3 Days??? - 01/16/10 02:00 PM
An excellent post by Deena Cottingham of Greenapple Staging and Images caught my attention.  I wish I had written it myself because this time of year, we get a lot of these requests..."My house is going on the market in 3 days, can you help?" or "Our vacant's first open is this weekend, can you stage it by then?"  
Well, my attitude is that anything is possible. Fortunately, Preferred Staging has a team of professional stagers, so chances are good that we can accomodate the homeowner.  Further, Preferred Staging is the biggest staging client of one of the largest furniture rental companies … (9 comments)

staging: Going GREEN - The Natural Way and the Faux Way - 01/03/10 03:54 AM
I just read an HGTV article about going green the natural way... so to speak.  No, its not about using chemical free cleaners or HEPA filters, but rather the natural air cleaning qualities of house plants.  Yes, house plants.
I grew up with lots of house plants, and have always had plants wherever I lived.  I guess I inherited my green thumb from my father, who grew up on a self-sustaining farm and even now, in his early 80's, is still an avid gardener.  And one of the first things you learn in science class about plants is that they absorb carbon … (5 comments)

staging: Minimal Costs for Maximum Results - 11/14/09 10:58 PM
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 - it all depends on what the homeowner and Realtor want.
I'm … (2 comments)

staging: “I’VE NEVER USED A STAGER BEFORE…” PART 2 - 07/28/09 04:47 AM
Last week I wrote about the first steps Preferred Staging takes when you call us and schedule an appointment to see your 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 - from loading the accessories we bring to the house to de-staging when the house has sold.  We also provide a general list of accessories from our … (0 comments)

staging: It's what you expect in Georgetown, right? - 07/24/09 09:37 AM

Well, yes and no.  I guess it depends on what you're looking for.  When I think of Georgetown, I think of a historic town that was there before Washington, DC, cobblestone streets, and elegant homes with tall ceilings and fabulous crown moldings, decorated in the latest fashions from England and France.  Of course, that's the architectural historian in me coming out.  But we all know that's not what Georgetown is really like.  It's certainly not the experience of some of my family members who attended Georgetown University.  For them, it was more urban with trendy stores and great restaurants.
So … (6 comments)

staging: "I've Never Used A Stager Before..." Part 2 - 07/24/09 09:00 AM
Last week I wrote about the first steps Preferred Staging takes when you call us and schedule an appointment to see your 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 - from loading the accessories we bring to the house to de-staging when the house has sold.  We also provide a general list of accessories from our … (0 comments)

staging: "I've never used a stager before..." Part 1 - 07/10/09 04:12 PM
Of all the phone calls and inquiries I receive, one of the most common comments I hear is, "I've never used a stager before... so I'm really not sure how all of this works".
Actually, the process is quite simple.  Generally, you tell us what you need and want and we take care of the rest.  Well, maybe it's not that simple, but that's not too far from the truth, and it really is quite painless.
Each staging company has their own menu of services and fees, so make sure the company can do whatever it is you want.  Preferred Staging … (2 comments)

staging: A Magic Garden in the Bath - 07/08/09 10:24 AM
A couple of weeks ago we completed staging a beautiful contemporary single-family home in Reston, Virginia. The house is beautiful and the furnishings are quite nice, but there were a few pieces missing here and there, and the overall presentation lacked that oh-so-important "wow" factor (or "umph", as I like to sometimes say), especially since you enter almost directly into the living room. 
  
As is the case with virtually all occupied stagings, all the pieces are in the house, but they're just not in the right room or in the right place.  In the master bedroom, for example, the bed was … (0 comments)

staging: A Magic Garden in the Bathroom - 07/08/09 10:13 AM
A couple of weeks ago we completed staging a beautiful contemporary single-family home in Reston, Virginia. The house is beautiful and the furnishings are quite nice, but there were a few pieces missing here and there, and the overall presentation lacked that oh-so-important "wow" factor (or "umph", as I like to sometimes say), especially since you enter almost directly into the living room. 
  
As is the case with virtually all occupied stagings, all the pieces are in the house, but they're just not in the right room or in the right place.  In the master bedroom, for example, the bed was … (12 comments)

staging: Zoning Issues & Unusual Spaces - 07/05/09 12:22 AM
We staged an absolutely charming house in Arlington, Virginia.  It's on the "quite" part of North Glebe Road, and sits up and back a bit from the street.  It looks like many other homes in the area, but looks can be deceiving.  This house is about 3,000 square feet, with 4 good sized bedrooms, a finished family room in the basement, and 2 fireplaces.  The screened porch leads to a large fenced backyard.
The front entrance has a bit of a hall, but then opens up to an absolutely huge living room with beautiful hardwood floors and a large bay window.  … (2 comments)

staging: The Importance of the Call Back - 06/26/09 11:36 AM
I received a call from a realtor who lives in Northern Virginia wanting to know if I would come out to the Baltimore area to stage her house.  The realtor really wanted a stager from the Northern Virginia area, as she would potentially use them again for local listings.  In essence, it was a trial run.  Now, Baltimore is a bit of a drive for me, but I've staged a home in Annapolis, and the drive is really not much longer than what some people commute everyday, so I agreed.
This gorgeous house is located in Reistertown, Maryland, and was worth … (8 comments)

staging: "I've never used a stager before..." Part 1 - 11/14/08 04:40 AM
Of all the phone calls and inquiries I receive, one of the most common comments I hear is, "I've never used a stager before... so I'm really not sure how all of this works".
Actually, the process is quite simple.  Generally, you tell us what you need and want and we take care of the rest.  Well, maybe it's not that simple, but that's not too far from the truth, and it really is quite painless.
Each staging company has their own menu of services and fees, so make sure the company can do whatever it is you want.  Preferred Staging … (0 comments)

staging: Staging for the Inaguration - 11/14/08 04:11 AM
I received a phone call the other day from a gentleman who owns a house in Maryland, not far from Washington, DC.  He's preparing to move at the end of the month, and wanted his house staged to help facilitate a quick sale.  But he also had a means of helping to pay for the staging, and that was to rent his staged house during Inaguration Week for visitors!
It's quite a clever plan.  Hotels in the area are already booked solid, and of course it would cost a tremendous amount of money for a family of 4 or 5 to … (9 comments)

 
Monica Murphy, ASP, IAHSP, RESA (Preferred Staging, LLC)

Monica Murphy

ASP, IAHSP, RESA

Potomac Falls, VA

More about me…

Preferred Staging, LLC

Address: Potomac Falls, VA, 20165

Office: (703) 851-2690

Mobile: (703) 851-2690

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