Professional Marketing Involves Elbow Grease

Professional Marketing Involves Elbow Grease

Six years ago, in a very different market when only the hottest homes sold in a matter of days, it was not at all unusual for a single family home to take one to two months to sell. Looking back at the first six months of 2015, the average days on market was forty-five. It was during this time a couple called, disappointed their home hadn’t sold after seventy days with their former listing agent.

Based on what I was seeing online, it seemed the listing agent prior had put in zero effort into advising this couple on what to do to sell. The sellers were eager for advice and did the preparation I advised. Taking it one more step, I helped them edit their rooms to make the home show perfectly and do some staging.

My favorite contrast in how I market is a comparison shot between the previous shot of the hot tub and mine.


A little effort goes a long way. Simply removing the cover of the hot tub would have made a much improved photo. Adding a little fluff just elevated it that much more. It sells the luxury of having a hot tub and invokes a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. And this wasn’t expensive. Every staging item was purchased at the dollar store or donated by the owner for the photo. The home was under contract in eleven days…in less than half the average marketing time of that period.

Back then I was still taking my own listing photos. Now when I remove hot tub covers to actually show a hot tub (always awkward and cumbersome, but so worth it,) the professional photos look even better. Selling a home is one thing. Selling the lifestyle of a home is what gets you the highest offers the market will bear.

Professional photos in this day and age are a MUST

Professional marketing is what makes a property get bid even higher than a competing listing, even in a frenzied seller’s market. Who you hire to list your home matters just as much now as it did when the market demand was slower. It shows more in your bottom line than in marketing time these days, but still creates that buyer enthusiasm that boosts your home above the competition, or most recent sales, like a rocket.

Get in touch with me when you are considering the sale of your home and find out how my professional marketing and attention to details will make you even more money than you imagined.

With a Little Help From My Friends

With a Little Help From My Friends

The other day I was wondering whether our impending snow storm was going to deter buyers from house hunting. The roads were quite nasty, so I have a feeling it did. Having a north facing driveway, I had to reach out to a friend to bring me salt to melt the ice that was covering it. Thank goodness she was able to hook me up and drop off that care package. It made getting out to put some staging touches on my Heritage Hunt condo listing possible today.

Arriving at the condo this afternoon with two BJ’s Wholesale bags full of staging stuff, I was greeted by the Heritage Hunt decorating committee of 7065 Heritage Hunt Drive. These ladies love to make their building common areas festive. Unfortunately, they were down to one vase of flowers when it came to the main level lobby. Knowing one of them personally, she introduced me to her fellow neighbors and they asked if they could see the home. Of course! The more eyes on the place the better.

Well, the decorating committee came in and made short work of my staging. It was fun to show them the difference something as simple as a torch lamp on a switched outlet can make to a home. Or how much a cookbook and some towels can warm up a kitchen. Even something like a pop of color on a bathroom counter just makes a property more inviting. I believe they may have found another decorating hobby. And since they live in these condos themselves, their help with rearranging a table to show more space was super helpful.

What a great happenstance to have crossed paths with the decorating committee.

Fun with Staging

Fun with Staging

Whenever I meet with Bristow and Gainesville home sellers about listing their home, staging is a subject that inevitably comes up. Staging isn’t about emptying the entire contents of your home and putting in rental furniture, though some sellers seem to think that is what staging entails.

Staging starts with editing the items in your home to make sure that people can see themselves living them. Doing things like maximizing counter space, minimizing personal pictures and personal items are essential. Other minor details to keep your home looking neat and clean are key like making beds and keeping the kitchen sink clear of dirty dishes are just as important.

Sometimes rearranging furniture in a room to show more space and have more room to walk through the home is important. On occasion I may bring in bedding that is not as dated to show a more modern feel to a guest room than a hand-me-down comforter whose pattern may be confused with grandma’s wallpaper. Staging is about simplifying the space and making it more inviting.

Having fun with staging is the cherry on top. I’ve seen Scrabble boards, like the one pictured above, in basement rec rooms. Or chalk boards walls that the owners have designed a fun or welcoming message. Creativity in staging is something I’m happy to help you explore.

What a Difference a Fake Bed Makes in a Vacant Bedroom

What a Difference a Fake Bed Makes in a Vacant Bedroom

The picture above is of a vacant bedroom. It’s got fresh carpet and paint and shows well. However, not having any furnishings it is going to be difficult for buyers to imagine what furniture will fit in there.

Enter my light staging touches that bring the bedroom to life.

A queen size air mattress on top of four medium moving boxes, along with a flat sheet for a bed skirt and comforter to cover the air mattress and a bedroom comes to life. The queen size bed will not only warm up the space and make it welcoming, it will let a buyer touring the home know how much space they actually have in this bedroom.

The same goes for lighting in bedrooms that have no overhead lights. In Northern Virginia, it is typical to have switched outlets in each bedroom.

A bedroom that is vacant during a fall or winter listing can cause other problems…not being to actually SEE the room itself. What does a top notch Northern Virginia Listing Agent do to solve that problem? Get a standing floor lamp and plugging it into the switched outlet makes showing the home easy.

Sure it isn’t as wonderful as the fake bed next door, but there is no need to overdo the staging when for safety and being able to see the space, only light is needed.

Are you ready to sell your home and want a Listing Agent that isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and help put your home look fabulous for professional photo day and for touring buyers? Give me a call. Even if your home is not vacant, I can help you edit your own items to make the best of the space you have to offer.

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