Preparing Your Washington DC Home For Sale: Common Knowledge Is Only Part of It


Common knowledge has it that cleaning and decluttering your home prior to putting it on the market is a wise investment. However, home sellers in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC who want to get the absolute most for their home will go a step beyond cleaning and decluttering…they will stage their home.

Why stage? Because statistics show that a well-staged home sells for significantly more money than an unstaged home. In fact, several independent sources put the value of staging a home at 5% or more of the home’s value. Doing the math, that means that for every $100,000 of your home’s value, you may earn another $5,000 when you sell by staging.

If your home is worth $200,000, then we are talking an extra $10,000 in your pocket after the sale. If your home is worth $300,000, then your return will be around $15,000. You get the idea. Staging pays off in a big way!

These numbers are just from the increase in sales value of a staged home. But these same studies also show that staged homes sell faster. To understand the total return on a home that has been well staged, we need to include the amount of time a staged home stays on the market, relative to an unstaged home.

In my practice, our staged homes in the Washington DC metro area typically sell in about a one-third of the time of other homes on the market. That means, if homes typically stay on the market for 60 days in your area, a staged home might be expected to sell in just 20 days. That saves you months of extra mortgage payments, taxes and utility bills. These are collectively referred to as “carrying costs.” A good estimate for carrying costs avoided due to a faster sale is about 1% - 2% of your home’s value.

Our own home staging statistics for the Washington DC market confirm these independent studies.

Lastly, the longer a home sits on the market, the more likely it is to experience a price reduction. Reductions in the list price of a home typically range from 5% - 10% of the original asking price. If a staged home sells faster, there is usually no need for a reduction in asking price.

So, staging your home returns dollars to you in the following ways:

·       Increases the attractiveness of the home, resulting in a higher sales price

·       Sells the home quickly, avoiding carrying costs

·       A home that sells quickly is far less likely to require a price reduction to entice a buyer

The good news is that it is never too late to begin.  Even if your home is already on the market, you can make simple changes that will dramatically improve your home’s market potential.  If you have more time, then more can be done.  No matter what your situation, this book will help you identify where to start and what to do.

 If you are interested in learning more about home staging in Washington DC go to our home page and browse around.. 

If you are considering selling your home in Washington DC, Virginia or Maryland and wish to use home staging, sign up for our newsletter and receive a complimentary home preparation guide. Both the newsletter and the guide will direct you in the best preparation projects to ready your home for sale.