Every house that goes on the market has a personality. Sometimes that personality is obvious. Other times, it needs a boost
The story that unfolded at 9510 Saybrook Avenue was a perfect example of how a little coaxing – in this case, some expert staging – can really make a house shine.
Initially, the house was listed by an agent who was the sellers’ friend. Together they decided the home would sell quickly without paying much attention to presentation.
On the one hand, their high hopes for an easy sale was understandable. The house clearly had potential, even when viewed from the curb. With an arched front door, a large attic window and Tudor styling, it was a distinctive property in the coveted Indian Spring community. Decorative stonework in the brick chimney added a touch of character. The home also had a large back yard and was nicely located – not far from the Beltway as well as the popular Silver Spring YMCA.
The interior offered promise, too. The kitchen was modest but included several recent upgrades. Brazilian floors highlighted the home’s well-chosen wood features. The living room included a wood-burning fireplace. A heated porch was available for year-round use. And beneath the eaves on the top floor awaited a unique but underused space just begging to become a master bedroom.
Yet, the Saybrook property sat on the market for more than two months without a nibble. The problem had everything to do with presentation.
The main culprit was darkness. The wood floors were dark. The walls were painted with gray and other dull colors. The ceiling on the top floor was nicely stained – but it, too, was dark. And during the home’s initial listing, it was largely unstaged – no rugs, artwork and little furniture. The rooms echoed dreary emptiness.
At the Donna Kerr Group, we were thrilled when the seller asked for our help. With our design team at the ready, and an intimate understanding of recent trends in the neighborhood, we were itching to help the sellers get the return they deserve.
The strategy was simple: take every step necessary to brighten the house in ways that would help buyers visualize the satisfaction they’d feel by moving into this distinctive home.
Our complimentary staging was invaluable. Light-colored rugs were carefully chosen for each room. Couches, beds and tables were selected not only according to size but because their colors added brightness. Lamps illuminated the shadows in every corner. Even the framed pieces of art were chosen for their potential to brighten.
One of the most important transformations occurred in the attic, which had great potential because of the large arched window. Bright master bedroom furniture was added. A large bed covered with a fluffy comforter, framed by nightstands and reading lights, was positioned perfectly in a cozy nook.
The overall result was fantastic. Painting, staging and lighting were completed in seven days. And one week later, the house was under contract!
As the DKG team has learned many times over, selling a house is about more than advertising its number of bedrooms and square footage. It’s about understanding the potential of buyers to make an emotional connection with their future home.
At the Saybrook property, success was achieved in just two weeks with DKG after two months on the market with another firm. We can’t wait for the next chance to make a home shine!