Friday, February 21, 2014

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Customer Service Matters for Stagers

One of the pillars of our company philosophy at Parker Interiors is to provide superior customer service.  We aim to be the definition of customer service. Almost anyone who has dealt with us can confirm that to be true.  Beyond transforming spaces, we do our very best to do it with a smile ;-) no matter how challenging the circumstance.  Certainly, customer service is more than an ever-present smile. It is literally the degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize a business. Our goal is to consistently provide the highest degree of assistance and courtesy to our valued clients and customers.

Staging is a people business. We conduct our work in the midst of real people’s lives. It is actually more the norm than not that we find ourselves in the middle of a pre-existing storyline.  We have assisted clients who were recently widowed, numerous clients whose homes were under water, clients who were on the verge of giving birth, clients who had just lost their job, clients who have listed, unlisted and relisted several times, clients who invested thousands of dollars in repairs and upgrades and still no offer, and so on and so on and so on.  Selling real estate can be a complicated and meticulous process by itself.  When I meet with clients, I know that one of my tasks, in addition to providing professional staging advice, is to be friendly, caring, supportive- and PATIENT. When staging occupied homes, especially, we are intruders, changing the way our clients live- from a comfortable home to something significantly more sterile like the set of a movie or a hotel lobby. I know and I sympathize with how annoying the whole thing is.  The last thing our clients need is a fussy, demanding stager.  Our regular clients know that, if nothing else, we will be responsive, accessible, and professional. No matter how grumpy the client gets, we promise to remain PATIENT and we stage it with a smile!

Parker Interiors is a professional home staging company, based in Washington, DC.  Since 2009, Parker Interiors has staged over $150M in homes. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Top Four Budget Staging Tips

A reader of one my recent blog postings noted that there was very little difference in the effect of less expensive stagings and stagings that cost more money- when it comes to time on the market. Honestly, I have noticed this myself on occasion.  If this is indeed the case, I believe that its just more evidence that staging works. Even the most basic staging can be enough to ignite a potential buyer’s imagination.  

You don’t have to spend a lot to have an effective staging.  However, there’s an art to knowing where to reduce costs and where to invest your precious dollars.
Here are my ‘Top 4 Budget Staging Tips’:
o    Choose your battles- Know where to apply resources and what to ‘let slide’.  Keep in mind that staging is not interior design.  It is real estate marketing.  Add beauty wherever possible but don’t kill your budget by aiming for perfection.
o   Identify and maximize your focal points- What aspects of the room do you notice right away? Address them first. It can be as simple as a basket, a tree or a small piece of art.  Wherever the eye goes first in the room can never be left naked.
o   Shop smart- Know when, where and how to invest in value and quality. Many of the pieces you’ll need can be found at discount stores like Ross, Target or Marshall's. And then there are other pieces like art, accent pillows and lamps where you really want to invest in quality.
o   Identify your likely obstacles and apply resources- Is there an unbelievable small master bedroom, a dining room where you wouldn’t expect it or a low ceiling? Use your resources smartly by purchasing whatever is necessary to get ahead of potential points of resistance. If the ceiling is low, use ‘to-scale furniture’.  If the master bedroom is small, make sure there's a fabulous bed with height and use floor lamps.

Parker Interiors is the best value for staging in Washington DC area. Please visit our website, for more information about our services and a gallery of recent stagings.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hurry, Hurry Stage & Sell

If you are planning to list a property in  November and December, you better plan to stage it.  Your peers sure are.  Odds are that several of the comparables for your property will be staged.  Unless you're ok with listing your home for less than its worth, you'd better be making plans to stage it or to hire a professional staging company.

October was a hectic month for home stagers in the area. The rush to stage and sell before the weather really turns and budgets shift towards the holidays, drove a mad rush of staging requests.  And it makes perfect sense. Staged properties sell faster.  They have more of an impact.  They encourage buyers to act on their impulse faster by creating an emotional attachment.  

The rush to list properties also means that there will be a lot of properties for motivated buyers to choose from. Despite the apparent sellers market, properties still need to be competitive to move quickly.  Yes, they will all sell eventually based on market demand- but how quickly they sell and what they sell for are variables that most people cannot afford to overlook.  Realtors tell me that interest rates are going up, not down.  This means that buyers will be paying more, and likewise they are expecting more.  Beautiful, professional staging gives buyers the feeling that they're getting  what they’re paying for.  And yes, they understand that the furniture doesn’t convey when they buy it. They could care less about the actual furniture. Selling real estate and staging are fundamentally about igniting the imagination and inspiring possibility. So if you're planning to list a property for sale this winter, go ahead and 'lean in" and put your very best effort forward. 

Starting next week we will have a special  $1550 rate for condos.  Contact Parker Interiors to schedule your staging today.  With over $100M in staged properties, we are the best value for professional staging in the Washington, DC area. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hot Market, Ditch the Staging??

The market in Washington, DC is on fire.  So should you scrap the staging? As a stager, one would predict that my answer would be a resounding –NO.  And it IS but not for personal reasons solely. It’s a fact that even in competitive markets, staged homes sell faster and for more money

It’s also a fact that real estate markets are heating up, especially in DC.  At certain prices and in certain places, there is a housing shortage- just not enough houses on the market to meet the demand.
With conditions like these, there is a natural tendency for homeowners and builders to cut corners and for Realtors not to press as hard on staging.  Sometimes it makes perfect sense.  There’s an offer on the table before it’s listed. Or there’s an offer before it’s staged.  And some places really don’t need it.  If the demand is high and conditions are perfect, there’s no need to invest the extra money.

But then there are the OTHERS- awkward rooms, tiny rooms, big rooms for no reason, no dining area, bathrooms in odd places, dated fixtures, strange paint selections, wallpaper and backsplashes, dated appliances, etc.

You know the ones. They still need staging.  Just do it.

I recently staged a house in a super hot neighborhood where the owners thought they didn’t need to invest anything in the curb appeal of the property, based on the FALSE assumption that they’d get top dollar and it would sell quickly- regardless of how it looked or smelled.  Well, as you can imagine, the house sat and sat and sat until the owners finally took it off the market.

Resist the temptation to cut corners. It usually doesn't work, even in a hot market.

Likewise, we have staged condo after condo recently where the staging has been critical and in each case, they sold rather quickly.  The agents on these properties noted that the staging is really what sealed the deal for buyers on the fence. And what kept the deal from falling through.  Professional staging is more than just furniture in a room.  Professional staging creates an emotional attachment that motivates unmotivated or lukewarm buyers—so just do it! Even in a superhot markets. It works.

With over $70M in staged homes, Parker Interiors is the best value in staging in the Washington, DC area., 202-431-1229 .

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Parker Interiors Partners With Long & Foster

Parker Interiors is now a participating service provider with Long and Foster's Home Service Connections!