Setting the Stage to Sell

Why stage your home? A well-staged home appeals to buyers’ emotions and to a sought-after lifestyle, thereby increasing demand and market value. Builders have historically gone to great expense to stage their model homes; Edmund Bennett staged his models in Carderock Springs, too.  This 1963 Clubview model home, with its clean lines and open floor plan, was staged to sell an informal lifestyle. And that 60s style is popular again today


What is staging?  Staging is redecorating, de-cluttering and de-personalizing your home to maximize its appeal to potential buyers. Staging may include rearranging existing furniture or removing specific pieces and replacing them with more attractive ones. It nearly always includes repainting the interior and/or exterior where needed and refinishing wood floors.  Accessorizing with select pieces provides the finishing touches. Professional staging sets the stage for a quick sale at the highest price possible.  

Where do you begin?  I offer my clients a complimentary consultation with a professional stager, then work with them to "thin out" and refresh. Paring down 30-40 years of possessions is the biggest job you will have; I can help make the task a little easier.

How far should staging go?  Staging needs to start at the curb and carry straight through to the laundry room! Yes, that laundry room needs to be staged, too!  An attractive front yard is critical since it will appear in the main exterior photo of your home. You want the yard and entrance to make a good first impression in order to entice buyers to get out of the car and take a look inside. And remember … you only have one chance to make a good first impression!

What if you are taking all your furniture? That’s fine. It’s better to have a house with too few belongings than one with too many. An empty house is easy to stage.  I have lots of mid-century modern furniture and accessories to loan and would love to help you set the stage.

Here is what some of Mary Lou’s seller clients have said:

 “I was challenged …with a daunting task of taking care of my father….cleaning out his house and selling it.  I realized I needed help and I needed someone who I could trust because there were a lot of emotions involved and I had no idea what to do……… Mary Lou Shannon visited me and we put together a game plan. Mary Lou's attention to detail is incredible and she thinks of everything.  She makes you feel like she is a good friend that you have known for years. I needed so much help and Mary Lou had a solution for each challenge that came her way. She is gifted with a bag of tricks that never ceased to amaze me.  For anyone who is taking on the challenge of simplifying your life, I highly recommend Mary Lou to assist you in making your goals a realization.”   S. Tuttle, Carderock Springs. 

“My advice to fellow neighbors contemplating moving is to start early and recognize that more, possibly much more, may be needed to prepare your house for sale. …… I took her advice, which then made possible the appealing set of pictures that she put on the multiple listings.  Bottom line: relatively quick sale at a decent price.”                    D. Sweet, Carderock Springs

Mary Lou: “I have found you give excellent advice in terms of getting a house ready for sale.  Your choice of colors and suggestions for creating a warm environment made all the difference in the world.  I appreciate that you went out of your way to bring your own items into the house for staging.  As you know, my house sat on the market for seven months with another agent and never generated a contract.  Taking your advice about getting the house ready for sale resulted in a contract after one open house.  The several thousand dollars in expenses up front was definitely worth the investment.  In addition to the pre-sale work, I find you forthright, efficient, and an excellent communicator between parties.  I feel that you work towards a good settlement for all concerned and do not focus just on the commission you will earn.”  S. Kayden, Carderock Springs

“Paul and I feel very fortunate to have you represent us in the sale of our home. You brought professionalism, experience and genuine love of Carderock Spring to the table. You’re assertive without being aggressive and, again, so very thoughtful.” Pat and Paul De Wolfe, Carderock Springs

“I had a very positive experience with Mary Lou as my agent...From the very beginning of the process of getting the house ready to selling, Mary Lou was completely engaged. ....She kept me informed and did her utmost to make the very successful outcome possible. I highly recommend Mary Lou.” E. Shoemaker, Carderock Springs

“I could not be happier with my experience in working with you. I felt as if you held my hand through the entire process and always had my best interest in mind.” T. Osborne, Carderock Springs.



Michael Shapiro
Michael Shapiro
4650 East-West Hwy Bethesda MD 20814