How Proper Market Prep Resulted in Selling for Above Market Value

Many decisions go into listing a property. Should the home be staged or is it better to showcase how the owners make use of the space? Or perhaps a hybrid approach works best, where the owners’ furniture and decor is supplemented? Should the current owners remain in place or vacate the property once the home is on the market? To repaint or not repaint? Sell the property as is or make upgrades beforehand.

This is just a handful of the questions that might run through a seller’s mind and also is where a listing agent can make suggestions that will truly elevate the property before it comes to market.

The pictured charming Mississippi Avenue home was a perfect candidate for staging. The home has so many great features such as the double decker deck and an updated kitchen, but frankly, it needed some attention in order to shine. The owners had already moved their growing family out, so it made sense for them to hand the keys over to me and let me totally “project manage” the process.

Here is what we did to help my clients get top dollar:

LR before and after

Fresh paint and punch-list

Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint! Even if you don’t have time or budget to repaint the entire interior, a pop of color here and there can add interest and spark the creativity of prospective buyers. In the case of Mississippi Ave, first I coordinated with our trusted contractor to receive a reasonable estimate that the home owners approved. After consulting with our expert stager on what colors would work best in the space, we chose Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray for walls and Benjamin Moore Hamilton Blue for the kitchen door. (Spoiler: this was our pop of color chosen to add personality to the room.) I also worked with the contractor to tackle a punch list of small repair items such as fresh caulking on the kitchen counters and tightening up loose doorknobs. I oversaw the work while the owners were out of town.

Kitchen B&A

Lighting swap

The lighting in a house can be a make or break. 426 Mississippi radiates with natural light, but the light fixtures told a different story. We replaced a few key fixtures, which had a huge impact. To spice up the dining room, we installed a dreamy West Elm chandelier with textured glass that I found near-new on craigslist for 1/4 the price it retails. The main bathroom vanity light was showing its age, so we found a replacement from Community Forklift for practically pennies. (In case you can’t tell, I’m always looking for ways to save my clients money and make sustainable updates.)  For the “small” bedroom, we made a statement with a trending basket pendant light from World Market. These three, fairly inexpensive upgrades amped up the ambience.


At Collective Property Consultants, we believe in staging to add a wow factor and are fortunate to work with some of the best stagers in the DMV. Fun fact: staged homes spend 83 percent less time on the market and only 10 percent of buyers can actually envision the potential of a home. For this project, I worked with Elena Bankovskaya, the owner and designer at Greceannii Interiors, LLC.  With the staging, we wanted to highlight the unique features the homes boasted, such as a wood-burning fireplace, the aforementioned double-decker deck, the lush and tranquil backyard, and the spacious finished basement, which can serve a variety of purposes.

The results

We received a solid contract with no appraisal or financing contingencies and like that, 426 Mississippi Ave sold for $750k, which works out to $646.47/square foot, well above the area’s average sold price of $507.34/square foot.

Our vision

It’s this kind of care and strategic vision Collective Property Consultants brings to all their clients.

Work with Melody Goodman

Melody is an earth-conscious Realtor® who is passionate about helping buyers find their ideal home, guiding sellers through this hot market, and inspiring everyone to live happier, healthier, and more sustainable lives. A Realtor for 15+ years (with 10+ in the DC area), Melody has experience navigating an extreme buyers market, sellers market, and everything in between.