Model Homes vs Staged Models... What's the Difference?
I'm often asked what the difference between a model home and a staged model in new construction projects. For me, the answer usually comes down to two parts 1) Pricing (cost) 2) Demographics.
For years interior designers have been the source for model homes. Recently that trend has shifted and more frequently professional stagers are being called in. Both of the above reasons intertwine and account for the shift. To understand the variables, we have to examine the traditional builder model.
Builder models usually start off with story boards, created by interior designers, that showcase current trends. The interior designer's goal is to have their story board chosen and to win the bid. To do this, they often create boards that are appealing to the builder, or focus on upcoming design trends. This is an opportunity to showcase their work and flex their creativity. To do this, they often employ custom wall treatments (wallpaper, faux finishes, custom paint designs), custom window treatments, and custom fabric selections (often to match the window treatments).
Staged Models typically utilize an "off the rack" mentality. Professional home stagers are accustomed to dealing with smaller budgets and our goal is to create a stunning showcase using what is readily available. Our goal is to create a beautiful design that buyers will fall in love with while focusing on keeping equity for our sellers - and the builder is a seller.
Demographics are a key component to buyers falling in love with the home. In order to succeed in this, we first need to carefully understand who is buying the home. Professional home stagers study the market carefully and know how to create a story for the right buyer. We know that when you have a four bedroom home, you need to sit at least six at the dinner table. We know that a home that a young family will purchase cannot have "no touch" furniture. It must look like a place where moms and dads will snuggle, read to, and play with their children. We understand that matching window treatments and bed linens probably only appeal to an older segment of the population, and even then it should probably not happen. Many active baby boomers prefer modern touches and clean lines - it's not THEIR parents homes that appeal to them. While all of this sounds like common sense, go to model homes across the country and you'll find that they don't play by today's buyer rules. They instead employ expensive designer techniques - techniques that often backfire.
Because our success is not rated by how beautiful the property shows in our portfolio, but rather how many units are sold, and how long it takes to sell them, the goals of a model home designer and a model home stager are very different. Best of all, staged models usually cost about 30-50% less than our traditional model home counterparts.