Model Homes vs Staged Models... What's the Difference?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team

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. 
Posted by

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 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).

 

Comments (17)

Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

OK, Melissa, great video, but more importantly, you look GREAT on video! You should do more of these!

Sep 10, 2012 05:49 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Barb - Thank you!

Michelle - I just hired a business coach who told me that I need to do videos... so, here we are. Thank you for the encouragement!

Sep 10, 2012 05:59 AM
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Michelle is right - you look incredible in this video! Can't wait to see more of them.

Kathy

Sep 10, 2012 06:59 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Thanks Kathy! It took me about 5 times to get this right, so I'm going to need to practice. I promised my business coach that I would make them though..... so this will likely be a regular feature. Any topic ideas? 

Sep 10, 2012 07:04 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

I agree with the other staging sistahs! You're a video star Melissa!  You also nailed the topic and your last few sentences say it all:

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.

Sep 10, 2012 09:10 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Thank you Karen!! 

Sep 10, 2012 10:02 AM
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

You look fabulous and also did great with the content. Do more... make you biz coach proud! Looking forward to more from you ;)

Sep 10, 2012 11:10 AM
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design Inc. - Kitchener, ON
Quality Home Staging

Melissa, great video and awesome blog article. I thought the content in this article was incredibly relevant and it really poinpoints the shift that we are seeing in model homes. Our company, for example, is staging more and more models but we're doing so because one of the key things we bring up to the builder is that we're not designing it to show off lots of pretty things - we're staging it so that buyers admire the architectural features, floor space and floorplans so that the builder in turn - sells more homes!

Really, really great article!

Sep 10, 2012 11:29 AM
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Melissa - Not only do you look great on camera, but your words carry substance.  The demographics of an area are key.  Often there's a disconnect between the Interior Designer and who the actual buyer of the property would be.  Great Stagers research what the demographics are for a certain area, and target stage accordingly.  Great vlog!

Sep 10, 2012 11:32 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Lori - Thank you! I did this with much derision. I don't mind webinars, but I'm not on camera for those. I will have to get some confidence over this, which I suppose can only be done through repitition.

Heather - While you aren't showing off 'pretty things', I have to say that your staging is some of the most beautiful that I've seen.

Sally - Thank you! I know that this seems to be a problem everywhere. I'm glad that builders are finally figuring things out. 

Sep 10, 2012 12:50 PM
Peg Barcelo
Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369 - Summerland, BC
The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC

Melissa, fantastic job on your video! Great information, I'll be sharing this on all my social networks to get the word out!

Sep 10, 2012 02:02 PM
Patricia Ebrahimi
SHOW SMART! HOME STAGING & Color Consultant - Rockville, MD
Home Staging the Washington DC Area from Rockville MD
Melissa, have the networks called yet? HGTV...DIY? You are a natural. I thought so when you spoke at the 2011 RESA convention, and this confirms it in my mind. For topics,maybe start by mining your blogs for ideas. Oh, and congrats on becoming an REA. Much success in FL!
Sep 10, 2012 10:21 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Melissa you look FAB girl! you are a natural for video! Your content was right on! One of my installers also works for a Chicago designer who just contracted to do 70 models across the US and the stories I hear about the designs, designers, and $$ are outrageous.  We have seen a big surge here in building but the big 200-400 home subdivisions which had rows of models are not the standard anymore, I see many projects which are shorter term where the builder has purchased 10-20 lots so the staged model is perfect.   

Sep 10, 2012 11:56 PM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

HI Melissa, well didn't you hit the nail on the head. It all comes down to how many homes get sold. I recently was asked to prepare a quote to stage a model home in a quite modest town, well actually a village. They went with a well known designer and the results are as I predicted. No sales.

Not one.

I did have a conversation with the builder in the beginning of the process to make sure they understood their market in this village setting. Did they realize their market would be shopping at the local big box retailers and on kijiji which is an online service to buy used items?

The comments that they most often receive is that the buyers walk through the model home and say aloud that they don't think they can afford their homes and leave. They don't stop to talk to the sales people, they just leave.

Professinal stagers understand the local market and what appeals to the actual buyer. You can stage to show some aspiration buying , however, for the most part, you just have to get the buyer to identify with living in that particular home.

Love your post, very well said and hopefully, duly noted by builders.

Sep 11, 2012 11:31 AM
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Peg - I appreciate the sharing!! 

Patricia - Thank you! I love public speaking, but am always shy about being on camera. I appreciate the positive feedback.

Margaret - We did a lot of staged models in Charleston, now that I'm here in St Augustine/Jacksonville I find that it is a whole different ball of wax. I'm trying to get the word out.

Michelle - Yes!! We had this exact scenario happen when we staged for a builder that was selling at the medium to low price tag (low to mid $200s) but their model had at least $70,000 of staging in it. Most buyers felt that it just wasn't in their budget. We staged a model two doors down and sold that unit quickly. Then we moved it and it happened again. The builder got the point and we started doing more work for them instead of the expensive interior designers. 

Sep 11, 2012 11:40 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Interior designers and model home design companies have one business model:  to sell furniture, from which they receive a cut.  Our model is to provide the most cost-effective Staging to sell homes quickly.  There's a big difference, and builders should understand the difference and how that could impact THEIR business model!

Sep 15, 2012 02:12 AM