Have you ever walked into a higher end classy sushi place looking to find fried chicken on the menu? Or perhaps you recently visited a fine steakhouse like Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris in search of chicken nuggets. No? Now think of this in terms of marketing a real estate listing. What does a buyer expect to see in a certain class of home they are in search of?
Incorrect perceptions of staging and its unprofessional application can and will do more harm than good by lowering actual value in a buyer’s eyes. With few exceptions, the explosion of reality TV shows involving flipping and selling can be so misleading because they don’t spend much time on the process and psychology of staging other than they unload a bunch of stuff and poof!
First and foremost, home staging is MARKETING. Good agents and savvy sellers understand this; just as making improvements, picking the right tile and opening rooms is part of marketing. Marketing is an investment not an expense. Cheap marketing and cheap "staging" usually yields cheap results and leaves maximum profit untapped.
So back to food. Ever notice how even fast food burgers always look better in advertising? If you are listing a home worth well over a million dollars with tons of square footage, soaring ceilings and huge windows, you don’t scantly fill key areas with fried chicken or a squished looking burger. It’s better off to leave it empty. It suggests to a buyer the need for more furniture than they have or it’s more space than they need, or worse, they don’t get the purpose of the space. It’s a distraction. Full attention is not focused on architectural details and other positive features. It will cause a buyer to move on in search of high end sushi or present a fried chicken offer. And so, the lonely plant in the corner or the dining room set that belongs in a 1500 square foot starter home are fried chicken. Fried chicken staging usually does not photograph well even in fast food houses. Great photography is what gets the right buyers in the door.
If you have ever had a gourmet burger, great steakhouse steak or real quality sushi, you know the difference! Professional home staging almost always costs less than the first price reduction, gets more traffic and reduces a listing’s days on the market. It’s quality food that puts money in your pocket. Are you hungry now?