The Emotional Side of Real Estate: How Staging Makes a House a Home
Cherie Vuong / Franklin Run, LLC / www.franklinrun.com / email@example.com / 407-443-4507
When selling a house, why do I want to stage my property? Staged properties feel more like home! Staging means the buyer can imagine living there. They get ideas of how their own furniture could be placed. The buyer can see how their family would fit into the environment. If you lead the buyer into this mindset by staging for this feeling of comfort, the buyer will remember the home out of all the others they are touring. The goal is to sell a home not just a house. In other words, the goal is to sell emotion, not brick and mortar.
Consider how a room at your favorite upscale hotel presents itself. You walk in. The lights are on. The air feels and smells pleasant. The bed is freshly made with clean, attractive, color appropriate linens. The carpet and walls are clean. There may even be fresh flowers on the desk. The furniture is comfortable, clean and placed to maximize the space in the room. You feel as if someone has invited you inside their home although there is no one there. Now imagine walking into a room in the local cheap motel. The room smells. The carpet is dirty. The bathroom has bugs. The bed is sunken in. The furniture is dingy and broken down. The curtains are drawn and the dark, dank feeling of uncomfortable disappointment takes over. You do not feel welcome or special at all. In fact, you want to run away and wash your hands of the whole experience.
Compare those two extremes in emotion. As a patron of those hotels, if they were the same price, which one would you rather stay in for an extended period of time? Now, from the buyer’s point of view they are making a potential $100,000 decision, not a $100 one. How do they feel when they walk in your property? Like the upscale hotel or more like the seedy, dirty, dingy, abused room? Do they have a feeling of connectedness with your home, or do they want to leave as quickly as possible? Proper staging can ensure that every buyer, universally, walks in, feels welcome, and remembers your home. They can and want to envision it as their own for a long time to come.
Most real estate investors are selling vacant houses. After an investment into rehabbing, remodeling, and cleaning a property, a modest amount can stage your property, thus making it a picture of a home. In today’s market, almost all projects are being upgraded with the same things. Stainless steel appliances, fancy fixtures, and granite countertops are commonplace. The investor can make their property stand out in this market by completing the look with staging. While others just have the materials of a house, you have the look and feel of a home.
Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, but if there is an undefined space in the home, no amount of upgrading can do what staging can do. The idea is to lead the buyer by the hand to show them how they could live in the home. Where do they eat? Where do they relax? Where do they sleep? Where do they have privacy? Where do they groom? The savvy real estate investor shows the answers to these questions in an obvious way. For example, by placing a dining table of appropriate size and shape in the proper location, the buyer gets an answer to “where do we eat?” Other examples are that there are places to sit that are inviting. The bathroom is clean and uncluttered. Open space and clear walkways abound. There are no personal effects such as trash, hygiene items, etc. Staging with this feeling in mind allows the buyer to take a picture and insert their family with minimal effort.
Now that we have shown what staging is all about, in upcoming articles, we will discuss individual room staging, ideas to define spaces, and degrees to which certain homes need staging. By simply educating yourself to the ways buyers see and feel the properties they tour, you too can create that unforgettable experience for your buyer!