Home Staging Sincerity
Don’t use “home staging” to market a home. That bold suggestion was made (in March 2016) by a successful US Realtor. Ultimately, his comments implied that staging denotes insincerity. So, does that mean all home staging kills sales opportunities?
It’s a controversial topic in the Real Estate industry to be sure. Regardless, I’m going out on a limb to talk about this marketing strategy on another level…from the home buyers’ perspective.
Why People Buy
First, it’s important to understand that buying a home is one of the biggest financial and emotional commitments in life. Buyers are cautious, given all that’s at stake.
As part of their buying experience, they expect to see natural and realistic images of the home that represents their idea of the home of their dreams – not the sellers’.
Second, people make a decision to buy once they have gathered all the facts they need. Once all their questions have been answered and no nagging doubts linger.
They fear being fooled or duped into buying something that appears great on the surface, but once they acquire it…it’s not what they expected because that’s not what was presented to them in the first place.
Given these facts, which of these two situations do you believe elicits genuine emotion and interest, on a realistic level – from the buyer? And which will deliver greater satisfaction?
Do you believe a contrived style or look achieved with home staging – including substituted furniture, accents, fixtures and art – might introduce doubt in the buyers’ mind? On the other hand, do you believe a more natural look that’s in harmony with the home’s outstanding characteristics (where potential buyers feel comfortable) creates a more authentic affinity and attraction for them?
Staging on a Realistic Scale
As part of the preparation to get a home ready to market, Realtors provide a checklist of steps for homeowners to follow. Those steps may include repairs, de-cluttering, painting, taking care of the home’s exterior or landscaping for maximum curb appeal, and more. All of those are important. And not all agents suggest staging on a large scale.
When the owner expresses they’re not open to the idea of home staging, the agent can simply suggest that they enhance the home’s most appealing characteristics and features. In doing so, it allows the home’s true value and beauty to shine through.
There could also be a case where the homeowner believes that home staging results in an unnatural, elaborate look that appears cold or uninviting to potential buyers. And when Realtors ask sellers to put themselves in the buyer’s shoes, they are taking this into consideration as well.
Another thought is, when a home’s space is staged, a potential buyer may be looking at an unrealistic (amped up) version of the home’s decor. Initially, they are smitten with the appeal of the style. In reality however, it’s a look they are unable to duplicate when they take possession of the home.
After all, new owners are usually moving in with their own furniture and accent pieces. As such, they emerge with a totally different style and feel from their décor than was observed with home staging. The result is a feeling of being let down. Unfortunately, the new owner begins their experience on a negative note.
On the other hand, when the owner does all the things he’s advised to do (from the agent’s preparation checklist) and takes care of the home’s needs and repairs, he’s conveying love for the home. And who else knows how to capture the home’s true character and what it’s like to live in it than the current owner?
This approach conveys a more natural effect and likely elicits a sincere emotional response from potential buyers. Remember…this connection is essential to capturing the heart of the buyer.
But what happens when the seller has to vacate the home due to job relocation or other reasons (prior to selling)? In this case, you’re showing off a shell. And a home that’s vacant is much harder to sell.
So in this case, buyers are looking at an empty space, void of accents or art on the walls to enhance existing features. There’s no sign of the inhabitants’ enjoyment of the home. And buyers are unable to get a feel for what it might be like to live in the home and take advantage of all its benefits.
This is where furnishing a few key spaces, including the living area, master bedroom and perhaps the bathroom, adds appeal and warmth instead of a cold void. A splash of colour and design here and there goes a long way.
To Stage Or Not To Stage?
I’m not saying that home staging is bad or undesirable. There are homes that cry out for help to create warm and inviting surroundings so they appeal to buyers. However, keeping a real and authentic look appeals to buyers on a bigger scale.
Consider handling the marketing preparation process with a view to doing what’s best to sell the home, i.e. enticing a buyer who can’t forget about the home he/she has just seen. Because that’s a feeling that can’t be staged.
Your thoughts and comments on this subject are important and welcome. Be sure to leave them below. Thank you for your interest.
More About The Author, Shelly Moreau
To date, Shelly is the author of four publications on the subjects of copywriting principles, real estate writing, and direct mail marketing, and has written the following titles:
- *A Realtor’s Checklist To Boost Sales Results From Property Descriptions – Your Resource for Productivity and Prosperity;
- Easy Direct Mail To Create Small-Business Profits – A Step-By-Step Guide To Marketing Success;
- Essential Writing Elements To Improve Marketing Results – A Guide to Better Promotions and Content; and coming soon…
- Direct Success – Mailing (Your Way) To Prosperity (sold exclusively to members of Cafewriter.com)
Click Here to check out more details about these publications, or to purchase your own copy.