Conventional Staging wisdom dictates neutralizing the palette to appeal to the widest range of buyers. We wholeheartedly agree! It is a delicate balancing act, but at the same time, you need to profile the potential buyer and design with that specific person in mind.
Staging is about creating an emotional connection with the house for the buyer.
For staging to be at its most effective, it requires a bit of sleuthing to identify who the target buyer is in order to know how to tug at their heart strings. We want to make the home appealing to every buyer, but at the same time, we want to zero in on the profile of who the most likely buyer is. Our online training courses go further in depth on how to do this, but here are seven key ways to identify, and stage for, the right buyer so that the house really connects with them.
These days, the answer to every question begins online. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips to help you narrow in on the target buyer's profile.
Focus in on the Neighborhood
Be sensitive to cultural differences and social cues. The goal is never to stereotype or create any sort of bias. Remember that we want any and every buyer to feel welcomed and at home, but we want to make sure that we are doing nothing that could be a turn-off to the most likely buyer.
Think carefully about the design of the home.
Identify the lifestyle of the buyer.
Know when to break the rules.
Normally, we would never allow any taxidermy to be left in a home, as to avoid anyone's sensibilities. However, when staging hunting ranches, we naturally make exceptions.
You may find that the right thing for a property goes against conventional staging wisdom. For example, in an art district loft, a classic nude charcoal sketch may defy the G-rated rules.
Consider the generational preferences/needs of the buyer.
A good place to gauge the probable age and life stage of our target is to consider the age and life stage of the current owners when they originally purchased the property. If they were first time home buyers, our potential buyer probably is as well. If the current owners had young children when they bought the home, the people most likely to be interested are young families with kids.
The sellers are almost always going to be older than the buyers.
This presents an issue that many sellers have difficulty understanding. If they bought the house when they were 30 years old with young kids and have lived in it for 30 years, it no longer has the proper appeal to today's 30-year-old. It looks like the home of a 60-year-old. However, it is unlikely to appeal to a 60-year-old who does not want to maintain a large yard and no longer needs so many bedrooms.
Staging should make the home attractive to the generation who is most likely to be the right fit.
Tell them a story through your staging design.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of who the statistical target buyer is. To help you visualize how to design for that person, you might create an 'avatar' for them. Give them a name, an occupation, ages, and interests. For example, Miles and Kristen have two young children. She is a doctor at the hospital around the corner and he works from home on his tech start-up. With every selection, ask yourself, "would this appeal to Miles and Kristen?"
Use your creativity to tell them a story that connects with them emotionally through your staging design. Create lifestyle moments and set the stage for magical memories. Buyers need to feel something to take action and staging is a psychological motivator.
If you are a Stager and want to learn more about becoming the go-to staging expert in your area, our Staging Design Professional™ course includes everything you need to be a BOSS Stager!
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