Those of us in the business of selling properties need to consider the other side of the equation – why buy? The New York Times recently published a report on Home Ownership and Wealth Creation, concluding – “As a means to building wealth, however, there is no practical substitute for home-ownership.” Kristal Kraft, a nationally known real estate Broker in Denver, CO authored the article The REAL Reasons Americans Buy a Home in which she lists the top 4 reasons to own a home, (other than financial benefits). All of a sudden, my home staging wheels started spinning. How can Home Staging illustrate these intangibles?
I thought I would take each “Real Reason”, compare the brokers’ point of view next, then offer my thoughts on how Stagers can assist our brokers in an imaginative and supportive way:
Buyer’s Real Reason
The Brokers’ POV, according to Denver Realtor, Kristal Kraft
How Home Stagers Can Help
|1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education.||From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.||We tell our buyers to remove anything specific to family in the house, but a train schedule on a bulletin board talks about commuting options, and a school report summary can be a subtle sign, especially since brokers’ aren’t allowed to mention school rankings.|
|2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe||It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.||Safety is a tough one for us, but we can suggest “cozy nest” with soft furnishings in inviting groupings.|
|3. It allows you to have more space for your family||Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.||Illustrating the potential lifestyle each home can support is our definition: in many cases we multi-purpose a room to keep options open and flexible.|
|4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates||Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?||And here is the big contradiction: pets. When we stage a house for sale, we usually want signs of your pets removed. The smell, the toys, the food, the clutter — all of these could be a major turn-off for buyers. And, sorry, but that wall treatment will probably have to go, too! Why? Because you want a buyer to see what THEY can do with the home as opposed to what you’ve already done to make it yours.|
Sometimes, instead of just handing out home staging tips, we find that by understanding everyone’s point of view, we can strategically position a home for sale in a more effective way. Staging makes the process of selling their home easier and more remunerative for the seller, but it also works well for the buyer, too. It shows how many options there are in the home, and very often, the stager has managed to get many of the smaller renovations and repairs out of the way.
Staging is most effective when we all work together for everyone’s best interests. More than top dollar for the seller, we need to encourage potential buyers to feel good about their decision on “Why Buy?”
[Kristal credits the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, so I suppose we should too!]