Most people think that home staging is done to appeal to the masses, but this is a common misconception! Staging, when done correctly, is aimed at a precise subset of people who have been predetermined as the most likely buyer for the home.
We pride ourselves on determining exactly who is going to live in the home and then we stage for this targeted group. We take the time to identify who this buyer will be through a few methods:
1. If we are able to, we first start with talking to the Realtor who always has great insight and knowledge of the market in that area.
2. We determine what the seller's situation was when they first bought the home from the questions answered by the seller during our initial consultation. Were they a bachelor/bachelorette when they purchased, looking for a starter home, trying to downsize, etc.? Since this home worked for the current owners when they moved into it, this information gives a good inclination about the new buyer's life situation. We also ask why this home no longer works for them, so we can get an idea for who the buyer might not be.
3. We look at a home itself and factor in how many bedrooms, bathrooms, layout, location, neighborhood, etc. This helps us understand how the home would function for the new buyer.
4. Lastly, we fill out an Assessment of the Buyer Demographic, which is an extensive table of the town demographics looking at factors such as the school system, ethnicities, median income, median age, household size, commute time, etc. Although we usually have a good idea who the buyer will be when we first visit the home, researching the town demographics gives us a lot of information that we wouldn't have considered otherwise.
Example of how this all works:
We recently staged a two bedroom townhouse in Stoneham, MA that sold in a week at full asking price. During the initial consultation we met with the young couple who had bought the home a few years prior when they were newlyweds. It was a great location, layout, and size for just the two of them. Now that they were hoping to start a family soon, they needed a bigger home. All of these factors told us that this townhouse would be perfect for a young couple looking for their first home. However, we couldn't stop here and assume we had the buyer demographic figured out. The home itself would still work if a couple had a child, especially since it was on a nice quiet street with a big yard. The second bedroom was a blank slate and the question lingered, should it be a child's bedroom or a guest bedroom? To find our answer, we completed the Assessment of Buyer Demographic and learned that 71% of Stoneham residents are without children. Therefore, combining all of these factors, we staged the second bedroom as a guest bedroom and the fact it sold so fast and for top dollars tells me we chose effectively.
Stay tuned for next week's blog post about what happens when you don't take the buyer demographic into consideration when staging your home.
If you are putting your home on the market and want to make sure you are marketing to the correct group of people, contact us today for a free home staging initial consultation.