Well I finally had my opportunity to talk about real estate staging to the group of seniors selling their homes. The auditorium was PACKED with an overflow crowd... to a point that there were those that needed to be turned away. To be honest I did NOT expect so many.
Upset and anxiety filled the room. You could feel that the folks attending were searching for help and answers. ANY answers on how to sell their homes. Boy was I glad I prapared my "staging" case.
The idea of staging a houses for its sale is still for most people a new concept. And... it has been my expirience that the SENIOR market is a little less accepting of new ideas. THAT, coupled with the facts that they have strong emotional ties to the homes they are selling, make seniors a tough "sell" for a stager.
To appreciate the benifits of staging, I knew I had to FIRST get them to accept the idea that their homes can no longer be THEIR "homes". I had to get them to understand the HOUSE vs. HOME concept. How did I do that... easy. I started my talk from a place THEY knew and moved them to a place they never considered. You might say I bent their minds.
So we began with the common phrases:
- - House sweet House.
- - Be it ever so humble, there's no place like house.
- - House is were the heart is.
- - Welcome house.
A few chuckles later, and a quick discussion about how love created an emotional bond to THEIR house ultimatley making it THIER home, the audience began to see what I was saying.
So then to make a statement "YEARS AGO, you bought a HOUSE and turned it into your HOME" and then flip it "TODAY, to sell your HOME you must return it to being a HOUSE" was a concept they could get AND be open to.
Their new understanding helped to then move into my 7 Basic Principles of Staging and understainding of the neccessitiy of the 7 Tips I associate with each principal. The tips are...
- TIP: Buyers infer a clean house has been kept in good repair.
- TIP: Buyers are looking to buy a house that fits THEIR needs, lifestyle and personality... don't distract them with yours.
- TIP: Store it, Sell it, or Trash it.
- TIP: Bring a home inspector in PRIOR to listing, and fix problems before a buyer's inspector finds them.
- TIP: Neutralize it... think beige thoughts.
- TIP: Remove beautiful distractions.
- TIP: The front doorway MUST be clean and welcoming.
Now the crowd of seniors could accept my closing statement: "Staging creates a blanker canvas for a buyer to start painting the picture of their own lives and make your HOUSE their HOME."
It took some flexing and bending... but in 25 minutes I got this group of seniors to wrap thier minds around the new concept of staging and how it CAN help them sell their HOUSES. (BOY, do THEIR realtors owe me... LOL).
stage it forward...
PS: The talk went SOOO well, I've been asked to do it ALL over in January 2007.
Here is a graphic I created to help TELL the story... you are all more than welcome to use it or adapt it.