Home Staging is like dancing with the stars
One of my favorite shows is “Dancing with the Stars.” While watching last week’s episode, I realized that the challenges some of the stars have in learning their dances are similar to the challenges Home Stagers, Realtors, and Home Sellers face when hosting a property.
The judge’s criticism of Ty Murray’s dance was that: “He got all the steps, they were all there, but he was too robotic and there was no feeling.”
Lawrence Taylor’s dance underwent a similar review with the judge saying: “He had the aggression, the steps were all there, but there was a disconnect with him and the dance that they failed to identify.”
How is this like staging? Stay with me and let me explain. I often say that there are a lot of inappropriate names about Home Staging. Although there are many people who can make a house look nice, but nice does not make your house sell.
The truly professional staging is more strategic. For home staging to be effective, the psychology behind it must be taken into account. At Home Staging you have to be clear about who the target buyer is, what their lifestyle is, what the property’s price range is, and what the buyer’s expectations are, and then you can design a specific lifestyle around all of those. things. Sure, tidying up and cleaning are components of organizing at home, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
So again you ask, how does this relate to “Dancing with the Stars”? Well first, like Ty and Lawrence, even though they knew the steps and were able to execute them, that’s just part of the dance. The rest is really understanding the dance and being able to perform it while projecting and evoking emotions.
Unfortunately, many households that organize suffer from a similar problem. The house has been neat and clean and may even be decorated, but it lacks emotion. I often see the concept of depersonalization taken to the extreme. Yes, you want to depersonalize, but you don’t want the space to be devoid of personality at all. Simply put, Jane, vanilla box houses do nothing to tug at the heartstrings of their potential buyer.
Bruno said that when David Alan Grier: “He kept his dance classic, it worked, but when he went away and got a little wild, it didn’t work because it didn’t work for that style of dance.”
Again, this is analogous to staging. Take a look at the style of home you are organizing. Is it a contemporary house? If so, make sure the interior reflects that. If it’s a classic, traditional home, make sure the interior reflects that as well.
When the exterior and interior do not match, there is an incongruity that buyers will struggle with. Remember, a confused mind always says no. Part of the problem here is that sometimes buyers or even set designers and real estate agents try to impose their own style or taste on the design of the staging and personal taste has NO place in the staging of a house.
It’s about showing ownership and making sure there is a connection. The performance of Lil ‘Kim and her partner Derek Hough was praised for reflecting just that … they were said to be: “Perfectly matched and wonderfully congratulated.”
You want the same to be true for the message your buyers receive from the moment they see your property on the sidewalk and continue as they tour the interior of the home and beyond. Everything should be free.
To summarize all this, I will give a quick example to clarify all these points. I was recently shown photos of a property that had been on the market, but did not sell. It was a beautiful custom home in a prime location with a seven figure price tag to back it up. It had been staged, but there were several problems.
First, from the photos, it lacked personality. It was too vanilla and it was sadly boring! The walls were off-white and the furniture was also very neutral: off-white, off-white, beige … there was no color! The master bedroom, one of the most important rooms in the house, was starving for some pizazz.
Buyers’ expectations for this property were raised based solely on the price tag and there was nothing about the property that differentiated it from a home that cost a third or even half the price. Unfortunately, it was probably disappointing for prospective buyers.
Second, the architectural style of the house was very traditional, but the interior was trying to be contemporary. When I made suggestions about the furnishings I envisioned for the property, the owner’s comment was, “No, that’s not what we like.”
Ding, ding, ding … and here we have problem number three, it’s not about you and what you like, it’s what the house asks for that really matters.
Simply put, in this changing real estate market, sellers, realtors, and home buffs must step up their game to make a property truly STAND OUT and get buyers STOPPING AND GETTING NOTICE. You want your home to be like Gilles & Cheryl performances: attractive, leaves the audience wanting more, and definitely memorable.