The Home Buying process is a lot like speed dating. Usually within the first five minutes of walking through the front door, you know if you want that second date or not. Essentially, realtors are match makers, and without beautiful photography to draw buyers in, and exceptional staging to make that emotional connection, the property will not be memorable. Most people who get ready to go on a first date put forth some effort. I think it’s also safe to say that there are traits that might cause a red flag, or make someone uninterested in continuing a relationship. That is precisely what you want to avoid when presenting property to a potential buyer. The anticipation and expectation of finding THE dream home is wrapped up in just about every human emotion that one can possess. When a prospective buyer walks into a showing, one of the very first things they are going to notice is how they feel when they walk in. Is it visually pleasing? Is it warm and welcoming? Does it smell good? Is there a wow factor, and are they intrigued to see more of the property? The truth is that when it comes to home buying, perception and connection trumps reality, and that is why the first impression is so important.
For example, a rundown front entry could be perceived as unkempt or maybe that it wasn’t maintained properly by the previous home owners. This begs the question, what else have they neglected? Plumbing? Electrical? Dry Rot? A home that smells musty could be perceived as having mold issues. What does the buyer see when they first walk in? Is there a focal point? Is the eye instantly drawn to the best attributes that the home has to offer? Square footage, moldings, high end finishes and details should be highlighted and a feature during a showing. When a buyer stands in the Foyer of a home for the first time, there should be only one thing on their mind, “I want to live here”. Home staging creates an opportunity for home buyers to imagine themselves and their family creating memories in that home. There is an emotional connection that buyers feel when negotiating price, and wanting to close escrow quickly. Much like “The one that got away”, to not stage a home is a missed opportunity to make the perfect first impression.
- Kristin Buck-Tierney