Staging FAQs: What is a Buyer’s Consult?
FAQs is an on-going series that answers the questions I hear most often. USUALLY in 4oo words or less, but this is really a two-fer, so loosening up on that part. Last post asked why buyers don’t use their imaginations– got me a lot of feedback with my pals on Active Rain, and it’s a great segue to this next question.
That buyers should be able to use their imagination when looking at a unremarkable, or unprepared property is a lose-lose supposition. My first point was that sellers lose out on 95% of their market out of the gate; but let’s talk about the buyers’s perspective here.
Buying and selling a home is not a simple transaction. You are not trading a standardized commodity, there are all sorts of emotional elements-(carbon-based obstacles, in you will!)- that will factor into how it will eventually all end up.
Staging a property helps to remove removes obstacles in the path between FOR SALE and SOLD. Most ballyhooed are the external (shabby, clutter, bad smells, etc) but this Westchester County Home Stager’s specialty is recognizing, understanding and addressing those inner (yes, carbon-based!) obstacles.
Most people believe they ‘should’ be able to see beyond what is in front of them; the reality that 95% of them can’t creates obstacles that translate into inaction, or regrettable decisions and bad feelings about it all: “Why can’t I…I should be able to…Everyone else can…” thinking is NOT productive.
Buyer’s Consults are an antidote to an un-staged, outdated or otherwise un-inspiring home. Years of very busy retail developed my ability to walk a space with a client, while assessing their needs, and weighing it against the confines of the space.
Buyer’s Consults-like Remote Consults-are not for everyone, but best framed as an exploration. When things have gone as far as they can, and buyers are stuck, we walk through, play with some ideas and ask a lot of ‘what ifs’. Casual, fluid, and conceptual, we’re not picking paint colors, and I’m not selling the property, just sharing information and ideas, so buyers ‘see’ where they are, and can make their own best decisions.
Where (specifically) the TV goes, what size dining room table will fit, how to lay out the LR or add light to a dark room are typical topics, and, at about an hour, it stays light, fun and helpful. But it’s a process, and often, eliminating options becomes decision-making’s wing-man.
Last year I met with a professional couple with no time and active young children. They were earnestly trying to make a decision between 3 options: an almost-new, move-in ready house they were not emotionally drawn to, and much older house that was oozing charm and character, but needed some big changes-updates and maintenance; or staying in, and expanding/updating their current house that they loved but were outgrowing.
Money vs. hassle vs. having a space they were drawn to and comforted by-they were going round and round in the hamster wheel. Spending time they did not have , and feeling increasingly lousy about the whole thing.
While I don’t think they’ve committed to updating their current house yet, our time together led them to eliminate both the other houses. For what they wanted their home to mean, and to feel like, they decided convenience alone of the new house was not enough. The basement of the older house took that one off the table: low ceilings, and lots of smaller rooms whose stone walls were structural elements-were not possible to re-work it into a non-scary, more open space for the kids to play in.
Bottom line-Home Staging is about removing obstacles, helping people make good plans and wise decisions, so they can get on with their life. If you are stuck: your listing is not moving, or you can’t find what you are looking for-call me today and start the conversation-together, we’ll get you un-stuck. REALLY>