Staging FAQs: Why Can`t Buyers Just Use Their Imagination?

Welcome back to FAQs, an on-going series that answers the questions I hear most, in 400 words or less.

This questions comes up whenever a seller does not like, or does not want to do what I recommend to help get their house sold.

It is probably the quickest and easiest to answer.


Buyers DON’T use their imagination because largely they CAN’T use their imagination.

Visualizing spacial potential, carrying colors in your head, being able to project change onto a static space is like being able to ice skate, do math, or having freckles: it is a gift, something you are born with.

Like any of the above, it doesn’t make you an inherently better person, it just is-or isn’t.

Studies vary, but it’s estimated that less than 5% of the population can imagine spacial change.  About HALF the number of left-handers  (10% of the population),  those in this world born with blue eyes, or men who are colorblind (both 7 to 8%). Or about the same number of people born with extra ribs (I know, WEIRD-right??)

Real Estate is all about numbers, and buyers have a lot to think about.  They also have a lot of choices.

Bottom line if you are putting off making your house look its best, believing that buyers should be able to use their imagination, statistically you are putting  95% of the population off in the first pass through.   Before you subtract those that are cranky or stressed by the home-buying process, who are not serious buyers, or financially unable to buy your house.

SO-SERIOUSLY-tell me again, why don’t you want to paint?


Photo courtesy of Flicka