Words Matter: Re-Thinking ‘De-Personalize’

Words matter, and the right one is priceless. Have written about ‘Staging’ (vs ‘preparing’– several times, in fact), but today let’s re-think ‘de-personalize’.

‘What do you know about Home Staging?’ is how I start out my Home Staging classes.

‘De-personalize’ usually come up right away. Asking what that means, the answers come less quickly, are usually self-deprecating (‘No one else will appreciate my fine taste in ___’) or quietly sad (‘No one cares about, or wants to see my family’).

There is nothing constructive or positive about it.  It’s sweeping and un-specific, finding fault without offering a solution, and sounds judgemental and arbitrary to the homeowner. YET I know  removing personalization is a truth to getting a house noticed and sold. Well, at least a partial truth.

Very personal personalization in a property for sale is never a good idea-it distracts buyers, and can provide buyers with way TMI regarding the sellers and their circumstances, information that could be used against them.  BUT-less really is less, and a flat, pale space void of warmth or character isn’t received well, either.

People sell for all sorts of reasons, but in buying-and yes, even in downsizing-there is always the desire for a better place, and hope for happiness.  The secret to successful Staging in Westchester County is to attract, touch, and engage buyers in very real ways, in ways they do not expect.  The Refreshed Home champions RE-PERSONALIZING a space, here are some ways how:

Clever looks for and demonstrates value:

  • Has the patio/deck looking good now, and keeps it in shape til the first snow: Patio furniture scrubbed and out, grill ready to go, even buying a fire pit to extend living space.
  • A desk in the corner of the family room-away from the TV< but near so a parent can multi-task.
  • Dresses up the garage or basement by cleaning and painting the cement floor

Aspirational points to all the things that could be, in this new house:

  • Kitchen accouterments that support visions of cooking adventures and healthy eating: specialty/vintage cookbooks, herb plants, colorful legumes in glass canisters
  • Good books add soul and character; who doesn’t want to be smarter, or yearn for more time to read?
  • Color-ordered closets with matching hangers: almost magical, a sophisticated, unexpected luxury

Whimsical adds delight. It makes people pause, smile, and feel good.

  • A live goldfish
  • A puzzle, or poker game in progress
  • Really cool-colorful, sexy or fun- toss pillows

Knowing who the buyer will be is the Realtor’s job; knowing how to attract buyers (and other agents!) is mine.  Some sellers have a pool of suitable items, but many don’t; accessory shopping, and accessory rental have consistently been the fastest-growing segments of The Refreshed Home’s business.  NEXT:  Accessories and Home Staging: Creative is the New Sizzle