When you think about the importance of staging when a Northeast Florida home goes on the market, you might relate it to how department stores go about increasing sales during the holidays. You have only to stroll through the front door of any of the legendary department stores this time of year to experience what I mean: the most successful ones fairly assault your senses with the color, glitter, sounds (sometimes even the scents!) of the season. If you’ve ever strolled down 5th Avenue in Manhattan any time after Thanksgiving, you’ll have experienced a major jaw-dropping tourist attraction. It seems like the whole place is staged—and masterfully, at that!
Why so many veteran merchants put that kind of effort (and budget) into holiday decorating is proof of how cost-effective staging is for merchandising. It’s not that different when a town home is being prepared to be offered to the public. Effective staging for an Northeast Florida property performs the same function that Macy’s and Neiman Marcus hope to achieve: to indirectly alter their visitor’s mood to one more receptive to the designer’s goal. Department store holiday décor is more than just eye-candy created to instill a jolly mood. By transporting us into the spirit of the season, it gently cues us into recreating how we feel at the moment of gift-giving (i.e., generous gift giving!). Sometimes that might take 50 or more fully-decorated Christmas trees—all for the sole purpose of creating an atmosphere that Scrooge himself couldn’t resist!
In the same way, staging a Northeast Florida home effectively can put prospective buyers into in a receptive frame of mind. The goal is to create an instant impression that does two things.
First, it immediately establishes trust. By presenting a well-designed and smartly maintained environment, it acts to dispel one major element of buyer resistance—the fear of the unknown, which in the case of a Northeast Florida home sale translates into lurking suspicions about the condition of “somebody else’s” house. Good staging envelops visitors in spaces that just feel substantial.
Second (just as important), staging an Northeast Florida home effectively creates a welcoming feeling. If visitors feel comfortable—at ease enough that they can easily picture themselves at home there—they are much more likely to consider the next steps. Not every home can appeal to every prospective buyer, of course, but good staging does away with idiosyncratic artifacts that would narrow the field.
National studies show time and again that, staged correctly, homes are more likely to garner higher offers—and more quickly. Of course, staging is only one step in the process of listing and selling a home, and it isn’t even the first: that one is giving me a call!