How does your brain affect your decisions? Did you know that 95% of the decisions we make are in the unconscious or in the RAS (Reticular Activating System)? This is located in our Lizard Brain. Our brain looks for things that are unique, safe, comfortable and pleasant and tries to keep us from pain. https://power-marketing.com/IBS2020-IBS_Education.pdf Think about if you saw a bear coming towards you. Do you think logically about how far away the bear is and how long you have to escape and at what speed you need to move at to make your escape? No. Your brain says run in the opposite direction as fast as you can!
So what does this have to do with home staging? It has everything to do with Home Staging. As we are working with buyers who are in what I call "LALA" land. They are dealing with their emotions and how does this house feel, this is the RAS/Lizard Brain. When they walk into an occupied house, and it has not been prepared for the market place, their brain only tells their eyes what they see and feel like life in this house will be like. That could mean dirty dishes in the sink, overstuffed closets, personal family pictures of another family, small rooms because too much furniture is in all the rooms, garbage cans in the middle of the kitchen because there isn't enough room to put them away in a closet. This doesn't create the dream their brain has been telling them they are looking for and they run. If they walk into a vacant house, they see nothing but all the faults and a house that has no love in it. Or better yet, maybe the house is vacant with just some left over furniture that the seller tried to use to "stage" the house themselves. Ummm, the seller didn't want the furniture and most likely the potential buyers are not going to feel very emotionally attached to it either. But when potential buyers walk into a staged house, they see how the appropriate furniture works in the house, along with several emotional touch points that lead them through the lifestyle of the house. Their brain says this is what I've been looking for! This is our dream! I can see myself making dinner for my family! I can see coming home from work and having a glass of wine or champagne. Our family will be happy here. There's so much room here. I want this house.
When a house has been prepared for the market, people see the lifestyle that they have dreamed about and want to move into the house. “Buyers only know what they see not the way it’s going to be!” Another quote from Barb Schwarz.
What does it mean to prepare your house for sale? We call this the 7 C's of Staging.
- Clean - The house needs to be Q-Tip clean. Much of our competition are model homes. That is how a pre-owned house must look as well. Windows need to be cleaned inside and out. Tile & Grout need to be cleaned. Carpet needs to be cleaned or replaced. Does the exterior of the house & patios need to be power washed? Have the baseboards been cleaned? Have the air filters been cleaned? All of these need to be addressed.
- Clutter Free - "Clutter Eats Equity," says Barb Schwarz, the Creator of Home Staging. We often live with too much stuff. But when we are selling our house, the clutter needs to be removed so that potential buyers can see what they are buying. They are buying what is staying in the house after you move out of the house. That means, the floors, the cabinets, the closets, the counters, the walls, the house! If you are not using things, pack them up and show the space in the house. If there is a rug on the floor for no reason other than to define space, remove it. People want to see what they are buying.
- Color - The color of the house must be current. People do not like seeing different colors in every room. They prefer 1 color throughout the house. Some of our favorites are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Beige, Repose Gray, and Natural Linen.
- Creativity - Be creative. Many things in your house can be repurposed. You don't have to go out and buy new things. You probably have things that can be used to show your house in a more current look. In addition, if you are working with a Professional Stager®, they will have current accessories and art that can really make a difference, and they will rent it to you for a portion of the cost versus going and buying more stuff. They will also bring their expertise and buyers eyes to see your house how buyers will see and present it to the buyers correctly. In an occupied house, we always recommend having a Professional Stager come and do a consultation on your house with you. This will give you a road map and checklist of everything that needs to be completed before your house is listed and presented to the market.
- Compromise - In all things in life there are compromises. We all have to work together as a team to get top dollar for our sellers in the quickest amount of time.
- Communication - Communication is Key. Selling a house is a team effort between the Seller, The Realtor® & The Home Staging Company. We all have to communicate with each other to make sure the house is presented to the marketplace in the best way.
- Commitment - In the selling process, each party needs to commit to get the house prepared in the time frame given.
Did you notice I have used the word "house" throughout this article? This is a very important word. Once your home goes on the market it is a commodity and must be no longer a home but a house. This means that your personal items such as pictures, collections, diplomas, religious items and anything that can distract the buyer from seeing the actual house need to be packed up and removed from the premises. Many people ask if they can just put things into the garage. Well… just a quick tip… women fall in love with the house and men fall in love with the garage. We recommend renting an offsite storage unit while your house is on the market to put your extra stuff out of sight and out of mind. Remember the brain is subliminally speaking to your potential buyers. What are they hearing? Are they hearing a toddler scream that the house is still the seller’s or do they hear this is my new home! You’ve decided to move. While you may still be living in the house it no longer is your home. It is all about the buyer at this point. The sooner the house sells, the quicker you will be moving onto your new home!
If you need any assistance with preparing your house for the market in the Houston area, Simple Elegance Home Staging & Interior Design is here to serve your needs. Call us at 877-458-8254 or get a quick quote for staging on our website at www.simpleelegancetx.com.