Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Staging for your target market

I recently staged a one bedroom with my team and much to my surprise the seller was disappointed with the end result. I spoke with the listing agent and he told me that the seller found the staging to be masculine looking and very modern, she was hoping for more traditional and cozy decor because that is what she likes. I explained to the agent (so he could relay the message to his seller) why certain looks and styles are used in specific properties.

Staging is not personalized decor it is a tool to help sell a property. A good stager will meet with an agent and discuss who the target market is - simply who will likely be most interested in this property. In this case, this listing is a one bedroom one bathroom unit in a large condo building, the pricing is great for someone who wants a downtown condo look about cannot afford the price tag. We determined it would most likely be a younger, single male. So with my team we selected furniture pieces that would appeal to a male crowd. We chose leather furniture and some darker wood pieces too. We were also careful to select pieces that worked with the scale and size of the floor plan, apartment sized furniture fits in the room but does not over stuff the area. A smart stager will also work with colours that 'pop' on film. We chose a lot of fun and funky artwork with lots of colour - which displays energy and fun! We also accessorized the space with pieces that demonstrate a chic and luxurious lifestyle with plush towels in the bathroom and martini glasses and voss water bottles in the kitchen. We created a chic and contemporary living space that looked like a downtown hot spot!

It is tough when a seller has lived in their space in a certain way and it takes time for many people to adjust to change. I have heard people say "I would have never placed my sofa there - I always thought of having it here". The way we present a home to sell is not the same as we live in a space and many sellers have a hard time making that distinction. Many sellers ask me "Does anyone actually live like this?" The answer is "No" but we are selling a fantasy, a dream of a certain lifestyle. If a buyer sees photos of your property online and they like it they will want to see it so your photos must make an incredible first impression after all those photos is what will book a showing. It's like going on a first date - are you always so pressed and perfect, maybe not but you don't want your date to know different...

In the end, the seller was really surprised to hear what all was involved in staging a home to sell for more money. She thought we just moved furniture and artwork in a property and left. And many people do. Now that she realizes what when into staging her place she sees and understands that staging to sell is a process and not just a crab shoot. She is happy with the number of showings and the positive feedback. Her property has been receiving rave reviews from agents and should be receiving an offer soon...

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