This is as real as any horror flick out there. Imagine shopping for a new home. As all the Zillow.com ads say, “you’re not just looking for a house. You’re looking for a place for your life to happen.” But what you find are either lived-in messes, where you will need gallons of paint, primer, and possibly a vat of Krud Kutter, commerical grade cleaning products, or on the opposite spectrum bland vanilla boxes.
Let’s take this fine specimen of a house. It is lovely in every fashion. Unfortunately, it is about as boring a vanilla box as it comes. Carpet: check! Freshly painted walls: check! Windows: check!
Are you excited about moving onto the next photo, holding in anticipation of what it will bring? Does this home make you feel like this Zillow commerical does?
Do you feel the next phase in your life starting here? Do you think that image on Dad’s phone where he says, “If you have a bad dream, you can come to our room. Your mamma snores.” would have been so powerful an image if it had been a picture of an empty vanilla box? Would it have created the same imagination of the “dream life” Dad was trying to portray to his little son?
Let’s check out what this SAME EXACT HOME looks like staged and see if it fits a little better into the Zillow commerical “dream life”.
Yes. These are the same rooms, from the same direction, taken with the same camera & lens, by the same photographer. Do they FEEL different to you? Yes. Of course they do. People buy homes on emotion. Once they get through all of the rough data, which home to pick is all a matter of connecting to it emotionally. I’ll let Elizabeth Banks showcase this point for me in her Realtor.com ad.
Just like those mini quiches, staging skews buyer’s perspectives. Unlike the quiches though, this isn’t a bad thing. Home staging showcases the possibilities of the life that could be lived in the home. Think of it more like It’s a Wonderful Life looped up with a little A Christmas Carol. Sometimes seeing how things could be can really make you appreciate what’s here and now!