Last night, it happened again. I arrived at a lovely home and upon opening the door, the fragrance of Apple Cinnamon candles swirled around me. The dining room table was fully dressed with the finest china, wine glasses, and a beautiful bouquet of red roses.
No, this was neither a date, nor a celebration dinner. This was my staging consultation with a home owner, who clearly thought she was going to seduce me with her own “staging savvy.” Clearly, my client was another victim of what I like to call, Model Home Mentality.
Truth be told, her attempts, though overdone, did really affect me, but not in the way you would think. Each time this happens, and sadly it is quite often, it truly reinforces what stagers see every day: how much Home Owners and Buyers have changed.
A 2008 CIBC mortgage poll conducted by Decima Research found that the fastest growing demographic of people who are buying homes are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old; a number that has tripled since 2000.
This is the generation of the Internet, Blackberrys and the Age of Technology. These consumers are armed with information, found with the touch of a button. It is the era of instant gratification. They have a sense of Entitlement, and demand immediate attention. They are watching HGTV, and seeing homes being transformed in the span of 30 minutes from Frumpy to Fabulous. They appreciate the splendor a model home represents, and expect their new house to share that same appeal and level of design.
These home buyers expect luxury and are not as humbled as their parents were. They want to show off all of their earnings and are proud to display their status symbols. They are likely to go outside of their budget to buy a home that is virtually move-in ready. Each home they view needs to represent the upgraded lifestyle they aspire to have. I call this Model Home Mentality.
While my parents were able to go into a home a decade ago where each room was either painted a vibrant shade of pink or purple, and walls adorned with textured wallpaper, for modern buyers, this is a virtually impossible task. Statistically, only 10% of this new generation are able to see past what is presented before them – this means that for the remaining 90%, each space must be clearly defined, bright, spacious, and well-maintained.
The clincher here? This computer savvy bunch is also shopping online, a staggering 96% before contacting a Realtor. So, not only does this mean homes need to look polished from top to bottom to attract potential buyers in person, they also need to appeal emotionally online to these savvy shoppers in order for a property to make it onto their ‘must see’ list. It all starts with professionally staging the home and extends to professional photography and virtual tours in order to capture the hearts of these modern buyers.
For more information on professional staging services in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, contact Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. As the Tri-Cities premier staging provider, we offer comprehensive staging consultations and complete staging solutions. Visit our website, follow us on Facebook and find us on Twitter! To contact us directly, call us at (519) 804-STAGE.
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