Taking Home Staging to the Next Level: Lifestyle Merchandising

Did you know that home staging is all about “lifestyle merchandising”? Yes, when you are selling your home, you are actually merchandising a lifestyle to potential buyers.

Recently I graduated from an advanced staging course given by Matthew Finlason, host of HGTV’s “The Stagers”. It was an intense, two-day course attended by only a handful of New York City area home stagers.

These are the principles that were taught during the course:

• Casting a “wide net” with staging in order to attract the broad range of buyers is a thing of the past.

• Crafting a “perfect lure” to attract the right buyer with staging represents a paradigm shift.

• While it’s fine to neutralize a home of its occupant’s personality, don’t sterilize it.

• Home staging is now known as Target Staging. Target staging involves learning about who the specific buyer or buyers might be, and creating a design plan to appeal to that buyer or buyers.

• Before a home stager stages, it’s important for her/him to first learn the demographics of the most likely potential buyer (age, income, gender, marital status, education, etc.).

• It’s also important to focus on the psychographics of the buyer (the industry they’re in, their leisure time activities and interests, their home style or aesthetic preferences, the profile of retailers in the area which will be an indicator of the profile of the residents,).

• One should stage this buyer’s dream house with colors, shapes, textures, objects and artwork that will make them emotionally connect with the space. For example, if the profile of the buyer is a single male who works on Wall Street, then the space should be staged to reflect the lifestyle and interests of that buyer profile.

• One should stage in order to “tell stories” based upon the buyer’s profile. For example, if the likely buyer is a female working in the fashion district, then set up a desk with books on fashion and sketches of clothing.

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