Merchandising a home

I am an HGTV addict; I admit it.  Property Virgins is probably one of my favorite shows along with A&E’s Sell This House.  Part of me chuckles at the silliness of home buyer requests, like the city dwellers who complain about the noise, and part of me is blown away by the seeming inability of many buyers to see beyond the disappointing fact that the home they most love is absent stainless steel appliances!  I find myself talking to the television—imploring buyers to see beyond the cosmetic appearance of a home and to imagine the home as theirs.

And, this is probably the strongest reason to stage your home for sale—providing a neutral, but not boring, interior that leaves room for potential buyers to imagine themselves there.

I am preparing to sell a house I have lived in for over 20 years and have been pulled this way and that with home staging suggestions.  Eliminate clutter, simplify color themes, be sure there are no impediments to buyer movement, insure rooms are defined so people know what their potential use is.  Sound familiar?  The process of new home staging is eerily similar to seasonal floorset implementation, new store set-up or store remodel.

Let’s face it, like it or not, our goal as merchandisers of anything is to make decisions simpler for our potential buyers.  If we are selling clothing, we need to help our customers see themselves in our apparel, if we are selling bikes or hiking equipment, we need to help our customers imagine themselves touring around with our gear.  And, if we are selling our house, we need to make it easy for buyers to imagine.  Or, at least, we should do this if we hope to sell quickly.

The process of staging my home has been all consuming and at times I’ve been frustrated that I haven’t been devoting enough time to my business and the inevitable growth that comes from new clients and new retail environments.  My frustration eased when I realized that the process of staging my home has taken me to a new level in my merchandising skill set. 

And I am now filled with the same excitement I feel at new store openings or during a remodel, when the hard work is done, the chaos has cleared and it’s time to open the doors.  The house is spotless, calm, and inviting, and ready for a potential buyer.

Yes, it’s time to open the doors, let the fun begin and watch the merchandise…er house, fly! 

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