Niche Marketing and Home Staging – Making the Most of Your Market
Staging a home for sale is generally done to make a residence appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. Neutral colors, decluttered closets, and avoiding décor that reflects specific interests are all typically a great idea! The more buyers that can see themselves living in your home, the more potential offers that could come rolling in, which generally means a faster sale with a bigger bottom line. And it works! In a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 31% of agents reported that staging increased a home’s value by one to five percent, and 62% of agents noted that staging decreases the amount of time a home may spend on the market.
However, not all residences have a typical situation when it comes to their market, and regular staging may not be the best approach for all homes. Some spaces really are suited best to a special niche of home buying clients. Staging may be more effective if those factors are taken into account. Have a rambling single-story rancher in the suburbs? You might get a better return if you specifically target older couples and retirees. Have a cool condo with a balcony that overlooks the city stadium? Consider decorating a room in honor of the local team. Every neighborhood and home has its pros and cons, and by identifying those elements and highlighting the advantages of your area, you can market to individuals who would value those benefits. Some factors like the lack of a lawn might be a disadvantage to one group (e.g. families), but an advantage to others (e.g. single professionals, retirees). Knowing what your home has to offer is half the battle… The other half is niche marketing to reach the right buyers!
Possible pros: Convenience to stores, restaurants, entertainment, place of work; good public transportation; no lawn.
Possible cons: May have lower ranked schools; no lawn; potentially higher crime area.
Revitalized downtowns are all the rage in many cities across America like Denver, Colorado and Memphis, Tennessee, where unused office and factory space has been remodeled to offer trendy, convenient housing options that are popular among young professionals and singles. When staging these types of spaces, think about the things that a single professional might want to see – good office space for working from home or gaming, integrated technologies like wi-fi enabled thermostat and lights, modern furniture with simple artwork, an efficient kitchen with minimal clutter, and an updated bathroom. Stick to neutrals, but keep away from beige, which can feel dated to younger generations. Generally speaking, young professionals want something that is move-in ready, so stage to highlight low maintenance features like granite countertops, seamless sheet flooring, and recessed lighting.
Possible pros: Potential for good schools; yard for kids to play in.
Possible cons: Poor access to public transportation; potential neighborhood association fees.
When marketing your suburban home there is the potential to attract a wide range of buyers, but most interested parties will be young families with particular needs in mind. If you are fortunate to be in a good school district, make the most of it and market accordingly. Stage the home in ways that would appeal to a couple with children. Most U.S. cities are supported by growing suburban areas, including neighborhoods around Austin, Texas and Virginia Beach, Virginia. When considering family-friendly staging, think about replacing dingy electrical plugs with child-safe outlets, mount your television up on the wall instead of using a floor-based recreational center, install a child-safe fireplace guard and round the corners of your hearth, or replace standard stove knobs with stylish yet safe guard knobs. Young parents will pick up on these small improvements and feel more at ease when considering making an offer. Other things to appeal to young families include creating separate spaces for children and adults, like a playroom with sightlines to the kitchen. If you have the space to create a guest room while staging, that can be another huge bonus to young families.
Single Floor Condo or Rancher (or Master Bedroom on first floor)
Possible pros: Excellent space for the elderly or disabled.
Possible cons: Typically smaller overall square footage.
If you have a residence that is all on one floor or offers a master bedroom on the first floor, you are going to be appealing to a certain sub-group of buyers, many of whom are specifically searching for a home like yours. While families and young professionals may certainly come to look at your property, you’ll want to consider staging certain parts of your home to appeal to elderly buyers or individuals with disabilities. Single-story homes in cities like Scottsdale, Arizona and Milwaukee, Wisconsin may be particularly attractive to retirees. Some low-cost staging considerations here include: ensure that there is a 36″ pathway between furniture and from room to room whenever possible, minimize the use of area rugs and runners that may cause a tripping hazard, ensure that the stair rail is very secure, increase entry lighting, if possible create a no-step entry to your home, add stylish (e.g. burnished nickel) grab bars near the toilet or shower, and replace a fixed shower head with a hand-held shower head with a shut-off button. These low-cost changes can make your home more appealing to individuals with limited mobility or poor balance and give them a sense of comfort in the thought of making an offer on your home.