De-Personalizing “DE-PERSONALIZATION”

larson_what_dogs_hear“What do you know about Staging?” is how I begin my Home Staging workshops.

After a moment of hesitation, someone will tentatively offer- ‘de-personalize, de-clutter’.

My next question-“OK, why?”- elicits a few responses that start off strong, parroting some more buzz words, but trail off, ending as questions.

Popular media explains it’s so a buyer can more easily see themselves in the space. Vanilla, un-offensive and palatable.  Not un-true, but then why does the topic of Home Staging [still] incite such pushback, even rage? Written almost 2 years ago,  I find  the comments  from a  NYT article “Ruthless Came the Stager” to still be indicative of the misconceptions of many (mine is #50-ish, Marie from White Plains).

As so cleverly illustrated in Gary Larsens’ infamous “Ginger” cartoon, we hear what we want to hear, what we deem important.   Amateur Stagers know to say ‘de-personalize’, but don’t get what sellers “hear”: You think I’m a slob, that I have bad taste and my kids are ugly.

With millions of dollars of Staged (and sold!) properties behind me, The Refreshed Home knows the key to a successful Staging experience is to first address, then drill down past the icky, messy negative brain-stuff, and look at the logical, DE-PERSONALIZED rationale of de-personalizing your Westchester County property before you sell.

Understand first being immediately drawn to color and light is a prehistoric survival skill, we’re  just hard-wired that way.  Also remember Buyers are inherently curious people, scared to death about missing the right house, or choosing the wrong one, and look for all the clues they can. Take it from this Westchester County Stager-if your space is too personal:

  • They will get distracted. No matter if they love it or hate it, if they’re engaged by your stuff, they’re not seeing the space, period.
  • They could use it against you. If you need to sell your 2 BR coop, why leave family pics of you and your 4 kids out for the world to see? Calendars with appointments, even books in your bookcase will tell your story to whoever comes to your house.  Your copy of “Living with(fill in a serious health  issue)” might have been purchased to help support a friend, but could lead them to believe you need to sell, leading them to throw you a lowball offer.
  • Security. Sometimes even really nice Stagers need to play hardball. Parents, convinced their progeny possess super-talent, and resist removing their photos, or clearing off the fridge. Hunters who choose to showcase their prowess with firearms by keeping dead animals on the walls, even professional diplomas, certificates or uniforms. Bottom line, you never know who will be walking through your house. Do you really want strangers to know the name of your 7 year-old’s soccer team? That you may have guns in the house? Or what information you might have professional access to?

Getting your Westchester County property ready for market is a uniquely personal process that goes way beyond the aesthetics….OR  ‘de-personalizing’.  It’s a business move, and you need a strategy; The Refreshed Home knows experience matters and kindness counts as much as results.  No matter if your current listing is under-performing, or you’re planning for next year: talk to me today about how we can get your house noticed, and SOLD!