Be the Buyer. Watch the Buyer.

When I am at my initial meeting with a staging client, I always say “I am going to try to please you in every way possible, except,” I pause, “aesthetically. You are not going to like what we do,” I tell my potential client.  “….And I really don’t care.  My goal is to please your buyer.”

My goal is always to identify the statistically probable buyer and stage the property to please them.  I give the buyer visual clues that this property is their dream property. 

I remember in the 80s living in Manhattan.  One of my friends was an avid golfer, looking at life through golf analogies.  “Be the ball.”  He always advised, which as a non-golfer, I took to mean, get in the flow, think of nothing but the game.  Visualize a hole in one.  Now it could have meant something completely different, but that’s what I understood. 

Now while my golf is still largely non-existent, my tennis is a smidge better.  Recently, the zen tennis master, Ritesh, told me:  “Watch the ball.  The difference between a club player and a pro, is how long they look at the ball.  Forget looking at the court.  It will go where it is supposed to.  Just keep watching the ball.”

In staging, I have altered both bits of wisdom—switching out the word ball for buyer.  The strategy works:  Be the buyer.  Watch the buyer.

Probably the most important thing a seller can do is identify their probable buyer, and start to think like them.  Shop where their demographic likes to shop, read what they read.  Find out what is important to them and how they live, what they wear, and what colors they like.  (Or read the first chapter of my book:  Home Staging that Works.)  I identify the four generations of buyers and what they like and dislike. 

When you put your property on the market, everything in it will be judged, and weighed and internalized by your buyers as part and parcel of the home.  Buyers only rarely can see how it might be to live in the home.  They only see what is right out there in front of them, not how the space could be when they are living in it.  Give the buyer what they are looking for: not just the bricks and mortar, but the dream of the perfect life, and they will purchase your house.