A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

Heading Towards the Light-Part 4

You have entered the world of marketing. Welcome to my personal version of hell. Alright, marketing is not that bad, but trying to guess what your customer wants and what he needs, while finding a way to let him know that you have just that item can be difficult. By selling your home, you are offering a product, and home staging is the key to presenting that product in the best light (yes, I used this word intentionally).

I have discussed home staging in other articles, posts, or on my website, but while writing these posts, I knew that I could apply some ideas for lighting to home staging. I have walked through houses where people have either turned on all the lights or none of the lights when presenting their home to potential buyers. Your home has become a product competing with many other models, and you have become the salesperson and marketer for your home. Your Realtor will have taken on this role too, but a quick successful sale will not occur without your participation. Keeping to my theme from the first post, you are setting the stage with lights to assist you in the sale.

Home buying is emotional. The buyer wants to feel that this house can be his home. Your job is to create an inviting, intimate space for them. If you have moved out of the house, lighting will not play the part that it does when the house is furnished. You want the house to feel expansive, and without furniture, general lighting helps with this effect. Clear items or prune shrubs away from windows to allow a flood of natural light in when blinds and curtains are drawn. However, if you are still living in the house, use accent and spot lights to draw the buyer’s eyes to the ares that you want to highlight. A reading spot, an office desk, a night stand, an artwork are locations of your home that show the spots of concern for a buyer to feel as if they could live there. People want a personal spot to do their work, read, set their glasses down on. Maybe a task light on a coffee maker in the kitchen with a cup ready for the beverage. You do not need to have coffee made, but the impression that it is ready to go. Kitchens always have some mess associated with breakfast or dinner, so using a task light to emphasize one spot will detract from the stain in the sink or cabinet. Look at each room, and find a way to highlight an image of you can move right into this home. Buyers will be looking in the most unusual places, so take charge of what they see by using the idea that they will head towards a light.

A bit more about windows, I would look to see if you could set a scene outside of the window to create a picture effect. Maybe a potted plant or some tableau can be placed there for their eye to focus on. If you have moved out of the house, raise the chandeliers up to allow the customer the freedom to walk around in the room without having his head hit.

Home staging can make the difference between a quick sale for your home, or your house staying on the market for some time. This is the art of presentation of a product, and lighting can be a great tool in your arsenal.

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