Most homeowners aren’t familiar with the term “lifestyle selling techniques.” But they’re hot buzzwords in home selling and staging. Staging is a marketing and selling tool, often performed by a professional, in which an atmosphere or lifestyle is created in a home to appeal to potential buyers and allow them to envision themselves in a space. Lifestyle selling techniques go hand in hand with the process, involving props as well as accessories and accents to achieve a certain look. The good news? You don’t have to be a professional to help make your space enticing to potential buyers. Using lifestyle elements is the key. Here are some tips:
1. Determine the mood you want to create or message you want to send within your space, then incorporate appropriate lifestyle elements. For example, in a bathroom, the message you may want to send is that the space is spa-like. Your lifestyle element could be candles or bath salts to evoke a soothing mood.
2. Add colorful accents. Color used purposefully can help appeal to potential buyers. But don’t overdo — accents should be used sparingly.
3. Develop a clear color scheme. The ideal color scheme typically consists of three colors.
4. Consider the end user. The foundation of lifestyle selling is to appeal to the potential buyer, considering how they will likely wish to live and function in the home and creating a space that will appeal. A key question to ask yourself during this process is: “Who will buy this home?”
5. Create the look of a model home. Staging involves neutralizing and depersonalizing, as well as adding lifestyle elements that give the feeling of a space that is lived in. In choosing your lifestyle elements, look to create the same look and feel that you would see in a model home.
6. Dress shelves and bookcases. Large empty shelves and empty bookcases can be a visual hurdle for many potential buyers. Showing potential buyers how they can be functional is helpful.
7. Don’t ignore kitchens and closets. Many potential buyers find organized and generous storage to be a bonus.
8. Focus on main or key areas. Once buyers are inside a home, there are key spaces that will influence a potential buyer early in their walk-through experience. Make sure these rooms make a strong, positive impression.
9. Create an appealing point of entry. Buyers typically make a decision about a home within the first three minutes. First impressions are key.
10. Use decorative elements, such as artwork, books and accessories, to help tell your story. Lifestyle selling techniques are about telling a story, one that will appeal to potential buyers and allow them to envision themselves in a space.
Cathy Hobbs is a New York-based TV host and interior design and home-staging expert.