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HGTV’s Cathy Hobbs Suggests ‘Creating A Story’ For A Staged Property

HGTV personality Cathy Hobbs posted a blog a couple of weeks ago that stressed the importance of “creating a story” for a property. She says:

“In creating “the story” for any property, you want to make sure you are creating a marketing tool that will appeal to a targeted potential buyer. Most buyers need to have an emotional reaction to a property and that is what your story should convey.”

This is a fairly unusual idea, but it is interesting to think about. Hobbs talks about envisioning a target resident for the property, a residence in Brooklyn. She thought the target resident would be a well-travelled, professional couple, aged in their mid-to-late 30’s. She also imagined that the hypothetical couple was “one who considered their travels a big influence to their design and decorating tastes.” This helped her stage the property – an influence led to a story, which led to a theme.

As I said, this idea of staging a story is certainly interesting, but the blog doesn’t say whether the property has sold yet, so I cannot really speak to its effectiveness. Also, it does seem very limiting to stage a property so specifically, to such a precise target resident.  One of the main rules we observe when staging a house is to make it look as impersonal and neutral as we can. The goal is for a potential buyer to easily picture themselves living there. We encourage sellers to remove things like family photos and other prominent personal artifacts, which viewers may find alienating. Having said that, if a neighborhood is predominantly comprised of young professionals, such as here, it can help to stage a home with that demographic in mind. If you were staging a house in an area with a lot of young families, it might be a good idea to stage the house towards young families.

As far as we are concerned, the “story” for any property we’re staging is: you, the buyer, will feel comfortable here. Your furniture and your belongings will fit comfortably, and you’ll love living here. Nothing more elaborate than that. I hope Cathy Hobbs keeps us posted with the progress of that particular residence in Brooklyn, because I am certainly curious to see how it develops.

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