Nicki & Karen

Staging Luxury Property | The Emotional Quotient

Nicki & Karen » June 7, 2010

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A look through the eyes of the luxury buyer reveals an emotional core.

By: Karen Crystal

Whether it’s a polite conversation, or a heated discussion, luxury real estate brokers are committed to the value of staging, and sometimes our view of this important marketing strategy may clash with that of our client.

The $ million question: is staging worth the investment?

By staging your home, you are visually inviting buyers to become emotionally attached, thereby enabling them to imagine the lifestyle they’ll soon be enjoying.

Visually inviting

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million, right? So, why are visual images worth so much more than the spoken word? I believe it is because visual images are actually emotional triggers. In fact, studies have shown that at least 65% of us are visual learners, much of which comes from “our minds eye”. Our “Visual memory”.
For example, when luxury buyers describe what they desire in their dream homes and the lifestyle they want to achieve, they tend to use phrases like this.







Here’s how I’d like it to look….

This is my vision

Let me show you how I am picturing it…..

I can see my family relaxing together…

Here is another important point to remember, not everyone possesses a vivid imagination.

Emotional attachment

Whether you want to admit it or not, we are all emotional beings. Many of our thoughts, and most of our important decisions are charged with emotion.

My observation as a luxury agent, having spent thousands of hours with luxury home buyers, is that they act very differently when buying stocks and bonds, or even buying a company, then they do a home. Luxury buyers may not discuss how they feel regarding their business decisions, but they definitely talk about how they feel when it comes to their home buying decisions.

Those of you who are scientific thinkers, may not believe this is true.

To demonstrate my point, visit the staged model of a brand new luxury home development. I don’t know about you, but the minute I walk through the door, my visual senses awaken. I immediately begin to feel and imagine the lifestyle of the staged model home. Life seems a little better, and I imagine moving in with only my toothbrush. It can be a vivid and emotional experience.

What about you? I’ve watched my own buyers “fall in love” with a home, feeling it in their emotional core. They imagine their children’s birthday party in the backyard, and they picture their family eating at the beautiful dining room table already set for holiday dinner.


The luxury home buyer is looking for a home where everyday living and the luxury lifestyle are inseparable. The home overlooking the 6th hole of the golf course, with the outdoor living room equipped with a flat screen TV over the fireplace, and a bar for entertaining your family and friends. This is the life….the lifestyle we are selling… and the lifestyle they are buying.

So, when my sellers say (and this is an actual quote),

” If they can’t imagine their stuff in my house just because it is empty, then they are too stupid to afford this house anyway”…

I remind them that we are not selling their 13,000 sq ft house with 12 inch crown moldings, we are selling a home with a lifestyle. We need to market visually to buyer’s emotional needs, as well as their rational minds.

I recommend you ask your seller who is resisting staging this question.” Would you prefer getting a massage at the physical therapists office or the Four Seasons Resort Spa“? The answer is obvious. Then I ask them why they like the spa more than the therapist’s office? They usually say they like the atmosphere in the spa better because it feels more relaxing. ” Is it worth paying more for the massage in the beautiful spa then the cold therapist’s office”? I think most of us would agree the answer is an emphatic, yes.

I believe the luxury home buyer will pay a premium for a staged home that creates a lifestyle image that resonates in their emotional core…and they may just buy all the furniture with it!

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