In this blog we’ll talk a little about presenting to emphasize “highest and best use”. You’re always going to get the most traffic and best results by catering to the masses vs. the off beat niche.
For example, while ‘some’ people will certainly be interested in the innovative way you might have been able to take a dining room and turn it into an art studio, unless they share your exact requirements, what you’ve likely done is inadvertently obliterated the existence of the dining room from your prospects memory when they try to think back and decide if they liked your house.
You see, buyers aren’t likely going to make a decision on the spot while they’re in your home. They’ll be other houses on the tour for the same day, and there will likely be some discussion among the deciding parties (there are nearly always at least 2) about which home each likes best. This means that most of the actual deciding goes on off site, and from MEMORY. Where this gets critical is that they’ll remember your home as “the one with the art studio”. While it’s ‘possible’ the brain stored the information correctly as a dining room, what is more likely is that an “image” of the room was stored vs. an actual label. The name is put to it on recall. So when they think their way through the list of rooms in your home, the image of an ‘art studio’ comes up and is labeled as such. The memory of a ‘dining room’ never surfaces. Not because there isn’t one, but rather because there’s no stored ‘image’ of a dining room in the buyers recollection of your house.
So what does this mean? Well, if you’re smart, and intend to sell your home vs. just ‘list’ your home, you should visit each room in your home, and get real about what each room was intended to be. Ask yourself what 80% of the perspective buyers would likely use this room for. And then make the room fit the answer. When you’re selling your home, each room should have a very clear and easily recognizable purpose, and that purpose should be very main stream. Think ‘highest and best use’.
Now you’ve got to be careful. In those 4 bedroom homes, it’s really easy to convince yourself that the highest and best use of an extra bedroom is as an office. But ask yourself; Does painting the picture of work coming home every day, and bills sitting on a desk piling up, really create a soothing and comfortable atmosphere that make people relax and breath easy? Probably not. When people trade up into a 4 bedroom home, they usually do it because they ran out of room in a 3 bedroom. Figure 1 room for mom and dad, a bedroom for each of the kids (because they’re big enough now) and a spare room for guests. Will they probably use it as an office? Sure. BUT…bringing home a bunch of work is NOT sexy.
want to create an environment that says “Your friends and family are going to like your home so much they’ll want to stay. You’re going to need that guest bedroom.” If that’s not reason for you, consider that if they have 3 kids and you left the office, what you’ve done is become a 3 bedroom house with an office vs. a 4th bedroom.
If you find yourself thinking “C’mon…people are smart…they’ll figure it out.” Yep…they will. But ‘figuring things out” is the province of the left “logical” brain. We want to speak to the emotional right hemisphere and exclude logic altogether. Once you invite the left brain into the conversation you’ve got to suffer through all it’s input…and trust me…you don’t want to invite the “logical left” into your sellling environment any more than you want to invite an accountant into the bedroom to spice up your romance.
But fear not. If you ‘must’ have a home workspace, there are solutions. Using secondary walls are a great option. If you want to know more about secondary walls and how to work around this common staging problem give us a call. We’re always happy to help!