My friends are selling their home. Moving away. It's miserable.
As a result, they are in the process of showing their home to would-be buyers, and part of that process is staging the home. Flowers on tables. Real and/or plastic fruit in bowls. Flowers on a side table. A second set of towels to replace the used ones in the bathrooms.
And of course counters and desktops are cleared, toys are hidden away, a tablecloth is added to their kitchen table. Flower beds are maniacally weeded. The grass is cut to perfection.
And my friends are only doing the minimum. Many staging guides online suggest hundreds of other tactics, often costing thousands of dollars. There are now companies that will stage your home for you, rearranging your furniture to make the house look bigger and adding furniture, lamps, vases, and other items from vast warehouses of home goods.
All of this in the service of making the home look more attractive to would-be buyers.
Here's the thing:
We all know that these houses are being staged. We know that the lack of clutter and clusters of fruit and flowers are not real. We know that bath towels are never as fresh as they appear in a home for sale. We know that children rarely make their beds. We know that paper-free desktops and dish-free drying racks are only found in the homes of the most compulsive people. We know that flower beds without weeds and refrigerators without magnets are unrealistic.
And yet we allow this farce to continue. Sellers continue to present unrealistic and false projections of their homes, and buyers agree to continue to allow these fabrications to influence their purchasing decisions.
I have an idea:
Let's just all agree to stop spending money on creating these falsehoods and instead agree to look at hones that appear like real homes. Absent of bowls of fruit. Complete with damp bath towels and cluttered countertops. Littered with Legos. Why don't we all agree to look at homes that look like real homes and not catalog-versions of homes that do not exist in real life?
Sellers will save money and perhaps pass these savings onto buyers. Buyers will get a true sense of what the house looks like when people actually live inside it. And ridiculous staging companies will stop stealing our hard-earned dollars to provide temporary lamps and momentary love seats to our already furnished homes.
Staging a home is kind of like wearing lipstick.
We all know that you're wearing lipstick.
We all know that your lips aren't actually that shade of red.
We all know that you painted your mouth in hopes of making it look prettier.
You're not fooling anyone.
Staging is the same thing. When we walk into a staged home, we all know that it's a lie. We all know that the fruit and fresh bath towels are nonsense.
If both parties are aware of the con, end the con.