The experiences of the past year have changed the way we think about many things. It’s changed the way we view our family, friends, and even our homes. And it’s definitely changed the way we shop. American’s consumer online consumer spending went up 44% in 2020. That’s almost triple the online shopping rate of 2019. This also includes a shift in 2021 home buying trends. The online home shopping experience suddenly became one of the most important parts of the home sale.
Because in-person home tours were not as easy to facilitate during Covid, many realtors gave special attention to the online home tour experience. We feel this shift in 2021 home buying trends even more in Portland as home inventory is low and demand is high. Homes don’t stay on market long, so the virtual home tour can showcase the home when there’s not time to tour it in person. This can make the difference between 1 offer and 5 competing offers.
How do realtors create an appealing online experience?
The most effective way keep up with today’s market shift and meet buyers where they are is to provide thoughtful, intentional home staging that evokes emotion. Here are 3 ways to make this happen.
1. Stage with the LIFESTYLE of the potential buyer in mind.
When you know and understand the target demographic for the home for sale, you’ll be able to plan dedicated spaces that attract them. A single business professional will have different needs than a young family with children, and the home staging should reflect these differences.
Home staging gives the buyer ideas on how to best use the space. It should also highlight the best features of the home. (How do you stage for a stunning view? Use lower profile pieces to make that view visible from all angles possible.) A professional home stager will know the right mix of pieces to bring into the home to address the values and lifestyle of the potential buyer.
2. Stage with CURRENT TRENDS in mind.
No, we don’t mean paint everything the “color of the year” on every house. But when you know what your potential buyers are looking for in a home, you’ll be able to stage in a way that gets their attention. This past year made buyers aware of the need for a variety of spaces. Home office, student desks, and a place to exercise. Outdoor living space is important as more and more people are gardening and craving time in the sunshine and fresh air.
There’s also a renewed appreciation for natural materials that make buyers feel cozy and comfortable. These organic accents can be wool, wicker, wood, and even stone. A buyers wants to feel like the home is a retreat that can be lived in daily, a haven and a safe place from what’s going on in the world.
3. Stage with PHOTOGRAPHY in mind.
A home stager will know what shows up well in photos and how to visually differentiate each listing. The right angles, the right colors, and seeing through to the outside when the view is beautiful. A few steps in either direction with the camera lens can turn an average shot into one that invites to viewer right in. A stager will also know how to capture images that create a stir on social media. It’s all about the story, and a good stager knows how to tell it well through imagery.
It’s uncertain whether virtual home tours will become the new standard. What we do know right now is that an online experience can make or break a home sale. Professional home staging is worth the investment, especially as we see a shift in 2021 home buying trends. We strive to provide the best and every home deserves a good quality staging.