Home Staging Psychology

Let’s get into one of my favorite topics: home staging psychology.

Once you understand the psychology behind home staging, you’ll instinctively know what changes to make in any home. You can follow the checklists and step-by-step instructions, but my goal is really to give you such a deep understanding of home staging psychology that you won’t need to follow a guide.

Buyers want a home where they can feel secure and happy. We all know how stressful and chaotic life can be at times so when we’re home, we really want a place where we can be at peace. We want a happy place for family life, growth, enrichment, and fulfillment. When we stage, we want to tap into these desires.

It’s important to remember that all of the little details are important because they add up to create an overall picture of life in the home you’re presenting. Our brains are always picking up subtleties that we may not consciously recognize or see as significant at the time. The more detail-oriented you are, the more effective your staging work will be.

Here are some ways to use home staging psychology. Please note that we’re not going super in depth into each facet of home staging psychology since I’m trying to distill the information for you and give you the key points.

We’ll talk more about specific ways to utilize home staging psychology as we get into the how-to section.

Buyers like homes that are light and bright. An abundance of daylight makes people feel good and it conveys a sense of health and contentment. Light is related to growth and vitality, and human moods are closely tied to lighting conditions. Lack of light conveys negative feelings. The words sad, dreary, gloomy, cold, and unhealthy come to mind when thinking about dark spaces. Always think about the light when you’re staging. The more daylight, the better!

Buyers want homes that feel spacious. Open spaces in a home help create a calm feeling. When rooms feel crowded and small, it can make people feel confined and even anxious. Too much visual information can make a space feel overwhelming. It’s better
to err on the side of underdecorating vs overdecorating. Make sure you maintain a spacious feeling throughout the home as you stage.

At the same time, it’s important to avoid leaving rooms empty. Rooms can actually feel smaller when they’re empty. Adding furniture gives context to the space and gives a sense of human scale. Make sure you choose pieces that aren’t too large for the room.

Color psychology is one of the major tools you have at your disposal as a home stager. Color can make rooms feel larger, smaller, brighter, happier, the list goes on. We’ll get into the uses of specific colors later on in the course since there’s a lot of info to share.

Sense Appeal
Another powerful way you can engage buyers is by activating the senses. In addition to a dazzling visual experience, you can use fresh flowers, subtle room fragrances, and tactile surfaces in natural materials to get buyers’ senses working, just to name a few. You can also make sure there are no negative sensory experiences such as pet odors or squeaky doors.

I like to bring in something that grows in the yard that will help paint an appealing picture of life in the home. Lavender and roses are two of my favorite fragrant flowers that can help buyers get hooked. Imagine walking out into the back yard and cutting fresh bunches of lavender… we want to encourage buyers to have such pleasing thoughts about the home. We’ll talk more about sense appeal in the how-to section.

Needless to say, we want our staged homes to be full of positive vibes. Light, color, sense appeal, and space all contribute to the positive feeling we’re after, but there’s another aspect that we can’t overlook.

This often comes down to very small details like the books on the shelves, but negative feelings can come across from bigger issues like a lack of cleanliness, a sense of things not being properly maintained, sickly looking plants, or any other signs of neglect.

Signs of marital problems are also pretty easy to pick up on. Your books are often a good clue as to trouble in the house, whether it’s health trouble, relationship trouble, or any other serious problem your family could be dealing with.

These are life issues that we all deal with at one time or another, but to keep the mood in the home as positive as possible, we’ll do some editing. I toured a home where the couple was clearly having problems, and you could see signs (literally) everywhere from the refrigerator to the master bedroom that looked like couples therapy exercises. Many of us have been in that spot and I’m definitely not judging the situation, but when buyers see clues like that they can start to be affected by a feeling of negativity.

Buyers want a home that’s filled with happiness and love, not conflict and pain. People pick up on more than you might think. Positive vibes!