Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Staging a House - Does Race Matter?

We had a home stager visit our Cheektowaga house last night - TheHomeStylist. In general, she gave us some useful information on putting some minimal furniture into our empty house. Some chairs, a table and lamp in the living room, a couch in the family room, bed in the Master suite and table in the kitchen. She thought the house had 3 big problems - the entryway/stairway has large mirrors (see the pics), black carpet on the stairway and dark red carpet in the master BR. All of these were there when we bought the house and in good condition, so we did not replace them. At this point, I'm not sure we want to tackle these features - the mirrors would be a very large job (They are 2 stories high and the wall behind would need to be re-drywalled and painted).

One question she failed to answer is whether there is a difference between what African-Americans look for Vs Caucasian buyers. After holding several open houses, it is apparent that the target market for this house will be an upscale African-American couple with children. I have been in a lot of homes of blacks and feel that their decorating tastes are quite different than for whites. Does this mean that when they buy, certain colors will appeal to them different than a white buyer? I don't recall ever seeing anything written about this. All of the Home Stagers I have seen pictures are of white women.

My other problem is how to market to this target audience? News paper ads are totally useless. I'm not sure if this market segment uses the Internet MLS and signs are very limited geographically. Ultimately, a good Realtor may be the only answer.

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