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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Your opinion on the ethics of something
    #8429509 - 05/21/08 06:14 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I've taken up an interest in something called home staging. Almost have a DYI e-book finished and have been toying with starting a business.

Staging is basically working with homes for sale to show off their potential to buyers. Beyond the de-cluttering, depersonalizing, repair, re-painting and cleaning done to prep a home for sale, stagers come in and make them look like model homes.

Stagers also set up vignettes to help potential buyers start bonding emotionally with the place. Good staging also helps to create more excitement and perceptual value.

Stats show that staged homes sell on average in half the time and for 7% more.

I keep running into a personal ethics issue with this practice. A lot of psychology is being used on the unwitting buyers. They will not be getting exactly what they saw or fell in love with either once all of the staging props are removed. It's a marketing ploy.

Everyone around me says, there is nothing wrong with showing off a homes potential to help it sell and to make it more attractive to buyers. I can reason that and yet, something feels wrong about it to me.

Some of it is just wrong. There are these stagers out there who use golf course spray paint, to touch up peoples dead lawn patches. Others will use drapes to hide rotting window sills. That is just flat out deceptive to me.

Maybe what is bugging me is that I don't want to be associated with those practice by getting into that field.

There is also a lot of seduction strategy involved when setting the stage to get buyers to fall in love with a place and bond with it emotionally. That part feels deceptive too.

I felt like running it by you all to get your opinions on the ethics here. Not sure if it is really not right, or if I am looking for excuses to not get into it.

I would love to do it and would be good at it though. Not sure why the seduction end of it is bothering me so much.

Is there a slimy ethics issue here or not?


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8429624 - 05/21/08 06:44 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Any field will have unethical practitioners & shady practices going on within it.  If you decide that you want to take this on as a career, you will be able to make decisions based upon your ethical standards. 

If the spray-painted lawns don't work for you, don't do it.  If you think that it is important to find a balance between playing up the home's attributes vs. covering up the home's flaws, work to maintain that balance. 

Ultimately, it is up to the buyers to figure out what is real and what is "glamour," and to hire a home inspector to give them the practical POV on the house.  Everything you would do to decorate and show off the home can be replicated by them when the move in, if they so choose.

They might even hire you to do it for them!  :wink:


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8429708 - 05/21/08 07:07 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

gettinjiggywithit said:
I've taken up an interest in something called home staging. Almost have a DYI e-book finished and have been toying with starting a business.

Staging is basically working with homes for sale to show off their potential to buyers. Beyond the de-cluttering, depersonalizing, repair, re-painting and cleaning done to prep a home for sale, stagers come in and make them look like model homes.

Stagers also set up vignettes to help potential buyers start bonding emotionally with the place. Good staging also helps to create more excitement and perceptual value.

Stats show that staged homes sell on average in half the time and for 7% more.

I keep running into a personal ethics issue with this practice. A lot of psychology is being used on the unwitting buyers. They will not be getting exactly what they saw or fell in love with either once all of the staging props are removed. It's a marketing ploy.

Everyone around me says, there is nothing wrong with showing off a homes potential to help it sell and to make it more attractive to buyers. I can reason that and yet, something feels wrong about it to me.

Some of it is just wrong. There are these stagers out there who use golf course spray paint, to touch up peoples dead lawn patches. Others will use drapes to hide rotting window sills. That is just flat out deceptive to me.

Maybe what is bugging me is that I don't want to be associated with those practice by getting into that field.

There is also a lot of seduction strategy involved when setting the stage to get buyers to fall in love with a place and bond with it emotionally. That part feels deceptive too.

I felt like running it by you all to get your opinions on the ethics here. Not sure if it is really not right, or if I am looking for excuses to not get into it.

I would love to do it and would be good at it though. Not sure why the seduction end of it is bothering me so much.

Is there a slimy ethics issue here or not?




Watch American Beauty and get back to us.;)


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Veritas]
    #8429783 - 05/21/08 07:23 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

So far you are saying the same I am hearing from others.

I know I won't do any of the hiding tricks others do. An inspector would catch the rotting sil, but not the dead lawn hiding under the lawn paint. The people doing that piss me off.

I don't have a problem with furnishing the home in a way to show it's potential. It's using the seduction tricks, that I would use because they do work as the grabber, that feel a little slimy to me. It is toying with peoples emotions to get them to make a very expensive purchase.

I wouldn't bother doing it without using them, if I decide to do it.

long pause




It feels evil to me :lol:



I used some of them in the last home I sold and it has actually has been haunting me.

I don't know why.

Any insight is appreciated.


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Icelander]
    #8429790 - 05/21/08 07:25 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Just give me the moral of the story. I'll wiki it.


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InvisibleVeritas
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8429794 - 05/21/08 07:26 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

IME, when we engage in behavior which is incongruent with our internal standards, we experience cognitive dissonance.  The resolution is either to modify the standards or cease the behavior.  (Or just smoke and drink a lot to drown it out.  :tongue:)


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8429796 - 05/21/08 07:26 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I suggest retiring early as I have done. Do some stretching and yoga and Qi Gong. Then a body scan meditation for deep relaxation and a long hike in the mountains with the dog. Then maybe the Library and a good book, some food and then posting at the shroomery. Then off to bed and some really interesting dreams.:thumbup:


--------------------
"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC


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OfflineEpigallo
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8429817 - 05/21/08 07:31 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

get third party quality certification. this will make it ethical and raise the selling price. what area would you be working in?


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Veritas]
    #8429877 - 05/21/08 07:47 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

That's the thing with me Veritas. The dissonance is there and I can't shake it. I'm frustrated though. same thing happened to me when I was pursuing a career in fashion design after HS. I was good.....great, yet the more I got into it, the more I saw what a phony, pretentious , shallow, back stabbing, step on anyone to get ahead industry it also was. I just loved the creative aspect and the design of haute couture and the fabrics made me dizzy high.

I would look ahead at all of that and think, " I will loose the best of me if I take this further and submerge myself in the industry.' I bailed and moved to the islands looking for something real. I found it there too.

Seems the same conflicting element is staring me in the face again. I think that is what ice was getting at with the movie watching suggestion. I read the wiki on it.

I loved this line from it though-

"Today Janie, I quit my job. Then I told my boss to go fuck himself, and blackmailed him for almost $60,000. Pass the asparagus." :rofl2:

Funny you mentioned what you did Ice. Business plan option number two is to open a wellness center of sorts where Tai Chi, Yoga Qui Gong, Pilates ect classes are offered and other wellness products are sold. There is nothing much like that yet out where I live ( all new development) great market out here for it too.

That idea came to me because I was about to do what you suggested and couldn;t find any of it near me.

I need to start my own business. I am going crazy being a stay at home mom/house wife. I do know that much!


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


Edited by gettinjiggywithit (05/21/08 08:01 PM)


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Epigallo]
    #8429898 - 05/21/08 07:53 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bradley said:
get third party quality certification. this will make it ethical and raise the selling price. what area would you be working in?




Not sure what you mean here. A good stager will advise the sellers to get a home inspection first and make all necessary repairs.

The ethics is related to what the stager does, using props to make potential buyers get emotional about the property and want to purchase it right away for top dollar. There is emotional and psychological manipulation going on with good home staging.

What do you mean by area? Location? There are shit loads of homes sitting around going stale on the market around me. I live in a great area to launch a staging business. Next to no competition here yet either.

I'm just concerned that I may start feeling slimy and not be able to wash that feeling off of me. I don't know why I feel that way.


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OfflinePhanTomCat
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8429985 - 05/21/08 08:20 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

The inspectors *should* find the hidden rotting window sills and things like that....
Nothing wrong with giving a home a nice suit to wear and look appealing while up for sale....
A buddy of mine just did that, they made him take out a whole lot of stuff to put in storage, and she spent like $500 to make it look "nicer"....

I see nothing dishonest about it....    :shrug:


>^;;^<


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"The most important things in life that are often ignored, are the things that one cannot see...."

>^;;^<


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: PhanTomCat]
    #8430083 - 05/21/08 08:49 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

PhanTomCat said:
The inspectors *should* find the hidden rotting window sills and things like that....
Nothing wrong with giving a home a nice suit to wear and look appealing while up for sale....
A buddy of mine just did that, they made him take out a whole lot of stuff to put in storage, and she spent like $500 to make it look "nicer"....

I see nothing dishonest about it....    :shrug:


>^;;^<




When people put it that way, I don't either.

Where is this guilty of doing something wrong feeling coming from then?

I figured if any group I know was going to find ethics issues with it, it would be here. So far you guys don;t see any.

Maybe something else is going on with me then.

I know two things. I feel a strong need to be creatively productive "out there" with something I know I would be good at and I also feel a strong need for everything in my life to be up front raw and real.

Staging is the art of creating an illusion with the seduction of others added to it.  Maybe your friend or their stager didn't go that far with it.

Maybe the fact that it would be good easy money for me feels like I would be making some sort of Faustain bargain. (deal with the devil)

Usually when I throw my thoughts out there about something I feel mixed on, and you all bounce off of them, something appears in front of me that I didn't see before, to clear myself up for myself.

Maybe I have guilt issues with making easy money prgrammed into me that are surfacing or something.


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OfflinePhanTomCat
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8430304 - 05/21/08 10:08 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I think this is something new, as I had never heard of it before my buddy had it done....
It is no different than going to see a model home that is all dressed out....
Maybe you are leery because it is something "new"....
When actually, that is the time to get into something that shows promise (in business)....

Just don't group the idea in with the dishonest stuff, and you will be fine....
Dishonesty is dishonesty.....
You providing an honest service, is just that....
You aren't providing an illusion, you are providing templates of possibilities, with your own professionally creative personal touch....    :wink:


>^;;^<


--------------------
I'll be your midnight French Fry....  :naughty:

"The most important things in life that are often ignored, are the things that one cannot see...."

>^;;^<


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InvisibleRahz
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: PhanTomCat]
    #8430393 - 05/21/08 10:26 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Would it be profitable to run this business while avoiding slimy parts? Installing windows would increase property value, and profit. :shrug:

Is there a market for that type of staging?


--------------------
rahz

comfort pleasure power love truth awareness peace


“I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather did. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car."


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OfflineEpigallo
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Epigallo]
    #8430614 - 05/21/08 11:24 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

maybe I misunderstood how much actual renovation takes place. I know there are various third parties like "Healthy Homes" that send inspectors to check out the quality of materials and construction, but on second thought you probably wouldn't be doing enough renovation to actually meet those standards. Unless you want to turn it into a sort of niche healthy/green staging business. :shrug: That would sell.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Rahz]
    #8430671 - 05/21/08 11:36 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Tomcat,

It's not new. A gal named Barbara Shwartz (uses, teaches and condones the hiding problems tactics) started the first staging business in Texas 20 years ago. It took more in Cali and NY at first.  More have just been popping up lately because of the slow down in the market. Demand is high for them now. I've been following what they have been doing for the last 10 years and have at least staged my own homes when I sold them and helped some friends.

Nothing new to me at least.

Here is an example of a basic staged vacant property someone did at a staging site I read at. Just for reference on the subject. the best before and afters are where the homes were cluttered all to hell filled with personal shit to the brim and outdated crap. FYI brass and wall paper are evil.

Before and afters.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/512976/Prompted-by-their-Agent

Anyway, running with your templates of possibilities line. If they provoke people to want a place so much they pay more for  the perceptual value of the illusion created, isn't that a hustle and psychological manipulation of sorts?

My concern is more with the seduction stuff, like filling and running the spa tub, adding aromatherapy scents to it and maybe fresh floating flowerer's, lit candles here and there, running water fountains at strategic spots, lighting all fire places, playing soft spa music, setting a serving tray out with a bottle of wine, opener and glasses on them ready to roll, stemmed crystal bowls filled with artichokes, baked brie and fresh bread set out on the counter, ect stuff like that. ( the shit works wonders for creating emotional attachments to a place and making them want to spend more time there)

Isn't that stuff psychological trickery to feel guilty about?


Quote:

Rahz said:
Would it be profitable to run this business while avoiding slimy parts? Installing windows would increase property value, and profit. :shrug:

Is there a market for that type of staging?




Nothing slimy about actually brining a home up to move in ready, well maintained speed. there is real value in that and it all should be done. Some include all of that in their staging and they hire out the contractors. Some just advise the people to get it done.

There is such a glut of homes out there now just sitting for up to a year with price reductions and no offerers that are in move in condition and well maintained. To compete now, sellers have to do a lot more to sell quick for top dollar. They have to use the tricks that lure in the the offers.

Creating perceptual value is what seems to work these days, yet, perceptual value is not hard asset value on closing day.

There was this article in a paper written by some asshole Realtors warning people to beware of staged homes, letting people know that they are viewing a place in a very unrealistic setting and not to be swept away by it. As the popularity of staging grows, the critics against it will be coming out strong too. Not sure if I want to deal with defending myself or the industry because of the ethical issues involved.

There are other secrets I'm not giving away that are designed to effect potential buyers on the subconscious level as they are touring the home. They work like magic too, and yet, I feel like when I am plotting to invade their sub conscience, with less obvious tricks, I am doing something sneaky.

It's an issue I need to resolve because I wouldn't get into the business without doing those things.  I want a stellar record and would use every trick in my bag for creating perceptual value, besides the masking problems stuff.

I don't know whats with me on this one bugging me so much about it.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Epigallo]
    #8430691 - 05/21/08 11:40 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bradley said:
Unless you want to turn it into a sort of niche healthy/green staging business. :shrug: That would sell.




Flippers are the ones who do complete renovations. A stagers challenge is to spend the least to get the most for the seller. Some staging projects do some major work.

Anyway, you have an intuitive feel for the market my friend.:thumbup: Green features are attracting more buyers as studies show buyers are looking for them in homes and are paying more for them. Many "good" stagers are picking up on that trend now too.

That is adding real value to a place.


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OfflineBoots
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8430780 - 05/21/08 11:56 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Personally, I love being able to deceive and manipulate people while still remaining within the rules. It's such a thrill and if you can profit from it, why not?


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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Boots]
    #8430896 - 05/22/08 12:20 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Boots said:
Personally, I love being able to deceive and manipulate people while still remaining within the rules. It's such a thrill and if you can profit from it, why not?




My conscious has a hard time with that. maybe you just found the perfect career for yourself :lol:

I just figured out something else that is bugging me here.

First , this line from a press release about staging says a lot about todays buyers-

Quote:

Reddy contends that “ When staging, we are appealing to potential buyers through the senses and creating an emotion. By adding these large format, oil paintings to our design we are evoking a feeling of sophistication and financial success. Home buyers want to see themselves in such an environment




I hate to say it but, some people are dumb. That's an example of a trap people want to be set out for them. That expensive ass oil painting isn't included with the price of the home, yet they are paying more for the feeling of being financial successful, buying what they believe a financially successful person owned.

Anyway, the other part bugging me.

The bottom line with staging vacant homes is that they serve those with zero imagination. Because so many buyers lack the imagination to envision a homes potential, they end up paying sometimes, $30,000- $150,000 more for a place that did nothing more then serve their poor imaginations.

Helping that to happen for sellers sounds okay to you guys?

It seems so warped to me and yet, maybe the perceptual value fof seeing a staged place is worth the extra expense to them. :shrug: That's my biggest concern I guess. If buyers are willing to pay more in the end for being wooed with luxury and romance during the viewing process, then maybe it's all  a good thing.

For those of you who were reading the fantasy in kids movies post, this is an example of how lack of creative imagination can cost one in life. :lol:


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OfflineEpigallo
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8431039 - 05/22/08 12:56 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

i wish i could say something encouraging, but, after thinking about it

i don't think marketing is really a respectable field to begin with. for example, if no distributors waxed their fruit, people would still buy it, but when one supplier starts, all have to follow to keep up

so it helps one supplier to begin with but over time it is just wasted time...everyone would still eat fruit.

for perspective, i don't think it is a huge deal; in the security & safety forum some people came to agreement that it is ethical to kill a narc. :rolleyes: it might be more ethical to do it for really expensive houses, with people who are burning money anyway.


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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Epigallo]
    #8431140 - 05/22/08 01:26 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bradley said:


i don't think marketing is really a respectable field to begin with.




I agree and yet, it's something I happen to be naturally good at. I don't want to find myself 3 years up the road telling people I am a home stager and having them look at me like I am a slimy used car salesmen.

You bring up another concern of mine that once staging becomes the standard to get a home sold, (and it will)it's going to cost everyone more to do it to compete, as well as create a whole new inflationary bubble of it's own with prices based on perceived values that disappear at closing, and not hard asset ones.

I was just talking with my husband about that.

Where will it stop too?

I'm not looking for encouragement. Just a damn good argument that says, creating perceived value is a fair value to potential buyers in this game to work with.

I suppose if I saw reports saying that the buyers of staged homes, know they are paying more for the model home look and then some at the showing and are okay with it, and prefer it, then, I wouldn't mind so much giving them what they want.

At least with imaging concepting that sells designer jeans for more, the buyer gets to sport the image.

In the case of the home staging, the image and it's value disappears once the contract is signed and the buyer get stuck with a higher mortgage for nothing to sport around after the fact. The image they are buying into, and the expensive and subtle props and tricks that made the home feel "right" and worth more, fades after the purchase.

Sucks having a conscience about such things I guess.


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Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8431624 - 05/22/08 04:25 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

the staging can teach people (buyers) what to do later to make themselves happier with the place. especially if they take pictures before they buy.
the rest is real estate slight of hand which is not your domain.
prices of homes is not your domain.


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Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: redgreenvines]
    #8432553 - 05/22/08 01:33 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
the staging can teach people (buyers) what to do later to make themselves happier with the place. especially if they take pictures before they buy.
the rest is real estate slight of hand which is not your domain.
prices of homes is not your domain.




What if it was my domain?

Surveys have shown that Realtors are the most hated professionals, even more then lawyers. I know why. I hate those snakes too.

It's because they suck so hard and don't earn their ridiculously high commissions that Stagers are even needed. The good stagers step in and do what Realtors should be doing, leaving the Realtor to do nothing but pay for the marketing ads "created by the stager", negotiate the contract "with advise from the stager to the seller what should even be in it so the seller doesn't get burned, and show up at closing.

Good stagers have to be involved in price setting, advising to get their own pre-sale appraisal and researching the comps to know what return the seller can expect to get on the staging and what's worth spending, and what price compared to the comps will make it move fast. Most Realtors let sellers price too high just so they can get the listing, knowing full well the price reductions that will ensue months up the road.

Good stagers either take good professional photos with great wide angle cameras and create the video tour presentations themselves, or contract that out professionals to do it in their staging price, then give the disks to the Realtor to use in the marketing. ( there are a lot of cheap ass of shoddy Realtors out there taking the photos with their camera phones. The sellers don't even bother to look at their own listings on the internet to see how their home is being marketed and they are getting screwed) The photos are everything to get buyers in the door.

Good stagers also get involved with the creation of the homes marketing flyer/brochure, to be left with the home for buyers to take, because the ones most Realtors produce suck so bad-not enough photos or descriptions of the homes features, upgrades and updates that build value and support the asking price.

Good stagers don't do what interior designers/decorators do. They actually undo a lot of that work in the depersonalizing the home process. They make the home appealing to the majority of buyers via slick marketing. They set bait and traps based on buyer psychology with proven strategies that work, to lure in the biggest fish quickly.

If you are a good stager, you are taking advantage of buyers and competing Realtors weaknesses. That's what predators do. Maybe it's because I can't help but to see it that way that I am having trouble with moving ahead on something I would otherwise really enjoy and be really good at.

I realize with any job/business, we are all accomplices to profiting off of the needs, weaknesses and wants of other people. Others do it off of us.

I'm cool with fair exchange of goods and services. We all know that is not what goes on in the market place. People are getting ripped off every day because of weakness.

This planet isn't right, so full of predators and prey or maybe it is right for what it is and I'm now finding myself having a hard time accepting the way it is and who I am in the game of survival of the fittest. It doesn't have to be this way. I don't know where my place is here anymore, role wise anyway.

I need to start a new post topic I think.


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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InvisibleVeritas
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Registered: 04/15/05
Posts: 11,089
Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #8432577 - 05/22/08 01:45 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

This planet isn't right, so full of predators and prey or maybe it is right for what it is and I'm now finding myself having a hard time accepting the way it is and who I am in the game of survival of the fittest.




It's likely that the world will continue to be this way whether you become a Stager or not.  If you truly have qualms about the actions required to become successful in the staging business, then opt out.  Perhaps working as a regular interior decorator would be more fun, or even an event decorator, if you like the idea of short-term projects. 

My working theory is that there is little I can do to change the big picture, but I can operate within my "little picture" with as much integrity and grace as I am able.  This often means making unpopular choices, but I am just fine with that.  Those unpopular choices mean that I am at peace within myself, and I am the only person I can't get away from.  :grin:


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
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Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 7,469
Loc: Heart of Laughter
Re: Your opinion on the ethics of something [Re: Veritas]
    #8432635 - 05/22/08 02:07 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Veritas said:
but I can operate within my "little picture" with as much integrity and grace as I am able.  This often means making unpopular choices, but I am just fine with that.  Those unpopular choices mean that I am at peace within myself, and I am the only person I can't get away from.  :grin:




All wise stuff Ver!

Been told I would make a great event planner and should get into it.

Something in what you wrote gave me the good healthy cry I needed and have been holding back. I feel better , like I can see the sun again. The pieces of broken me are coming back together now. :hug:

Much love to the shroomery S&P :heart:


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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