Inflated Expectation: The Reality Media Mystical Unicorn Effect

01 Apr Inflated Expectation: The Reality Media Mystical Unicorn Effect

We love our home-improvement and idea-generating media like Houzz, Pinterest, and HGTV shows.  Seeing beauty created is inspiring, and they make it look so easy!  Model-looking homes, amazing DIY projects, and home makeovers in a weekend.  All with ridiculously small budgets, too!  It’s like a mystical unicorn that we start to believe is real because it appears in so many places.

Unfortunately, these types of media usually give people the wrong impression of project pricing and timeframe.  This can be deceptive for those hoping to remodel, build, or buy a home.  Expectations have been inflated by these types of reality media.

Those wanting to remodel or build a home now have certain unrealistic idea of how much things will cost. They want that mystical unicorn because they’ve seen it on reality media, which has lead them to believe they can get a BMW for the price of a Kia.  For instance, an entire kitchen makeover for $6,000.  Yes, please!  Sign me up!  What’s not disclosed, though, is that the cost of labor is usually deeply discounted or free of charge in exchange for some on-air marketing.  Likewise, the materials are often discounted, or cost-saving shortcuts are taken that the viewer doesn’t see.

Similarly, the home buyer isn’t immune to the mystical unicorn effect, which means the seller is left trying to meet these inflated expectations.  As a Home Stager, I can speak from experience regarding this phenomenon.  Buyers want turn-key homes that look like the ones they see in reality media’s “mystical unicorn world.”  This makes them very selective when searching for a home to buy.

Home sellers nowadays, in order to sell their homes quickly and for the most profit, must take extra steps in order to meet these inflated expectations and entice buyers.  This can seem overwhelming and unattainable, especially on a tight budget.

But, there’s hope.  Sellers can get advice on how to prepare their home for market from experts like Home Stagers, who will pinpoint exactly what needs to be done. This process begins with a Staging Consultation, which takes about two hours and leaves Sellers with a game plan of how to prepare their home for market.

There will likely be a bit of an investment involved, but a Home Stager can help determine what will give you the best return on investment.  As a listing price falls an average of 1% per month it’s on the market, the cost of Staging is usually much less than the first price reduction, making it a solid investment.  In fact, says that “Staging Return on Investment average is 586%.”

Furthermore, did you know that Home Staging was listed as a top two necessary item for sellers in a 2014 Zillow survey?  Times have changed!  Also, buyer’s agents prefer to show Staged homes.  Of course!  Because there’s a greater chance the buyer will fall in love with a Staged home, so with all else being the same, why not show staged homes first?

If you’re thinking of remodeling or building a home, just keep in mind this inflated expectation phenomenon.  Definitely get several bids from various contractors, but understand that the cost will likely be more than you expect.  Work with the contractor to prioritize projects and come up with cost-savings measures whenever possible.  You can still make improvements you’ll love.

If you’re thinking of selling, remember the “Mystical Unicorn Effect” exists, and if you want to compete, you’ll embrace this creature and make it work for you!

And, for goodness sake, keep enjoying reality media.  There are some fantastic ideas to be discovered.  The only difference now is you’ll “take it with a grain of salt,” or, more appropriately, you’ll “view it with a tamed, formerly mystical, unicorn.”

Need help meeting the Mystical Unicorn expectations when selling your home?  Contact Imagine Gurus today!  [email protected]