Staging a home for the right target market


Every home is different, and every neighbourhood too. In Cape Town, Woodstock attracts young, trendy professionals while houses in Claremont, Newlands and Rondebosch appeals mostly to families with school going children. Seapoint apartments are great for out-of-towners wanting to own property facing the sea, while moms and dads whose kids are coming to varsity here want student digs close to the campus.

It’s all about the target market

How you style a home depends very much on the market you’re trying to attract. It’s about choosing appropriate furnishings, art, books and eve colours. Take this home in Rosebank for example, which I styled recently (scroll down for a pic).

It’s close to UCT, freehold but in a townhouse style with not much garden but a lovely courtyard, with one bedroom downstairs and two upstairs. Factor the price into the mix and you end up with a property that would appeal to professionals not wanting to be bothered with garden maintenance, or students who want to be near campus and transport.

The agent (Carol Knopf of Pam Golding) and I decided to stage it for these two markets. Obviously, every home must have seating and beds, but more than that, each home needs accessories that say “hello!” online, and then in person. I do this by choosing accessories and furnishings that say give emotional cues for that specific market.

Choosing the right emotional cues

In this case, we couldn’t change the wall or floor colours, but here’s what I chose for this market:

  • Books, magazines (especially National Geographics) and bookshelves – students and professionals read!

  • Poster art and abstract art – this market would not go for stiff still lifes

  • Young and colourful furnishings – in yellows, greens, reds

  • Some South African touches – raffia placemats, South African books and photo art

  • Indoor and outdoor plants that bring nature in, without being too fussy.

  • Here is an after and before photo:

A quick sale at a great price

The home had been on the market with different agents for several months, before Pam Golding got a sole mandate and called me in. The result: two offers in the first two weeks of staging, one close to asking price. And yes, it sold to a young professional couple with a small child. Our styling was right on the money.

If you have a property to sell and want to give it a competitive edge, call me for a consult. I'd love to help you. Liesa 084 843 2426.

Here’s a before and after photo of the house.


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