Model Home Mentality: The Effects of HGTV

Home Stager with Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design ~

Home staging, which has changed the landscape of how homes are sold today, has made really dramatic strides in only the past few years. These changes come in response to a new generation of home buyers whose high expectations are dictating what sells homes – and what doesn’t.  We call this change in mindset Model Home Mentality and it encapsulates the effects of HGTV and snazzy model homes on impressionable home buyers who must have all those fancy upgrades as well as a home which has ‘the look’ before they buy it.

Gone are the days when a home owner could put a for sale sign in the front yard and trust that a buyer would be able to look past the way in which they lived in the house and envision what it could look like. Truthfully, it’s a little sad that buyers have changed so drastically that they would rather walk away from a property which has potential and just needs a little TLC rather than accept the challenge the home offers.

Buyers – especially first time buyers – expect a certain level of home when they make the decision to purchase. They aren’t just buying a house, they are buying into a lifestyle – one which has all those bells and whistles they see on TV and in decorated model homes. The expectations of these discerning buyers and their willingness to pay more money for homes which model the lifestyle they want to have, is shaking up the real estate industry. Savvy sellers are becoming aware that in order to get the full value of their home, they need to be prepared to do what it takes to showcase their homes properly.

In order to reap the benefits of this new real estate trend, we often tell home owners that they should be prepared to invest some time and money in both the preparation of their home as well as in the professional staging or showcasing. By committing to this two part process, the family home will then take on a polished, modern appeal which will be memorable to all buyers previewing the property. The cost? Normally about 1% of the home’s list price and always significantly lower than a price reduction once the property is on the market.

Neutral Bedroom with no Showcasing makes this space fall Flat!

Adding some WOW to this space suddenly makes it memorable!

Competing against new build homes is difficult to begin with (and a whole other article), however there is NO competition when a resale home fails to impress buyers. First time buyers are young and hip; they gravitate instinctively towards homes which are updated and beautiful to look at. This puts the average seller who is over 50, at a distinct disadvantage. Wallpaper, dated fixtures and finishes, cozy rooms stuffed full of collectibles and belongings – all trademarks of a happy, well lived in and loved home are key components to making a home’s target buyers run for the hills -  or the nearest model home.

So what does it take to sell to this new generation? Well, it used to be that simply doing some painting, packing away personal pictures and cleaning off counters were the most important things. These are still important aspects of the preparation process but without proper showcasing, the house can still fall flat with buyers. Going to the next level and professionally staging a home by using modern furnishings and beautiful accents to create memorable focal points is what makes buyers go WOW.

Bringing in a pro stager bridges this generation gap and puts a powerful tool in any home owner’s arsenal. From the initial consultation which gives sellers a customized preparation plan to staging options for their home, consulting with a professional stager is a great first step. Instead of a general list of things ‘to do’, working with a professional will take the guesswork out of how to properly showcase your house and maximize its selling features. Investing both the time and money to be sure your home is staged to sell is the best way to ensure that this new generation of buyers see the value and appeal in your home, regardless of the price point.


Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is an award winning company based out of Kitchener-Waterloo, ON. For more information on our home staging services or to book a home staging consultation, please contact us. To view our extensive portfolio, please visit us online at

Posted by

Heather Cook  is Co-Owner and Principal Staging Designer of the award winning Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. based out of Kitchener-Waterloo, ON.


Contact us today so we can help you create the WOW Factor in your home.



This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the chair to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Home Selling
Ontario Waterloo Region Kitchener Kitchener-waterloo
Advice for Sellers
Canadian RE/Max Agents, Mortgage Brokers, Home Staggers Etc.
Color it SOLD!
Stage It Forward...
home staging
real estate staging
property showcasing
property styling
rooms in bloom
model homes

Comments 13 New Comment

Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design ~

Thank you Sally - after looking at tons of pictures online and seeing neutral but uninspiring (yawn worthy) photos I thought this post was pretty appropriate. We did a presentation for our real estate board this past week and the topic electrified the agents.  You are exactly right - to sell the homes, we need to give buyers exactly what they are looking for!

Janet - Absolutely right; HGTV has been a huge game changer for the real estate industry. In lots of good ways but also in raising the bar for buyer expectations. Good for us but still makes me a little sad that our generation can't and doesn't want to look beyond a home's aesthetics and be prepared to invest both time and money to realize its full potential.

October 23, 2011 11:14 AM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington Ont. Accredited Staging Professional
Janice Ankrett Home Staging

Heather, I couldn't agree more! I work in an area with a lot of new builds. I just had an older client who is selling a home in the older part of town and they really need to compete.

October 23, 2011 08:39 PM
Kim Gaston
Colorado Springs Realtor, (719)661-6987
Colorado Home Sales LLC

Hi, Heather. Wonderful message and beautiful examples. High impact staging is a necessity to stand out. Buyers want to be wowed, so sellers go big or go home (without an offer).

October 24, 2011 12:31 AM
Heather Cook
Rooms in Bloom Staging & Design ~

Janice - Its tough competing against new build construction and in Burlington (yep, know the area well cause that's where I grew up and we looked for homes there about 8 years ago) so many of the homes are older and feature older decorating styles. Its hard for buyers to justify the extra work needed to make those homes current when they can just go to a new build site and select everything from scratch. If sellers want to compete against these types of homes, they need to do a lot MORE to prep and showcase their homes.

Kim - Thank you :) I love it - yes sellers need to pull out all the stops so that their homes have the appeal necessary to pull in savvy buyers.

October 24, 2011 09:52 AM
Liz Gallagher
Montreal Quebec RESA member
LG Home Harmony - Home Stagers & Organizers
Great post, and all too true. Well done on the staging as well.
November 08, 2011 06:59 PM

Heather Cook

Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the tshirt to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

Blog written by Heather Cook, award winning home staging designer for Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. Great information on home staging & re-design for realtors, sellers and buyers!