You’ve made the decision to sell your property. Here are some tips for making your sales process more successful.
Understand the Buyer’s Mentality
By the time most prospective buyers get to your home to view the property, they are most likely already focused on the most important things they are looking for in a house. Are you within their price range? Do they like the neighborhood? Does your home meet your space requirements? And more.
So why buy your home instead of any other one? Any real estate agent worth their salt can tell you that emotional responses are the most important factor. Once the basic requirements are filled, they will almost always choose to buy the house that just “felt like home.”
With this in mind, what can you do to make your home ring true with your visitors on an emotional level? Here are a few little tricks of the trade:
1. Have your home smell like home. Put fresh-cut flowers near your front door; have cookies baking in the oven; put on a freshly brewed pot of coffee in the background.
2. Have some soft music playing the background. Perhaps get your kids playing a game of soccer in the backyard —this can both keep them quiet and give the place a “lived-in” feel.
3. Go through your home and clean up any extra furniture, mess, and and clutter. Let in as much sunlight as your home allows, and, where necessary, turn on lights to brighten up your rooms.
4. Have plenty of family photographs in easy view, and put some colorful art on the walls. But be careful not to overdo it! You don’t want to go overboard and have them seem like clutter!
5. Make sure that your visitors feel comfortable. Light the fireplace or turn on a lamp to add warmth to your rooms.
These particular strategies work best at open houses, as this is the time when it’s most important to make a lasting impression. In the case of a single visitor or an individual couple, creativity is still important, but make sure that your full effort goes into the open house.
Pay Attention to the Details, and Never Run Out of Outlets
When planning or renovating the house of our dreams, a great deal of our attention is often focused on the cosmetic details — what color will the walls be? What carpeting and flooring styles will we use? What type of cabinetry will we have installed? This is all well and good — personal taste is important, after all — but when our heads are stuck in the decorating clouds, we often miss unassuming yet extremely important items. Electrical outlets, for instance, can often be forgotten. It’s important to remember to include enough of these little devices, and to make sure they are conveniently placed.
One place that outlets are often overlooked is in your master bedroom. You will want to make sure you have at least one outlet for each side of the bed. Home owners will sometimes wind up with only one outlet that must be shared or — far worse — none at all. The same goes for the master bathroom, where there should be both “his and hers” outlets. And remember to include ample counter space to hold your entire appliance cords — it’s not a good idea to have these dangling into the sink! In the kitchen, make sure your island, if you have one, is wired. Especially if this is where you do most of your food preparation, you’ll want to be able to easily plug in your toaster, food processor, or coffee pot without walking back and forth across the kitchen.
Another important item that is sometimes overlooked is having the proper quantity of heat registers. Each room should include at least one of these — more if the room is particularly large. If the room has a vaulted ceiling, it should also include a ceiling fan. If that fan happens to be located in your master bedroom, it might be nice to have a remote control for it. And as far as entertainment-oriented wiring goes, installing cat-5 cable into just a few rooms should suffice — wiring the whole house is unnecessary due to the miracle of wireless Internet.