Make Sure Potential Buyers Are Comfortable When They Visit Your Home
The real estate website Shiloh Street recently posted an article, entitled 9 Home Staging Tips to Sell in 28 Days, which I found rather interesting. The author is smart enough to throw in a disclaimer, refusing to guarantee success within four weeks, but he shows a good understanding of the psychology of home buyers, and points out 90% of home sellers fail to take this into consideration, and that’s why it takes them longer to sell their homes. Some of the points on the list are things we’ve addressed on our site before, fairly intuitive tips like getting rid of clutter and making sure a property doesn’t look too dark and dingy.
But there were a few tips in the list that we have not talked about here, and I thought they deserved some attention. Again, they focus on the mindset of the buyer, and the goal is always to make the prospective buyer become an actual, confirmed buyer.
So, how to make them feel the most comfortable? Firstly, make sure the temperature in your property is set at an optimum level, depending on the time of year. Many sellers turn their air conditioning off when they leave for the day, and when realtors bring interested potential buyers over, it’s either too hot or too cold. This does not make for a good first impression! In these cases, leave the temperature where you like it, so your potential buyer will feel comfortable and not too hot or cold.
Another tip offered is one that sellers may be familiar with, but it bears repeating. Baking cookies just before an open house can really make a difference. The smell lingers around a kitchen for hours afterwards, and subconsciously inspires happy thoughts in anyone who visits. By the same token, be sure to avoid cooking anything with a strong aroma before a viewing if that aroma is more overpowering than pleasant. An hour before an open house is not the time to start frying up some onions and garlic!
Speaking of the senses, there is a tip on that list that relates to sounds. Or, more specifically, noise. Once you live in a place for long enough, you stop hearing the background noises like traffic, or a railroad track or ongoing construction. But a potential buyer will certainly notice these noises, and certainly will not appreciate them. The list suggests playing some light music inside the house, quietly enough to be pleasant and not overwhelming, but loudly enough to mask some of the outside commotion.
Finally, the most important thing for home sellers to remember is that the buyer has to picture himself in your property. What that means is, you have to make it look as impersonal and neutral as possible, which can make emotionally tough to do, but is essential. However much a potential buyer likes your home, they can easily be put off by the giant family portrait that dominates the living room.
Like the writer of the Shiloh Street, I cannot guarantee success within 28 days purely as a result of following all these suggestions, but they will ensure that viewers of your property feel comfortable and happy when they’re there, and that’s the big step towards them seriously considering making an offer.