A picture may tell a thousand words, but falling in love – whether it’s with a person, a pet or a property – is an emotional experience that consumes all of the senses.
It doesn’t matter how fabulous your property looks in the photos online, if the home you’re selling doesn’t appeal from the moment a prospective buyer steps out of their car and onto your front lawn, you’re leaving yourself open to rejection.
Just because you’ve absolutely adored living in your home for the last 10, 20 or 30 years doesn’t mean others are going to immediately recognize its beauty and charm without first putting in some effort.
Like a first date, you’ve got to take time to impress – a nice haircut, your best outfit, a box of chocolates and some good old-fashioned manners. A spray of something expensive never goes astray.
Buying a property is an emotional experience, so you have to put in significant thought and a bit of extra work to ensure sparks fly instantly. Working on pleasing the traditional five senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste – is a great place to start.
Are you a pet owner? A dog owner, specifically? As wonderful as it is to prove your garden is pet friendly, be sure to limit that understanding to the quality of the fencing. Clean up the dog poop prior to every property inspection. The last thing you want is for a prospective buyer’s first experience of your home to be cleaning doggie doo from the bottom of their shoe.
Even if they don’t step on it, the smell of fresh poo will waft across the noses of the unsuspecting visitor and, before you know it, they will want to leave immediately without a rationale reason as to why! And smells matter, they can add thousands to the perceived value of your home.
And remember, picking up after your dog is not something your real estate agent or home stylist is going to help you with – there are limits!
Once inside the home, it’s important to consider odors that are perhaps normal to you, but unappealing to strangers. For example, animal odors, cigarettes and strong food odors.
Prior to opening your home for inspection, get your carpets and furniture professionally cleaned, mop the floors (then mop them again), wash curtains and – for some fresh air – open windows and doors as often as you can.
While your property is on the market, take the garbage and the compost outside every day. This will prevent lingering smells and, as a bonus, stave off pesky flies.
Artificial air fresheners can be harsh on the nose, so opt instead for essential oils. You can make your own aromatic spray by mixing a few drops with a water spray bottle or instead buy ready-made sprays. Don’t go overboard. You don’t want people sneezing or connecting your smell with Aunt Betty’s funeral.
Buying fresh flowers to display around the home will not only create a natural scent, but also add color and cheer.
If you’re really tricky, one of the oldest tricks in the book is to bake cookies or bread or brew espresso coffee just before the open house begins. Nothing says ‘home’ like homemade food. The buyer of your home won’t know what hit them!
While you can’t control whether your neighbor next door decides to mow that day or not, be sure to take time to deal with the little annoyances you can control like dripping taps, squeaky doors and rattling windows.
Consider playing some background music – choose relaxing and conventional tunes. An open house is not the time to introduce your new house guests to your favorite new experimental jazz artist. Tasteful music has been shown to increase receptiveness, which is a great state for a prospective buyer to be in.
Declutter. Declutter. Declutter. Clean. Clean. Clean. Once that’s done, it’s time to focus on the detail and get a bit creative.
In your great outdoors, ensure your lawn is mowed regularly and your garden is free of weeds. To spruce up the garden plant some bright, colorful flowers and add mulch to the garden beds. Gerni your driveway, sweep your paths and wash down external walls.
Inside, consider updating your paintwork – use natural, contemporary color palettes; modernize flooring (e.g. transform carpet to timber); and buy new light fixtures.
Welcome as much natural light as possible into your home by trimming trees and shrubs away from your windows.
Avoid having large expanses of blank wall. Use canvas photo prints as a cost effective way of decorating these walls. If you don’t have any of your own printable photos suitable, some photo printers have stock photos ready to go.
Investing a few hundred dollars towards home styling will more than likely increase the sale price. Choose canvas prints that will suit an open home, but opt for something fairly neutral. Remember, not everyone has the same tastes.
Display your best linen, towels and tea towels and buy new throws and cushions to give new life to your old lounge.
As lovely as your pets are to you, remove them from the house when someone is inspecting it. A wet nose or slimy drool on someone’s hand (or crotch!) is not an experience everyone finds endearing!
If you have small children, be sure to do a ‘sticky finger’ check before you leave the house. When they’re leaning over to try something out, your visitors don’t want to discover the smudge of breakfast your toddler left behind.
As invasive as it may seem, those visiting for a house inspection will want to test everything out, so to avoid judgment and injury, be sure to fix cracked glass, troublesome taps, chipped paint, doors and windows that stick and dodgy toilet flushing.
Did you bake those cookies? Remember this may be the 3rd house your prospective buyer has visited that day – they may be starving! If you display a batch of cookies, a box of chocolates or a bowl of fresh fruit, be sure to leave a prominent note asking guests to help themselves.
Finally and at last, it’s time for you to clear the building! Don’t stick around to watch the hoards come through. It’s as awkward as your ex coming along on a date with you. Those who visit your home must be able to imagine themselves living there. They’re not going to be able to do that with you breathing down their necks.
You’ve now done everything you can to create the right chemistry. It’s now time to let go and wait for true love to take over.
Article Submitted By Community Writer