Tired of having THIS conversation with your listing agent?
Agent: “Those people who went through your house the other day decided to buy a different property. Their agent said that they liked your house, but it just wasn’t what they were looking for.”
Seller:“Wait a minute” what do you mean, ‘not what they were looking for’. Before they came here, they had the feature sheet, they had the picture of the house, they already knew our price, and the location. We’ve painted, and cleaned, and repaired. What’s wrong with our property?”
Agent: “Nothing really. It just didn’t push their buttons.”
Most listing agents believe the best thing they can do for their sellers is to direct as many qualified buyers through the property as possible. They know every home has at least ONE buyer, and that –sooner or later—all houses sell. Agents also know the most important factors determining how quickly a house sells are: location, price, and condition. While all this is true, there are some simple steps which you, as a seller, can take to make your home a standout from all the others the buyer is seeing.
Let’s look at the buying process from the purchasers’ eyes.
Typically, relocating buyers come to town, meet with a real estate agent, and spend several days looking at houses, from dawn ’til dusk. Armed with feature sheets describing the amenities of each property, the buyers spend somewhere between a few minutes and an hour at each residence.
The buyers will probably see many, many houses. No matter how diligently they try to concentrate on the features of each home seen, after a while confusion sets in. It is not at all unusual for buyers to ultimately rely upon their impressions, rather than the features sheets, when they begin the all-important ‘Houses To Be Eliminated’ Process.
As a seller, you want to leave a good lasting impression on the buyers, making certain your house is not one of those to be eliminated. An inexpensive, quick, and effective way of doing this is by appealing to the buyers’ sensory faculties.
Here Are 4 Ways You Can Use ‘Common Senses’ To Help Sell Your Home!
Sense of Smell: Nothing says ” home” like the PLEASANT SMELL of baking. No one is suggesting you bake a cake every time your house is being shown. However, you’d be surprised how wonderfully a few pieces of bread (sprinkled with cinnamon) can smell, when placed in the oven on a low temperature for a few minutes! Here’s a word of caution: sense of smell can also work against you. Strong cooking odors that linger, such as those emitted from garlic, onions, and curry may be unpleasantly remembered by buyers long after they’ve forgotten the color of the dining room walls.
Sense of Sight: Small VISUAL TOUCHES can make or break a room. Colorful pillows, vases with flowers, plants, and attractive afghans all give the feeling of a bright and cheerful home. Here’s another word of caution: while tasteful personal touches definitely add to a room, do not overdo the effect. Too many decorating touches give a feeling of clutter, and anything truly unusual tends to distract the buyer. You want the prospective purchaser to remember your home as the one that felt warm and comfortable, not as the house with the tropical forest inside.
Sense of Hearing: If you have the ability to provide background music during a showing, (with an intercom system, or a stereo), then do it. Again, the operative word here is “background”. Choose something nondescript, and soothing. Something that sounds like ‘elevator music’! And, by all means, keep the volume very low!
Sense of Touch: Think about all the surfaces that buyers may come into contact with or, perhaps even absent-mindedly, run their hands over. Kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, and door knobs all have the potential to leave a negative impression if they buyers end up sticking to them.
Marketing plays a huge role in everything we buy. Giving your home a little extra help can pay big dividends with buyers.
Written by Judi Wolfson and Elaine Shreiber