The old adages are true, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression,” and “First impressions are lasting impressions.” This couldn’t be more true when it comes to selling your house! We are very big advocates of properly staging our listings to get the very best top dollar we can for your house! There is a reason builders pay big bucks for professional designers to outfit their model homes so that the public will “ooh and ah” over their finished product, because they understand the psychology behind the decision to buy a house. And yes, there is A LOT of psychology behind furniture placement, tidiness, odor, floor plan and curb appeal of a house that all impact a buyer’s decision to buy or pass on your house! We are such advocates of staging, that we make sure your house is properly staged before it goes on the market with us!
Things that will make buyer turn around immediately:
- Offensive odors: If you smoke, this is top of the list. Trust us, non-smokers smell it immediately and do not like it. Even smokers don’t like the smell, and no buyer wants to deal with getting the smell out of the house. This goes for cooking odors or any other odor that is obtrusive.
- Clutter: If it looks like you’re “busting at the seams” in your house, buyers will feel they won’t have enough space there either.
- Dirt: This is also a big one. Carpet stains, marks on walls, doors, and switch plates–if it looks like the home has been lived in roughly, buyers get the impression it hasn’t been cared for and they will have a lot of hidden defects to clean up behind. No buyer wants to clean up someone else’s mess. Make it easy for them, help them see all they have to do is move in and enjoy! Voila: Happy buyer! This one is easy to take care of and usually takes some “good ole elbow grease” to clean up the marks, scuffs, touch up paint, replace carpet and stained grout, etc.
Things that attract buyers and invite them to stay longer:
- Great curb appeal: fresh flowers outside, freshly stained mailbox post, power-washed driveway and house, fresh coat of paint on the front door and a new doormat
- Inviting Interior: clean and tidy house, depersonalized of family pictures, no loud paint colors (soft, neutrals or cool colors are best), decluttered and edited, and generally very, very clean.
- Pleasant smells. Fresh and clean is most preferred with the smell of baked goods being another favorite of buyers. Pleasant smells are NOT to be confused with overuse of products such as Glade, Febreeze, the wall plug-ins, etc. Too much of these products becomes offensive. But a general clean smell throughout the house is what you want.
- Staged & Decluttered: Furniture and wall art placement make a big difference to show off the room’s features and floor plan to its best and that’s what you want a buyer to see while walking through your house. Too many items stashed on the mantle, kitchen countertops, in the closets and laundry rooms will only become a distraction. Less is more.
- Give miscellaneous space a purpose and use: We all have them–a nook or corner that has become a junk storage spot, a landing spot, or really not useful. If it appears that way to a buyer, it looks like wasted space. Give the space a purpose and it will go a long ways with a buyer: a reading corner, a coat hanging spot with baskets for shoes and pillows on a bench, a wine nook, useful storage spot, etc.
- Turn on lights and open the blinds! Warm yellow light(from incandescent light bulbs–not LED) sets the mood for being relaxed and welcomed into the home. Show off the space by letting the sun in! You may live with your blinds closed and lights off during the day, but remember, when your house goes on the market it must remain in show condition at any time or within reasonable notice. Don’t expect the buyers to go around your house turning on all the lights and opening the blinds. Make it easier for them and “WOW” them so their first impression of every room is amazing.