Buying a home is an emotional process. Buyers are thinking about picking the right neighborhood with the right schools or community features, finding the right style of home, being close to friends and family (or not close) and of course, parting with a good deal of money. As a seller, there are a few things you can do to ease the mind of buyers and help them to fall in love with your home.
1. Fix it Up
Fixing up your home before you sell it can feel counterintuitive. Why would I replace the kitchen counters now? Well, buyers want to experience the feel of the home. More often than not, they are house shopping with their hearts, not their heads. Start by making a checklist of necessities such as mechanical or electrical issues as well as eye sores such as outdated finishes. Once you have a checklist, put some numbers to it. What can you afford to do before you sell? Start working down the list of the things you can afford with the goal of hitting them all. Remember, fixes don’t have to be expensive. A can of paint on dated kitchen cabinets can go a long way in creating an updated feel in your home.
2. Dress it Up
Once you have the fixes taken care of, it’s time to make your house shine. Before your agent comes out to take pictures, clean the house from top to bottom. Take a weekend to declutter and remove really personal items such as family photos. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves in your house, not feel like a guest in your home. Consider half emptying closets and removing excess furniture. Buyers want to feel like there is a lot of space to work with. Talk to your agent to see if having a home stager help you with the finer details is a good fit for your home. Dressing up your home before the pictures are taken and showings start will give you a leg up when the doorbell starts ringing.
3. Take it Out
The National Association of Realtors reports 90% of buyers begin their home search online. In order to shine in the digital world, your listing needs to stand out from the rest. Ask your agent about having professional pictures taken to really highlight the features of your home. Listings with more photos are viewed more often online, so ask your agent to post as many images as possible. Also consider adding pictures of community or neighborhood assets such as parks, trails, views and shopping areas. Take some time to create a list of key features in your home which may not be immediately apparent. Share the list with your agent to help in crafting excellent marketing messaging for online postings and brochures. Helping buyers picture themselves in your home starts with excellent pictures and great descriptions.
4. Show it Off
The hard work of prepping for sale is behind you. Now it’s time to show off your home! Ask your agent about the best way to announce your listing to the buying pool. For some listings it can be really effective to list early in the week, but hold off on showings and invite all interested buyers to an open house the Saturday or Sunday after listing. For other listings, starting showings right away is the best strategy. Your agent will know the market best. Lean on them to come up with the best plan to show off your home. Once showings and open houses begin, do your best to stay out of the way. Buyers want to be able to see the home without the watchful eyes of the home owner. The more flexible and available your home can be during the showing process, the easier it will be for buyers to see your home and fall in love.
Romancing buyers may not feel romantic, but using the tips above will really help buyers fall in love with your home. Remember, once your home is off the market, it’s your turn to be romanced and go find the next home of your dreams.