SELLING YOUR HOME? DON’T SHOW THE BUYER HOW MOTIVATED YOU ARE.
No one wants to be reminded of messy life situations like a divorce, and it certainly won’t help your selling position if you’re the seller of a home. Make sure you keep all emotional garbage out of sight. Keep papers, boxes, arguments, distress, medications, your divorced-but-looking dating site application (just kidding), and anything else that says “I’m desperate to sell” well hidden.
Clues like scarce furnishings, and not making simple, obvious repairs all “say” something about motivation.
Try to keep your personal life personal. Minimize you and maximize the home. De-personalize the home and shoot for it looking like a model home – modern, bright and light without over embellished personal mementos or lingering cooking odours.
Keep the environment in your home neutral.
Think romance – lighting that’s inviting, ambience that’s soothing, music that will usher them calmly from room to room, and fragrances that are fresh and not overpowering. You want them to stay and enjoy your environment.
Think it doesn’t matter? It does!
I can’t tell you the countless times while touring property that the buyer brings to my attention the fact that there’s only women’s clothing in the wardrobe or that the house looks abandoned from the street, or that there’s no food in the fridge.
Always know that when you are selling your home and buyers are looking around to see if this house suits them, they will stumble across giveaway clues unless you stage your home correctly.
Even sharing that a baby’s on the way, and more space is needed, could lead them to believe they have the upper hand in negotiations, because they think you’re on a deadline to move before the baby arrives, and may lower your price. In all my years of real estate sales, one thing is certain: buyers are detectives. They notice everything and usually download these visuals and bring them up for discussion when deciding what price to offer on your home.
Conversely, if you have failed to de-clutter and your home has an overabundance of decoration and furnishings, they will believe a quick completion would be nearly impossible and pass on your house because they think you simply cannot move all your belongings in a timely manner. A seasoned real estate professional has seen it all, and can think in advance and help you prepare for a timely sale.
Be aware of what your home is saying when you are not home, and you will be glad you listened to this sound advice.
Minimize you and maximize the home. Begin de-personalizing right after listing your property for sale. Immediately begin to remove extra photographs or anything that may be politically incorrect or offensive.
Take an objectivity tour of your home, or ask your agent’s honest advice. I can’t tell you how many times personal flair sidetracks the flow of seeing a home and the flair – not your home – becomes the topic of discussion as we drive away.
Consider carefully: Is this something you would see in a new construction model home? Always refer to this question when in doubt.
Would that model home have a strong scent or odour? Would the kids’ room have crazy posters? Graffiti on the walls? Day-glow paint? If this is a model home, would there be boudoir photos in the bedroom? Weapons on display?
Be aware of your daily environment.
Keep things locked up, in the safe, jewelry box, or stored while your home is on the market. Clearly understand that buyers do not want to know you and be your friend and, usually, are looking to knock some off the price.
It isn’t important for them to know how the people who lived there live. Seeing many portraits and personal items could very well cause emotions of envy, jealousy, or entitlement, which could lead them away from choosing your home and cause them to believe you don’t deserve top Euro.
Selling your home? Enjoy the journey!