Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Show Time!

This is the final post in our series about getting your home ready for the market.  We've discussed curb appeal, when you might need to repaint (and how), how to create visual space, how to create focal points, and creating the not-so-lived-in look.  Now....

It's Show Time!

The first few days your home is on the market are typically when you get the most traffic through your home, so making sure your home is 100% ready is really important.  Buyers are not going to come back because your agent calls their agent and says "Sorry about that first showing... the owners have staged it now... I think your buyers will like it".  So, on day one and every day after that....
Homes must look good, feel good, smell good, and sound good.

Look Good
We've focused on a lot making sure the home looks good.  Before leaving your home, take 15 minutes to make sure the stage is set and everything is in its place.  This may include final touches like opening blinds, turning on lights, taking the trash out, turning the gas fireplace on, etc.

Feel Good
Make sure the temperature of the home is right - not too hot, not too cool.  The man on the right~he is not going to buy your house.  Also make sure (especially the surfaces most likey to be touched) are clean. Remember, woman are kinestetic evaluators - they will touch things....stick is a problem for them. 

Also in this category is neighbors... make sure you've appealed to your neighbors to assist you.  Nothing turns a buyer off faster than a neighbor that fusses at the buyer for parking in the wrong space.  No matter what is "right", no one can overcome an unfriendly neighbor.  This does not mean that neighbors should "interview" prospective buyers either... it's best that interactions with neighbors, even the well meaning ones, are brief and pleasant - a wave or hello - and nothing more. Hopefully, your neighbors will leave the selling to the sales people.

Smell Good
The biggest thing here is to make sure that your home doesn't have any bad smells... trash, garbage disposals, bathrooms, laundry areas, kitty litter boxes or pet areas are sources for bad smells; and some foods (fish, ethnic foods) create unpleasant odors.  Avoid and eliminate these kinds of smells.  Usually I do not like air fresheners in a home - some people are sensitive to these kinds of smells, and buyers could think you're trying to cover something up, so if you use these don't over do it.   No matter what the smell is - the man on the left... he is definately NOT buying your house.

During an open house, or perhaps on a Saturday morning before several expected showings, you might choose to bake a pie or cookies, or pop popcorn to give the home a "homey" smell.   Real candles create a fire hazard and I do not encourage them, even during open houses.  There are electric candles that can provide a nice visual affect and sometimes also offer a light scent....but again, don't over do it. 

Sound Good
Again, here the important thing is to avoid and eliminate negative sounds that can impact your buyers perception of the home.  Talk to your neighbors and let them know you're expecting a showing, especially when you're having an open house - hopefully it is not when they are having band practice next door, or cutting down the tree in their front yard; maybe they can even keep their dogs inside their home so they aren't barking at your potential buyers while they walk around the back yard.  Don't leave alarm clocks on, try to avoid setting home alarms that may be accidentally triggered, and turn off the children's cartoons, the teenager's stereo or Uncle Ed's opera music.
Sometimes we'll suggest you leave music on in your home when you're expecting showings perhaps some light jazz or a holiday instrumental which "loops" (you don't want empty static playing when buyers are there).

Price and promotion are what get people to walk in your door.  Staging is what closes the sale.  Don't skip it. 

Ready to talk to me about listing your home? I will bring all of this knowledge, and much more, to the table and will help you acheive your goal - getting the most money for your home in the shortest amount of time.

Vicky Chrisner, Real Estate Sales Consultant

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Interesting Notes:  Sight and sound are the strongest senses for adults.  Women are more kinestetic (meaning they touch things to see if they like them).  Smell is stronger for men and children.  Men prefer vanilla, apple or cinnamon smells,  women tend to like fruity or flowery types of smell (i.e. berry, lemon, lavender).  The most widely appreciated smell is vanilla.  Understanding this is all part of understanding the psychology of selling, so that you can stage appropriately for all senses.  Details matter.

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