We do a lot of things solely on emotion; fall in love, buy that dress or purse, purchase that sports car, and buying a house really isn't any different. Okay, maybe it's a few thousand dollars of difference but the emotion is the same. We are attracted to it and something in our brain says, "oh, I just love it and have to have it."
So, how can sellers evoke that kind of emotion when staging and prepping their house for sale?
Let's look at the way people buy; most people start their buying process online. Did you know that close to 90% of homebuyers start their search online? If your house is not online you are missing the majority of potential buyers. In today's technology era, once we click on something, the Google bots do their job and continually put that image in front of us in a variety of different ways. Even though we love the autonomy of the Internet and hate to be captured or put into a box, we still find ourselves being drawn back to things we find attractive and have an emotional investment in, whether it's a pair of boots or a beautiful home.
Before we buy we like to look. And, we look often and closely. Sometimes our emotions can overshadow reality in which case it's important to have a real estate agent that discusses the realities and potential drawbacks to a home, location, or construction. People sometimes look anywhere from 1 to 2 years for homes before they ever think about buying. But then, once they are in the buying mode, they will look less than eight weeks at houses first and agents second. However, in our industry that's really backward. We like all of our buyers to be pre-approved with a home loan first, speak to an agent, and then look at homes seriously, but we also understand that's not always the case.
As a seller, we usually know what buyers don't want. They don't want a messy cluttered house, they don't want disheveled landscaping and they don't want to be lied to or deceived.
Buyers want the facts, they want honesty, and they want to feel the emotion of what a house could offer them.
Set each room up for the perfect event or setting. This is more than simply making your bed and arranging the furniture. This is setting up each room to evoke some emotion. Let's take each room and break it down.
Entryway: buyers want an entryway that is inviting, warm, and welcoming. This means that no matter the season, there's something warm and inviting on the front door, on the front porch, or as soon as you walk in. This could mean a bench to sit and take off your shoes and jacket, a hat stand, or maybe a little desk with some flowers to greet you.
Living room/family room: This room needs to evoke an emotion that you want when you walk in. This will probably be the room that is used the mouse so you wanted to be comfortable, help people envision holidays here, maybe set up a board game for the family, popcorn buckets for movie night, or a big comfy couch in the corner for reading a book on a cold and stormy day.
Kitchen: the kitchen should be ready for entertaining. I'm not saying you need 30 pots and pans on the stove, but it should be inviting, ready for entertaining with a big bowl of fruit, maybe a couple of place settings at the kitchen counter or island, coffee preparation and the corner, and an extremely clean sink and counter space. This kitchen should look, smell, and feel so clean it looks like you're ready to perform surgery.
Dining room: Similar to the kitchen, the dining room should be ready for entertaining. During a showing or an open house set the table with the nicest settings you have. Put a couple of candleholders on the table and a beautiful arrangement in the center. If you have a buffet, have a couple of bowls ready to be filled with the best offerings of the season whether it's a beautiful fruit salad in the summer or a bowl of sugary sweet potatoes in the winter.
Bedroom: a bedroom should be a retreat, oasis, and an escape from the rest of the house. It should never be cluttered or feel claustrophobic. It should be comfortable, warm, and soft for both genders. It shouldn't be covered in flowers or completely dark with black and red stripes like a bachelor pad. It should work for just about anyone and offer settings for quiet time such as an oversized chair in the corner complete with throw pillows, a throw blanket, nightstand with books, a coffee mug, and lamp.
Bathroom: bathrooms should be your spa away from the spa. Have fresh, crisp, white linens rolled or neatly folded and stacked, baskets of color-coded toiletries, fresh greenery and an impeccably clean floor, counter, and toilet?
Staging these rooms not just for what they were meant for but for the perfect emotional feeling is really the best way to evoke an emotional response from a buyer. Not only do they want to linger in the home but hopefully, they'll want to buy it and experience these rooms for themselves.
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