I guess it goes without saying that we continue to be in a buyers market and selling your home seems like an Olympic event at times. Each week I am bombarded by questions about how to make your home stand out from the rest when selling. I will not hammer my number one point which is price because I have beaten that horse and I think everyone gets it by now. So beyond price what can you do as a seller? I want to share the Top 4 tips for making your home an inviting and welcoming place.
1. Welcoming atmosphere
Buying a home is not just about the physical, it is a deeply emotional decision. The buyer needs to imagine themselves living and growing in your home. It needs to make them feel good. I can not tell you how many times a customers turns to me and says, “This just feels right or this feels like home” I smile because I get it!!!
- Leave your house when showing so that the potential buyer feels comfortable talking about the home to their co-buyer and Realtor. They do not feel comfortable getting excited in front of you.
- It is best NOT to ask people to remove their shoes if not completely necessary. This of course is not the case if it is for religious or customary reasons. Asking people to remove their shoes is sometimes insulting and does not give the buyer a welcome feeling.
- I love this one…. You may want to leave a small welcome note at the front door thanking them for coming and viewing your home. At the very least you may brighten their day. I always leave a happy note or quote on all my letters I send out so that whoever reads may be uplifted and it is always welcome.
This is a really big one and a discussion that I have with so many of my sellers. I do not always win this battle and am still trying to convince some.
- PLEASE keep the temperature comfortable. This is NOT the time to conserve and save a dime!!!! It is very important that the customer feel comfortable in your home and stay long enough to study their potential purchase. People will NOT linger in a home that is too hot or too cold.
- It may even be a good idea to have the thermostat set a couple of degrees up or down depending on the season. This will prevent the AC from kicking on while the customer is there. Some systems tend to be noisy and that may not make a good first impression.
- There are other reasons for keeping temperature constant that could save you money down the road such as buckling of wood floors and mildew setting in.
3. Create an a aesthetically pleasing atmosphere
- Set the table
- Have EVERY LIGHT in the house on (including closets and utility lights) Light creates a happy mood and many times poor lighting is a deal breaker and sets the tone right away.
- Turn off the TV
- Have soft music playing but not the kind you would hear on the elevator or a funeral parlor
- Keep room doors slightly ajar and not closed off creating a more inviting open atmosphere
- Another thoughtful touch is little note cards explaining areas of interest. For example if you home is being sold furnished you may point out a special piece of furniture or a special light that may have extra value or a little flair. That also says that you have taken care and have pride in your home. I have seen this done in some homes I have shown and it has always gotten a positive response.
4. SMELLS are so important!!!!
This is especially true for pet owners and smokers. If someone walks in your home and they KNOW without seeing that you have a pet then we have a problem. Many times I have customers who will walk in and turn right back around if the smells are offensive. This is also true about being overly aggressive in using sprays and deodorizers.
- Baking cookies in the oven and placing them for your guests is a double whammy…. it smells like home and nothing is more inviting that offering people a treat.
- If your home smells like cigarette smoke whether current or lingering that could cost you money even if your home does sell. It is important to take whatever steps are necessary to remove the odor which is easier said than done. That will be a topic for another time.
There are so many wonderful deals in the market right now and you want your home to stand out!!! Sometimes it is the little things that make people remember your home and want to come for that second viewing and maybe even bring you a contract!!! Making the best of your home and highlighting its brighter points may put you on the top of someones list. Please talk to your Realtor and ask her opinion about what can be done to make your home more inviting and welcoming.
I hope that you have been blessed to enjoy our beautiful beaches this week!!! It has been glorious and we love celebrating our home with you. In the meantime I will end as I always do by saying, “The only people we have to get even with are those that have helped us” My list is overflowing.
Karen K. Smith
“The only people we have to get even with are those that have helped us”