It’s easy for forget that selling your home is a huge business decision. We humans get all caught up in the sentimentality of selling the place where our children had their first Christmases, or the first home we have owned, but the cold, hard fact is, your home is an important asset. It was and is an investment that can, if handled correctly, pay you real cash for all the years you lived in it. Perhaps the most difficult hurdle that home stagers and others who make their living styling properties face is earning the trust of homeowners with strong emotional ties to their property.
De-Personalise – Property stylists generally have their hardest job at the very outset of their association with a home seller. The first thing a stylist will tell a homeowner to do is to depersonalise the property. This means boxing up all the personal photos, vacation memorabilia, and family heirlooms and putting them away as far out of sight as possible. Homeowners frequently drag their heels at this.
We now know, thanks to scientific research, that home buying decisions are more often than not a function of emotion rather than logic. Over 90 percent of the factors associated with choosing one house over another has to do with the way a home makes the buyer feel. It stands to reason, then, that a house that is full of other people’s memories might make them feel as if they are intruding on somebody else’s dream.
Feeling like an interloper can make a potential buyer withdraw, which is exactly the opposite of what is necessary in the process of selling a home. Instead, buyers are looking for a place that is ‘move-in ready’. They want to lose themselves so completely that they feel right at home from the moment they walk through the door. Statistics tell us that the buying decision is often made within seconds of this moment.
The main goal of a good property stylist is to create that sense of ‘welcome home’. To do this there are a host of steps beyond the depersonalisation process that must be accomplished.
Street Appeal – The first impression your property makes on the potential buyers is critically important. Usually, this first impression takes place on the internet since that is where buyers typically begin their search. Often, though, a home with a sign in the front yard is the serendipitous beginning of a lifetime love affair between a house and its owner. This rarely happens when the landscaping is neglected.
No matter what the season, be sure that your place is as neat and tidy on the outside as it is on the inside. You need not rush out and relandscape your place, but do be sure the lawn is properly mowed and trimmed. Clean up fallen leaves and trim the hedge and other shrubbery. You want your new buyer NOT to think about unfinished tasks first.
Eliminate Obvious Unfinished Projects – Usually, styling properties begins with a paint job. Fresh new paint in neutral tones will almost always put buyers at ease by assuring them that there is no work to do before the movers can do their work. Today’s buyers are busy and will shy away from a property that appears to be needy from the beginning. If your property needs a coat of paint, repairs to the air conditioning, and/or a new roof, the buyer will keep looking. A buyer’s time will be better spent looking for a ‘move-in ready’ place than it would be fixing what’s necessary in your place. Buyers want time to relax with their new digs before they must tackle a ‘to-do list’.
Security – When a home can speak to the buyer’s need for security, half the battle is won. Along with the appeal of bells and whistles, buyers want to feel that they can relax and be at their ease within the walls of a home. This makes it much easier to fall in love, and falling in love is the key element necessary to closing the deal.
A company that is well versed in styling property knows and uses all the secrets of the trade to make a bond between your property and prospective buyers easier. The job of your property stylist is to facilitate this connection and, while you as homeowner might not completely understand the mechanics of the process, you can trust your carefully selected home staging firm to make it happen.