Neil Walton is the Managing Broker for 360dwellings Real Estate in Denver, Colorado with over 15 years experiencing in buying and selling personal residences.
First impressions are important, especially when it comes to selling a home. Ideally, you want prospective buyers to easily picture themselves living in the space, which means that they shouldn’t see evidence of you there.
Here are the best ways to make your home appear accessible without sucking all the personality out of it at the same time. Each one of these tricks can lead to a higher selling price!
The easiest way to get people imagining themselves living in a home is to remove the items that specifically show somebody already has a lot of memories there. You don’t want them looking at pictures of you and playing detective with your life. Spend a few minutes taking down any pictures of your family, pets and any homemade art hanging on the refrigerator.
To make your home a blank canvas, you need to get almost all of your personal belongings out of there. Plan to get about 75 percent of your possessions out of the home, because your Velvet Elvis and art deco furniture are only going to remind a prospective buyer that they’re in a stranger’s home. We recommend renting a storage locker and hauling most of your items away. If that’s not an option, take everything and neatly stack it in the garage, basement, or other out-of-sight storage area.
The senses can play a huge role in the decision process of buying a home. You want to stimulate these senses without committing to a specific “personality.”
Sound: Play soothing sounds as opposed to fast-paced or loud music. The best way to find “neutral” relaxing music is to check out the spa channel on the television. Spa music stimulates the auditory sense of relaxation.
Scent: Mask any lingering or stale odors by placing fresh cut flowers in a few places around the home. Lilacs, lilies, and peonies are especially good at masking odors. Another classic trick is to pop some cookie dough in the microwave for a few minutes, which helps conjure up memories of comfort. Tip: Never spray Lysol or other imitation scent products, because that usually makes people think you’re coving something up. Also, if you have a cat litter box, get it out of the house! Cat pee doesn’t really help sell a home as much as you might think.
Sight: Place a bowl of snacks or cookies in plain view and then leave a note letting prospective buyers know that waters are available in the fridge. Make them feel at home! You want prospective buyers to spend as much time in the home as possible. A few laughs in a kitchen while enjoying some cookies and refreshments can go a long way!