PREPARING YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE
Sensory Appeal is just as important as Curb Appeal. Buyers are led by their senses when choosing a new home.
The visual appearance of a house prompts potential buyers more than any other factor. Buyers decide within the first ten seconds of stepping inside whether or not they want to buy a house. They are looking for a spotless, move-in ready home that offers a neutral canvas for their furnishings. Fresh paint and new carpeting will make the best impression. Hardwood floors should be in excellent condition. Tile floors should be a neutral color, have no cracks and healthy grout lines. Furniture must be arranged to show space and function – guiding the eye toward positive features of the home and away from the negative.
Light is the second most quoted reason for choosing a house. All lights should be in good working order, using highest allowed bulb wattage. Replace dark or worn lampshades with new sheer or white shades. Paint walls and dark woodwork in light, neutral colors. Replace heavy window treatments with sheers. Clean all windows, inside and out, so the sun shines in.
Nothing will turn away a potential buyer faster than an unpleasant odor. Buyers will feel more comfortable if a pleasant aroma like cinnamon or vanilla greets them. Baked cookies, pie, or cake trigger a comfort response and make a house feel like a home. A few drops of vanilla warmed in the oven yields the same result. Remove litter boxes. Keep trash can clean at all times. Open windows before a showing when possible.
Creaking floors, dripping faucets, and a loud heating system could cause concern for a buyer. Neighborhood noise such as traffic and/or a barking dog is distracting. Playing soft jazz or classical music can help the home feel more relaxing and help buyers to concentrate on positive features
Texture is appealing to the eye and to the touch and will add an element of style which translates into perceived value. Buy new, plush towels for the bathrooms and add throws and pillows of different textures and colors to the bedrooms. Keep all light switches, knobs, handles, doorknobs, and banisters clean to the touch. Help buyers feel comfortable and more at home by keeping the temperature cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Potential buyers’ perceived value of your house is based on the reaction of their senses.