What is more important in life – perception or fact? My 40 years of real estate sales experience says it is perception. We often make decisions based on what we perceive. This certainly has a direct bearing on the marketing of your home. You may have a home that is well-built and structurally sound. You also may have all your plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems in good working order. These systems, however, are not always enough to attract a buyer.
The million-dollar question is: Will people perceive your home as a happy place to live for them and their family?
Most people don’t make their buying decision with facts alone. Feelings have a lot to do with it. When a buyer drives up to your home, what is the perception? Is it warm, charming and cheerful or cold and uninviting? The front entrance can have a big influence on a buyer. Its condition will give the first clue what to expect inside.
Vacant houses don’t sell as well as ones that are occupied. This is because the emptiness and lack of personality make it more difficult for the buyer to imagine making that house a home. This is why family pictures, fresh flowers and the aroma of cookies baking contribute to the impression of a happy home. This warm, lived-in feeling encourages the buyer to perceive that his/her needs will be satisfied by your home rather than another.
Another example is turning on all the lights in the house for a showing, even on a bright day. This assures that every room and every corner of each room will look its brightest and most inviting. The atmosphere of a home generally reflects the people living in it. Homes actually can radiate a happy or sad feeling. Buyers are less comfortable in an unhappy environment and want to get out of that house as soon as possible. The well-maintained home that does give a feeling of well-being sells for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.
ADVICE: Becoming your home’s biggest critic is not easy, but it needs to be done if you want to be successful in selling your home for top dollar. Try to remove yourself from your home and perceive it as an outsider will, who is there to potentially call it their own. If you can’t be objective, it is always best to use the services of a professional and call a licensed Realtor®.