Preparing your home for sale


At some point in time many of us are faced with the task of selling our home. Over the last couple weeks I had the opportunity to visit a few homes on the Trinidad market. A number of things struck me. Some sellers were doing a lot of things right, while some were doing too many things wrong. With recognition of the competition out there, many sellers did not adequately consider the psychology of the buyer. The best way to sell anything is to understand the mind of the person you are trying to sell to. This is especially true when preparing to put your home on the market. The purchase of a home is one of the biggest investments a person can make, and so you must try to understand the psyche of the potential buyer, and try to match the space specifically to what they are looking for.

When selling your home you must showcase its potential. Don’t restrict your buyer’s pool by showing the home only in the limited way you use it or worse as an empty shell. When someone contemplates buying a home they want to purchase more than four walls and a roof. They want a place where they can live, grow, and experience special times with their family. To a large extent staging a home in preparation for a sale is about showing off the liveability of the space, and helping people to envision what life would be like if they lived there.

The first and most obvious thing you should do is clean, de-clutter, and generally spruce up the space. Remember to pay attention to the yard and entrance to the home. While it might be difficult to keep a house spotless over the time it may take to sell, it’s important that you keep the building looking the very best that it possibly can. Get rid of trash, make sure that the walls, floors, and windows are all dirt free, and tidy up the possessions you may have in the space. Ensure that you do not have any postponed maintenance and repairs glaringly obvious. As with everything in life you should strive to put your best foot forward, making certain that the space will attract, and not repel potential customers.

Once you’ve taken care of all of the basic cleanliness and tidiness considerations, it’s time to make your house look truly liveable. You want to create an environment that will engage the imagination of potential clients, encouraging them to see themselves, and their families, living within those walls. You want the space to feel comfortable, inviting, and open to all who enter.

Next, look around and try to create intriguing, fascinating spaces. Each room should have a focal point, something that draws the eye and defines the space. In this way, after showing your house to a perspective buyer, they can go back home and discuss the “large master bedroom”, “spa-like bath”, “great landscaping”, “mirror room”, “fabulous kitchen” or the “modern decor”, for example, with their family. They will be using labels that will endear them to the spaces. Make it memorable.

While it is important to be intriguing, you have to be careful not to be offensive. Choose innocuous pieces that won’t get on almost anyone’s nerves. Instead, opt for art and decorative accessories that have a broad, general appeal. You should also determine what target market is most likely to purchase the place based on price and neighbourhood, and then decorate accordingly. A newlywed couple will be looking for a far different house from a middle aged bachelor or a retired couple.

Finally, it’s important to make the space endearing. Use personal items and effects sparingly, but make each room look like it’s actually being lived in. You are trying to evoke an image of possibility, and so your goal should be to fill in the gaps in a perspective buyer’s imagination. One of the best ways to do that is to give each room in the space its own unique personality. You want each space to stand out in the mind of potential customers, engaging their imaginations and encouraging them to speculate on what life might be like living in the home. This can be done either with functional items, such as a pool table or a media centre, or with decorative pieces such as artwork, or intriguing home accessories.

When preparing your home to sell, the most important thing is to understand the psychology of potential buyers. They are not just looking for an empty space; they actually want to find an environment where they can live the life they envision for themselves. It’s up to you to make your house match their dreams and desires.

But not all buyers are home hunters. Some are only looking for a good investment. In this case, it also doesn’t hurt to showcase the potential of the space. Investors will quickly recognise the appeal it will have to a prospective buyer.

Beyond Drapery Limited … for the best dressed rooms!

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