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The Tao Of Home Selling: Part I - How To Make Buyers Feel Welcome

posted Jan 17, 2011, 6:45 PM by Kristen Wheatley   [ updated Feb 24, 2011, 8:03 AM ]

We all know the phrase "location, location, location."  This may be a truism in real estate, but you cannot change the location of your home.  You actually do have control over the greatest variable...your home's condition.  The condition of your home can add or subtract thousands from your bottom line.  Condition can be the reason your home is chosen before others on the market.  If you want to get top dollar for your home, then the condition must be in sync with the price and location.

tao of home sellingFortunately, there are MANY things you can do to improve the condition and appeal of your home.
 
Buyers do NOT see potential.  The reality is that you must show it to them.  Right now, buyers have a lot of choices.  You want to make your home the obvious choice for them.  The trick is to use what we know about buyers to guide them to that decision.  Hence the title of this series - The Tao of Home Selling.  Beyond my small effort to be clever, the word tao actually means "way" or "path."  A successful seller creates an atmosphere that naturally leads the buyer down the path to choosing their home.

How do you influence buyers?  My experience has shown me that a little psychology goes a long way.  Emotions and gut feelings often play a larger role in the choices of home buyers than logic or reason. You want potential buyers to feel WELCOMECONFIDENT, and COMFORTABLE.  Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to a successful home sale.

How To Make Buyers Feel Welcome

Ironically, the free and/or low cost actions are the most effective at making buyers feel welcome in your home.

Curb Appeal
  • De-clutter the yard by removing toys and excess or broken lawn furniture.
  • Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and plant fresh flowers to add color (as the seasons allow.)
  • Paint doors and window trim with a fresh updated color.
     
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  • Patch holes in the driveway and re-apply sealant as needed.
  • Wash windows and screens.
  • Keep snow and ice cleared from the driveway and walkways.
The Front Entry
  • Literally add a "welcome" mat.  You'd be amazed at how much this means to buyers.
  • Make sure the front entry light works and is free of cobwebs and other debris.
  • Make sure the front door and door knob are clean and in good repair.
Your Home's Interior
  • Make sure the interior front entry area is clear of extra furniture, coats, shoes, and other clutter.  Buyers are coming into your home with their Realtor and often a few extra family members.  If everyone feels crowded as they enter, they will not feel welcome and comfortable.
  • Open all of the blinds and curtains to let the sun shine in.
  • If light switches are difficult to find or confusing, turn them on before you leave your home in the morning.
  • Remove excess or over-sized furniture.  Uncrowded rooms feel more spacious and welcoming.
  • De-personalize your home.  Too much memorabilia and too many family photos make buyers feel as if they are intruding.  You want them to start thinking of your home as theirs.

Next we will take a look at how to make buyers feel confident.  See Part II

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