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Home Staging Tips – Appeal to All Five Senses

5senses3

If you want to sell your house quickly, you need to look at it as a commodity rather than your home – a product and a lifestyle to be sold in the open market. You have to essentially become a retailer with a product to sell.

A general rule I follow when preparing a home to impress potential buyers is to satisfy as many senses as I can in each room. Use these tips as a guide to create a special experience during viewings, and keep them in mind when walking through your house.

5senses

#1 Smell

There was a time when it was rare to hear of someone having allergic reactions to typical scents such as perfume, candles, incense and air fresheners, but it has increased to a degree that it is best to avoid having these scents linger in your home during showings and open houses. A scent that will appeal to people with allergies and everyone else in general is the smell of freshness that comes with cleanliness. Just before a showing or open house, wipe all the floors with hot water and a mild cleaning solution.

The smell of cookies or bread baking, or coffee brewing, makes it very obvious that you are working hard to impress. If you feel that it will work for your particular target market, go for it – but for experienced buyers, it will only look like a phony act.

#2 Touch

Buyers respond positively when they touch something that is velvety soft and plush. They cannot resist a blanket strewn over the end of a bed or the back of a chair, luscious bed linen and curtain fabrics, or extra plush white towels. Equally memorable (and not in a positive way) is when they touch something sticky or gooey on a banister, door handle or cabinet pull. This is a big turn-off, so make sure that everything they may touch is clean.

#3 Taste

If possible, leave a candy bowl or cookie jar available for people to help themselves. Leave a small, discreet card of thanks next to it that says something like, “Thank you for stopping by. Please treat yourself.”

#4 Hearing

If you are fortunate enough to have stereo speakers wired throughout your house, play soft background music that caters to your target market. If not, play music in the living room or family room on low volume. Currently, soft jazz seems to be the overall favourite genre but other gentle music works well too.

#5 Sight

Lighting

It is very important to consider lighting when preparing a room for staging. It will improve a potential buyer’s ability to determine whether the space is large enough for their needs, so it is important to illuminate all of the walls. If you cannot see a portion of a room due to a lack of lighting (such as a dark corner), a room may appear or feel smaller than it really is.

Use as much natural light as possible. This may require cutting back the overgrown bushes or pruning a tree around the exterior of the house. If appropriate, remove drapes to open the space and allow more sunlight into the room. If the drapes are in style, of good quality, and positioned so they do not interfere with the window, leave them up but keep them wide open.

Add extra lamps everywhere they look natural. Position a lamp on a table or place a floor lamp next to a chair. Every lamp needs to be anchored by a piece of furniture or it will look awkward and unnatural.

Colour

Colour is a fabulous, versatile tool when preparing a house for sale. It can depersonalize, create a mood, add warmth, attract or distract attention, encourage the direction of the tour, and increase memory. All of this can be done with little money and time. For more on the use of colour on walls, see Home Staging Tips #3: Paint it Right.

The use of vibrant colours can attract attention to a particular highlight of a room, such as a fireplace, custom window or architectural detail. Place a large piece of art above the fireplace that consists of reds, oranges and/or yellows, and it becomes the focal point. Vibrant colour can also be used to distract the eye away from a less desirable aspect of the room, such as an outdated fireplace, by creating a focal point in another area of the room – such as above the couch. Stage the room to display a desirable lifestyle and you’ve just minimized the importance of the fireplace to acquire a certain design or feel in the room.

Whatever vibrant colour you choose to use as your attention-getter, do not use it for any other purpose. Reserve that colour only for attracting (or distracting) attention. The other colours used in a room should be the chosen primary, secondary, and tertiary colours. Repeat a colour in a room at least three times so it does not look like an accident.

Using colour to highlight a special feature in your home will also increase the chances that potential buyers will remember your house over someone else’s. The house will be remembered through reference to the attention getter, for example, “We loved the house with the bold painting above the fireplace. Remember? The room was so inviting and warm.”

Accessories

I firmly believe that hardware is jewelry for the home; for example, cabinet hardware, sink faucets, lighting fixtures and bathroom accessories. Consider what jewelry or accessories can do for a plain black suit. If you want to make a large impact on a room, change or update the room’s “jewelry” and it will shine. Try to keep all your choices similar in metal type; for example, if you choose chrome in the kitchen, use chrome throughout the house with perhaps just one exception.

A popular trend in the bathroom is still the “spa” look and feel. This can be accomplished with chrome, white and glass. Use white for fabrics, such as towels. You could install chrome plumbing fixtures and towel bars, glass cabinet doorknobs and a glass shower enclosure.

- Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/home-staging-tips-4-appeal-to-all-five-senses-1.2089520#sthash.ZrmDiNVF.dpuf

Competing With Other Buyers?

houseWith historic low interest rates, buyers are making the jump into homeownership as it is a great time to get into the market. However in a sellers’ market, buyers find themselves in competition with other buyers to purchase a home. The seller is not obligated to negotiate or accept any of the offers. The seller has the liberty to choose the best offer to negotiate and they will accept the offer that best reflects their needs. While price is important, that will not be the only factor they consider. They will also look at things such as subject conditions, completion and possession dates.

competition

Here are some things you can consider and help you feel more in control of the situation when going into multiple offer situations:

  • Prepare thoroughly and have all your financial documentation ready: It is important that you provide your mortgage expert all the documentation the lender is going to require upfront. Especially since time will be of essence, you don’t want the added stress of getting documentation when you are in the middle of negotiations and during the subject condition period.
  • Have the right real estate agent: It is critical that you work with an agent that has your best interests in mind. As a buyer it is not your job to seal the deal, it’s your agent’s responsibility, so make sure they know what your limit is and respect it. Don’t let your agent try to upsell you on the price and encourage you to go above your budget. It’s their job to research comparable in the area and advise you but you are the one that makes the final decision after all it’s your money.
  • Set your boundaries: Once you set your budget, stick to it. Determine exactly how much you can go over if you end up in multiple offers. Don’t get sucked in by emotion and peer pressure because in the end it can end up costing you a lot more money.
  • Consider doing a home inspection ahead of time: The buyer could consider your offer more readily, if it doesn’t include a “subject to inspection” clause.
  • Be flexible: Winning a multiple-offer situation might be as easy as agreeing to the seller’s conditions such as closing dates, buying the property “as is” or even tightening the subject removal dates. This is important if the seller has already bought another property and is anxious to moving on. Agreeing to make the transaction as easy as possible could mean winning over a more generous offer. When buying a property “as is” and limiting the subject conditions – such as requesting that a missing knob or floor tile be replaced – might work in your favour too. If your agent is aware of any information about the seller’s situation and if you can be flexible in any way, take advantage of this opportunity that might help you get your offer accepted.
  • Write it down: Perhaps you might want to write a quick letter to the seller explaining who you are and why you want to buy their home so much. Buying and selling a home is an emotional time for everyone, especially if the seller has lived in that home for a long time and raised their family there. Sometimes, it’s not about the highest offer but it can certainly also be about an emotional connection. Even though your offer might be lower than the others, some sellers might feel a strong connection to your story and decide that it’s not about the money but about someone who will really appreciate a great home.
  • Know when it is time to walk away: Multiple offer situations can be stressful and sometimes listing agents strategically set the price of the home below market value to start a multiple offer situation. Make sure you stand firm on the top end of your budget, and don’t give in to the pressure of the situation. If the seller doesn’t accept your best offer, it’s time to move on.

Buying your home is about getting a great investment and you have to be smart about it. In the end, it’s about being comfortable on what you are paying each month and happy with the decisions you make. After all it’s about finding a home that will be a great place to start building equity and creating memories.

Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/competing-with-other-buyers-how-to-boost-your-chances-of-getting-that-home-1.2084209#sthash.YxF3iiOG.dpuf