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How to Think Like a Buyer When Selling a Home

When selling a home, “Pride of Ownership” is a phrase often used to attract buyers. It may seem counter-intuitive then, that homeowners who show pride are asked to remove evidence of family life before listing their home for sale.

A homeowner who is able to view their own home through the eyes of a buyer has a much better chance of a quick sale — and a higher profit — by completing some simple tasks that set the stage for a buyer.

Make the Mental Break

Selling a home is an emotional experience, especially for the homeowner who is parting ways with family memories. As a result, many homeowners attach a monetary value to their homes strictly based on sentimental reasons, which can negatively affect everything from setting the asking price, to redecorating to attract a wider audience.

Consider your opinion of your home when you bought it. What attracted you to the property as a place to call home? Try visiting other open houses in the area before listing, and take notes about what you liked, and didn’t about the property. Take the list home and apply the same critical eye to each room of your house to see if it will pass the buyer test.

Your home is entering the market with the aim that it will become someone else’s home. Doing everything you can to ensure the most buyers will fall in love with your home can ensure that the next owner will provide it with the same care and attention you have.

Create a Neutral Palette

With 90 percent of home buyers browsing properties online, according to a joint survey by the National Association of Realtors and Google, it is no surprise that the home viewings are spurred by images browsed online. To attract a buyer’s eye, photos that show clean, spacious, and neutral spaces will far outweigh the competition.

Browse current listings in your area and make note of any appealing images. Chances are, they will project a light and airy space, with no clutter or personal knick-knacks. These images allow a buyer to picture themselves — and their things — in your home. This is the much-touted concept of depersonalization.

It may seem inconvenient, but tucking away personal photos, awards, mementos, and even furniture will create a blank canvas from which to stage your home for sale. A general rule of thumb to follow involves packing up anything to which you have a sentimental attachment. Whether buyers realize it or not, they will feel mentally ready to consider your house as a potential new home if they don’t have to overlook your life while doing it.

Paint color is another item, which is entirely personal, and should be tamed down to allow the features of the house to speak for itself. Beige, gray, or greige (a mix of the two) are fantastic choices to create a neutral palette that will allow a buyer to picture your home as theirs.

Assemble the Right Team

Every great home sale begins with a knowledgeable professional — and sometimes buyers need a reality check. Your real estate professional is invaluable during a sale, and can provide you with an unbiased and experienced opinion on your home, and any changes that will make it more attractive to buyers. Your agent is also the go-to source for comparable listings and can guide you to an informed decision about the correct asking price for your home. An agent who can provide an objective view can be a powerful ally when selling a home.

Image Source: Flickr/Stephen Harris

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