© 2016 Julie Warner. All rights reserved.

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​​​JULIE WARNER

EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS FOR HOMEBUYERS

Your five senses can take you back in time to a wonderful memory. Sights, sounds, and scents can remind you of long walks on the beach with your sweetheart, holidays with your family, or the best weekend you ever spent camping as a kid.

Buyers have memories they love, too. When they buy a home, they are looking forward to creating new memories.

When you’re ready to show your home to a prospective buyer, try these few ideas to help stimulate your buyer’s senses:

Sights. Welcome your buyer with a freshly swept sidewalk, flowers in the garden and freshly trimmed bushes and trees. Keep your entry spotless and inviting; either by a new welcome mat, new fixtures on the door or shiny new hardware on the porch lights. Once your buyer is inside, let them see the bones of the home by keeping clutter, furniture and accessories to a minimum.

Sounds. Turn the television off and put on soft, relaxing, or romantic music. Oil creaky doors so they don't ruin the mood. In doing so, you are saying to your buyer "Slow down, Take your time. Look."

Smells. Cooking aromas are intoxicating. Fresh-baked cookies may be trite, but they work. You can also put a slow cooker on the day your home is being shown, such as a stew with onions. Fresh flowers can be lovely especially if you add in eucalyptus stems or thin pine branches. Ensure that the cat box and dog bed are clean. Nothing smells better than clean, so put away the air freshener and scented candles. Make sure any added fragrances are pleasant and organic.

Touch. Make certain your house is so clean, that it invites buyers to touch. Put a sumptuous throw on the sofa. Pristine counter tops, sinks and other surfaces invite people to put their hands down. What we touch, we tend to want - if the touch is pleasant.

Taste. Whether it’s hot or cold outside, refreshments will make your buyer feel welcome. Put out a tray, small ice bucket, and glasses with a little pitcher of ice water, juice or whatever is appropriate for the season and the weather. A plate of cookies or covered crackers with a block of cheese and cheese slicer will help buyers keep up their energy. Best of all, it will help them linger in the kitchen – the most important room in the house to most buyers.

These suggestions will help put your buyer at ease and make them feel at home. More importantly, these steps will put your buyer in the mood to buy. e.

THINK LIKE A BUYER 

You’ve looked at your agent’s comparable market analysis, calculated how much you need out of selling your home, and have come up with an asking price, but before you sign on the dotted line think of how buyers will react. Based on how buyers typically choose homes, will they feel your home is really worth the asking price?

How Buyers Shop

Buyers look at affordability first and foremost. Most are already preapproved by a lender and know exactly how much they have to spend. Whether it's with their agents or online, buyers shop in price ranges - typically in $25,000 increments. With that in mind, it's far better to price your home at $399,995 or $424,900 than at $405,000. Your job is to make sure the buyer who is qualified to buy your home, will actually see it.

Next to pricing, buyers look at all available inventory and compare your home to others currently on the market. When home inventory is high, buyers have more room to negotiate terms. When fewer homes are available for sale, buyers are more likely to meet your terms. Buyer's choices are then narrowed onto a short list, based on what they perceive to be the best value - the best homes in the best condition, and in the best neighborhoods they can afford.

Determining Your Asking Price

It's important when using comparables to determine your asking price that the homes are close in proximity, similar in size, and appearance to your home. You must also strongly consider current market conditions. As markets rise and fall, buyers can only negotiate based on current market values. This means, a buyer who wants a home in a particular neighborhood may choose one that's in less than perfect condition if the price is right. Other buyers may opt to compromise location in order to get a larger home, or one in better condition. No matter the situation, buyers always choose the home that offers the best price, condition, and location for the money.

Just as you want the most money possible for your home, your buyer wants to pay the least amount of money. The buyer isn't interested in how much you paid for the home, what you paid for upgrades, or how much money you need to make from the sale. They are only interested in whether or not they want those features and whether or not the home is worth the price you’re asking. Look at your home as critically as you can. Take the time to fix broken items and make your home more attractive with fresh paint, new carpet, and updated fixtures. You can’t change your home's location, but you can change it's condition and make your home more competitive for the price.