Listing Tip #2 Look at your home through Fresh Eyes (that aren’t yours)

The colour of the walls and carpet, the texture of the stucco, or the elaborate garden are common examples of things that may be loved by some and put off by others. You may love your pink carpet or your dark green walls, or your big beautiful rose garden in the back and that’s totally fine! It is your place after all! Some people will like it too, but some (most actually) will say “Eww… pink!” “Boy it’s dark in here!” and “I don’t have the time to keep that garden up.”

It seems like it should be obvious but it bears mentioning that once you decide to put your home on the market you have to stop thinking less about it as your home and more as a thing that is to be sold. After all, I wouldn’t be saying this if I didn’t so often see listings that could so easily attract much more attention were they presented better.

This doesn’t come easy for most people, especially if you’ve lived there for a long time. The style, layout and colours of your home might even feel so personal to you that it’s like a part of the family itself. Not to mention the fact that you’ve been seeing it every single day for the past however long is preventing you from seeing it with fresh eyes. This is totally understandable and natural, but if you want to get top dollar for your home, you’ll have to stop thinking about it as your home, and thinking about it as a home that other people can see themselves living in easily. I’ve chosen those last words carefully, so please don’t just read them casually.

What I mean by this is one of those principles that is simple, yet far reaching. It’s true that it only takes one buyer to buy your home and although there is bound to be someone who likes your unusual tastes, if that’s the sort you have, but how long do you think it will be before that person show up? How long are you willing to wait? And when they finally do, do you think they’ll look at this listing that’s been sitting on the market for a long time and even consider giving you an offer that’s close to the asking price? (See my last listing tip if you’re not sure.)

A big part of this goal is to make it a place where people can see their life happening instead of yours. The photos I’ve used above are extremes to illustrate my point but much more subtle things will also make a difference on your profit. If you have too much of your own art on the walls, or tons of pictures of you and your friends and family, dishes in the sink that need to be done, some laundry in view or in essence leaving things around the house that show who you are, how you live and how you think, then the home will be perceived as your home and they will be more likely to be noticing your stuff than the home. Yes, there are exceptions, but I’m talking in the big picture here. Make it nice, make it clean, make it neutral, give it space and give it light. It’s not catchy, but it should be a mantra for prepping your home for sale.

There is a flipside to all of this that goes beyond cleaning and repairs. There is a certain art to presenting your possessions, particularly nice furniture, art that isn’t too loud, knick knacks that are plain but tasteful, some nice plants on display for example. If you can present all of these in a way that says “This home is elegant, tasteful, and homey.” instead of “I live here.” you’re doing well. Of course, you’ll need input from an outside perspective on how well you’re doing this, otherwise it’s like using the yardstick to measure itself. But guess who can help you with that and give you tips, help, info for the whole process? Me of course. I’m just an email or a phonecall away. Click below.
Ryan Coffey

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