A little pre-show-day reading reveals that it takes around three seconds for a potential buyer to make that initial bond with your home. The bond that could potentially lead to a sale. Yup, there may be a hundred boxes to tick, but in the end, it boils down, like it or not, to good old-fashioned emotion. As objective and logical as we think we are, we end up buying, in most cases, a place we like!
So standing on the curb, was possibly the best place to start assessing the curb appeal of my home. Indeed, if I was going to sell it, I had to see what others would see, and detach emotionally.
Fortunately for me, the other half is as anal about weeds, tiles, light bulbs, paint and a manicured garden as I am about my nails, so looking in from the outside, it was a first impression I could be proud of. The walls, the garden and the entrance were warm and welcoming. And as I moved from room to room, I was pleased by the tidy and clutter free spaces we lived in. But emotion isn’t just about being neat and tidy. There’s that certain je ne sais quoi that creates an emotion. The imperceptible something that is the difference between love at first sight, and no love at all, and the reason I’d relinquished my mall-time, and pointed out how neglected his golf clubs were looking.
I was free to give the home the TLC it needed to give off that loving feeling. I opened the windows, adjusted the curtains so they just caught the breeze, fiddled the blinds so slatted light played across the floors, and popped flowers into places that made me smile. Fresh soaps and clean towels in the bathrooms added that laundered feeling that, if we believe what we see on TV, makes grown men dance. I turned off the sports channel and put on a quiet CD, and yes, I did pop some biscuits in the oven, which I’d later offer viewers, people who’d taken the trouble to cross the curb and consider my home.
But while personal touches create warmth and emotion, they can’t be taken too far. Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves owning the home, I’d learnt, so I removed our clutches of family photos, and overdose of sporting paraphernalia.
A few moments to go, I checked my checklist, the temperature was good, the mood was good, the lighting was good, the house was sparkling, the veranda was swept. Would they want to linger? Would they want to stay there? I’d done everything I could to create that mood. And now all there was left was a gracious welcome, and then to step aside, leave the house, let them look, and let them imagine.