You’ve heard it a million times – you need to stage your home in order to get it sold. You’ve done everything you could think of, but why can’t buyers see past the furniture and decor? Why are they so hung up on your family photos or whether your bedroom looks like it was taken from the pages of a magazine? Why are you rearranging furniture and packing items up for storage? It’s frustrating enough to put your home on the market and have strangers coming into your home, but to have them judging your personal style and taste? No one enjoys that. So what is it about buyers that makes them completely unable to see past the furniture and decor and hone in on the true object of their attention – the house they’re about to buy.
The whole psychology of buying a home can be quite fascinating to watch. As real estate agents, we see and hear a lot. From comments about the choice of paint colors to comments about your taste in furniture, we’ve heard it all. Even logical, rational people who you’d expect to be able to see past your wall of family photos will inevitably stop in front of them and take a look. Your couch is not to their liking, but what does it matter? They’re not buying the couch. It just doesn’t make sense that they can’t see past the furniture…or does it?
The trick to understanding the buyer mindset when you’re selling your home isn’t as hard as you might imagine it to be. Think back to all the memories you’ve created in your home. Think of all the milestones you’ve passed. Think of how much your home has been involved in your life. Buyers have those sorts of thoughts too, except they haven’t lived a day in the home yet. They have to rely on you to sell them that story. They want to know what your life was like when you lived in the house. They want to picture themselves living a new life in your home and the easiest way to do that is to look around and see what you have done. It may seem a little odd, but the buyers are looking to place themselves mentally in the home and the lifestyle that goes along with it and even though you and the buyer may be polar opposites, they have no other frame of reference to look to…just your stuff.
It’s easy to feel awkward about someone poking around your life in such a way, but it makes sense when you put yourself into that mindframe. So take a step back and look at your home through the eyes of a buyer – give them what they want and need and get that home sold. Yes, it is a place of great memories for you, but remember, you’ll be making new ones as soon as you get this home sold and move somewhere new.
image courtesy of denise carbonell