An open home is all about first impressions. You’re not just selling a house; you’re selling a lifestyle. So how do you make your old house feel like someone’s new home? The trick is to tap into all their senses and create a well-rounded experience.
An age-old trick is having the scent of freshly-baked goodies wafting through the house. Don’t have time to bake? These days you can buy candles that smell like brownies, cinnamon buns, blueberry muffins or even salted caramel!
For other rooms in the house, such as your bathroom, bedrooms or study, light and inviting floral fragrances can create the perfect cosy and inviting atmosphere.
The delicious scents from the baked goods candles have got their mouths watering; now it’s time to deliver with some treats in the kitchen to make people linger just a little longer. Wrapped lollies are a great option or lollipops, since no one wants to do a lucky dip for mixed lollies touched by a bunch of total strangers. Just remember to set a little bowl nearby for people to dispose of their wrappers.
This tactic can work especially well if you’re selling to a family market. Having a home that children love can be a strong motivator for young families and if you ask a child which house they prefer, all other houses will fade into the background compared to the one that came with treats. Get the kids loving your house so much that they don’t want to leave and you’re sorted.
Open the windows and turn on all the lights. Yes, even during the day. Yes, even the bedside lamps. Combat any shadowy alcoves or cloudy weather so that your house seems light, bright and welcoming no matter what time of the day or night the open home is taking place.
Fresh flowers will also help to brighten and soften an otherwise cold space. Position flowers in the kitchen, laundry, bathroom(s) and other key decorative positions around the house for maximum impact.
This one’s a little trickier. Don’t be tempted to play relaxing rainforest music, because it might come across as a little weird when a bird randomly squawks and scares the heck out of a potential buyer. What you SHOULD do is get people talking about the space.
Write up little details about each room to direct people to all the best features. You could leave these little notecards on desks or bedside tables, or Blu-Tack them to the wall buyers will see as soon as they enter a space.
Even if something seems commonplace to you, let buyers know about it! Double built-in wardrobes can be a huge draw, as well as north-facing rooms and relaxing views overlooking a park or the beautifully-landscaped backyard. Let people know the biggest size bed that could fit comfortably in each room so they can imagine their own furniture in here if it’s different to your tastes or needs.
Selling an empty house can be harder than you think, with rooms appearing smaller than they actually are if furniture is not placed in optimum positions. If you’ve already moved your own furniture out, don’t worry – you can hire furniture from various companies specifically for open homes. A home stylist will know just the right balance of personal taste and generic luxury to add to a space.
Or you could buy some cheap (but beautiful) furniture for display purposes and sell it off later. (Psst: this is where your Kmart addiction comes in handy!) Some people even like to purchase furniture with a house, so you might be able to negotiate a higher price if you’ve styled everything perfectly.
Never underestimate the value of being able to sit down in a room for a few minutes and get a feel for the space. A few personal touches are just what you need to make people feel at home.
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