We’re all familiar with the expression ‘if walls could talk’. When it comes to selling your home, wouldn’t it just be brilliant if they could?
Your kitchen could chatter away about how it is designed in the perfect triangle of functionality between stove, sink and fridge for ease of use; the curtains could flap away about how unoverlooked the living room is, they never get closed; the windows would wax lyrical about the beautiful sunsets they look out to over the fields, the morning mists in autumn and snow on the hills in winter. Your home would simply sell itself.
Unless you live in the castle from Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’, such magical moments are unlikely to occur. In that case, you need to lend your home a helping hand to extol its virtues on those all-important viewings.
The first thing to get straight is your mindset: if you swap the word ‘viewer’ for ‘guest’ you’ll find your attitude to viewings changing instantly. If you prepare for viewers in the same way you’d prepare your home for an evening entertaining family or friends, it’s a sure-fire step toward success.
With that in mind, here are our top six tips on how to enhance your viewer’s buying experience.
1. Room fragrance
Do smells help sell homes? There’s a definite distinction between ‘odour’ and ‘aroma’ so before you overlay scent on top of scent, put in the groundwork and give your home a top to bottom clean: scrub the loos, mop the floors, hoover the carpets, polish the woodwork and buff the windows ‘til they shine.
When it comes to introducing aromas into your home, it’s important not to overpower your viewers – they’ll be so busy playing ‘what’s that smell’ they could become distracted from the main event…viewing (and falling in love with) your home.
Subtlety sells, and natural fragrances which harmonise with the ambience of each room are always a winner. Consider the season you are selling in too…strategically placed cinnamon sticks are evocative of cosy Christmases in front of a roaring fire, zesty lemon in the kitchen invites the sunny days of summer indoors. And you can never go wrong with freshly brewed coffee and wafts of baked bread.
2. Crackling fires
We don’t care what the season is, nothing sells cosiness better than a roaring fire. Perhaps it harks back to our hunter gatherer days, but as a species we are drawn to flames, and nothing will make your viewer feel more at home and like stretching out on your sofa than the crackle and pop of a real fire. A stack of logs is also a nice touch, but be sure not to stack them up against the stove whilst it’s lit!
3. Pack away children and pets
As much as they fill your home with laughter, smiles and warmth…they also fill it with noise, mess and smells. Maybe your viewers are doggy people, maybe they too are guinea pig enthusiasts, they might well be parents, but first and foremost they are seeking a home they can call their own. Seeing your children and pets making themselves at home can be off-putting.
Consider too potential allergies of viewers. To be on the safe side, try to keep pets out of the house during the entire viewing period to avoid lingering pet odours (wet dog smell is not a winner when selling your home). It might be a little trickier to keep the kids away, but having granny on speed dial is definitely recommended.
4. The floral touch
Flowers are certainly a super touch when staging a home for its photoshoot, elevating them to a new level and giving your home a fresh feel. But what happens when the viewer arrives at your home to discover all the perfect styling touches from the shoot have evaporated, leaving a somewhat sterile home in its place?
A great way to add some floral flair to your home without breaking the bank is to keep things low key. One bunch of flowers from your local florist or supermarket can go a really long way. And guess what? You don’t even need to splash out on fancy vases. Keep hold of your old jam jars and tins (labels removed and fully scrubbed) and divide the flowers up; individual chrysanthemums in each jar, and a few freshly cut springs of lavender from the garden on the bedside table.
Who knew floristry could be such fun?
5. Cake in the kitchen
It may sound daft, but it helps to give a subtle nod to each room’s function…a fire blazing in the hearth of the living room, an open book and pair of spectacles on the desk in the study, a turned back bed with a buffer of pretty cushions in the bedroom, a pile of freshly laundered towels in the bathroom, and, of course, the most scrumptious cake imaginable laid out in the kitchen.
Don’t make it a just for show cake either, display it proudly on a cake stand, with a small pile of side plates and a knife close by. Why not section a piece out and place it temptingly on a plate next to a freshly brewed pot of tea? Hospitality at its finest. A viewing memory to savour…
6. Pivotal positioning
Guiding a viewing is like being the world’s best butler. The agent needs to be invisible, yet always at hand in case your viewer requires anything. Guide them around and then let them have a little look on their own, in order to find their bearings and get a sense of the home ‘as their own’. As the viewing comes to its natural close, be sure to guide them back to the best room in the home for the concluding conversation.
Viewings are where we shine brightest. At Wainwrights, we conduct all viewings on behalf of you, the client, as we know what works in order to elicit the best offers from the right buyers.
Get in touch
For more information on our services, or to find out how we can help you prepare for viewings, give us a call or call by for a chat. We’d love to help you get moving.