What’s Your Home’s Emotional IQ?
When it comes to selling your home, the first attributes that will bring in prospective buyers will be found in your listing description: size, location, and all the details that either match prospects’ wish lists (or don’t). Price is in there, too. Next comes curb appeal, which can turn on or turn off prospective buyers. Although it is often the second “at bat” you get when you are selling, it’s not usually decisive. The third attribute can be just that—a bunch of factors that can hook your ultimate buyers.
Call it your home’s “emotional IQ.” Everything else is important, but emotion plays a powerful role in selling your property. That’s because home is, well, home—where people hang their hats, raise their kids, and spend their precious downtime. When potential buyers come to your house, they may think they are checking out four walls and a roof, but they are much more likely to be seeking a place that tugs at their emotions.
All very well and good, but how do you up your home’s emotional IQ (and snag the sale in the process)? Look objectively at your home, then think about the emotional plays that will get them where it count—through their senses. Give your home a quick sensory scan, looking for things that cue all five:
Sight. Is your home clean? Is it decorated and staged (but not so much that potential buyers can’t imagine themselves in it)? Make sure your home is as spotless as possible, and warm but not too personal. When room entrances are arranged to feel open, they look welcoming: a strong way to please the eye.
Sound. Does your home sound like a home? There’s nothing less emotionally pleasing than doing a walkthrough of a perfectly empty shell of a house. Attractive floor coverings (rugs and throws) can eliminate the unbroken echo of footsteps—and make your home feel more inviting; less clinical. And don’t forget a drop or two of 3-in-1 oil or WD40 for squeaking doors!
Smell. The nose is a powerful emotive factor. Aromas can evoke nostalgia, bringing on the feeling of well-being that comes with familiarity—but it can also sound alarm bells. Make sure the air doesn’t carry strong chemical or perfume smells. Better to throw a few cookies into the oven before walkthroughs arrive. It makes it easy for potential buyers to imagine themselves living, working, eating, and enjoying time in your home.
Touch. Look for surfaces potential buyers may touch, and make them clean and inviting. Importantly, door latches and light switches should feel sound and serviceable.
Taste. No—nobody can really taste a home, but selling your house may come down to leaving your personal taste at the door. It’s risky to forget to focus on the most tasteful place of all—the kitchen. The old real estate agent trope that gorgeous kitchens sell houses is more true than not, so if yours is hopeless, you may judicious to spend your upgrade dollars in a modern, open kitchen space.
How does your home’s emotional IQ add up? If you’re lacking in just one area, congratulations. You know what to fix, and a few subtle tweaks will help a lot. If you’re lacking in many areas, give me a call! I may be able to recommend some quick fixes, or help you stage it. Don’t forget: Whether buying or selling your house, things can get emotional. Take a deep breath, remember the real purpose of a home, and be ready to move!