Ever wonder why two people can look at the same room, but have a completely different experience, or come up with opposite design styles and solutions? It all has to do with the way you think.
Few homebuyers can visualize a home’s potential without seeing it set up in front of them, which makes it crucial for an owner to prepare a home for sale focusing on the perceptions that will make the property look the most appealing. By creating lasting first impressions a seller will have a better understanding of what the target buyer wants, plus a bigger chance of receiving multiple offers.
Think of an open house as the opening night for a new film. The stars would be walking the red carpet, dressed to impress, promoting the movie, creating excitement and buzz – that’s what staging does for a home on the market.
A buyer’s gut reaction never goes away, so make sure to critique each area of the home, or recruit a judgmental friend who can help answer the following questions:
- What will the cohesive style be throughout the home?
- Where will furniture and accessories be placed or removed?
This will take some visual thinking, which can be difficult for some homeowners who are left-brain thinkers. Most of the population is more left-brain driven, using organizational and logical skills to conquer a task at hand.
The right-brain thinkers, however, use their creative ability and function – particularly shape recognition – to assess the world. That’s why some homeowners can visualize the potential of a space, while others have a hard time figuring out how to arrange the furniture or what accessories go together.
Left-brain thinkers like to deal with words or numbers. They assess things in parts and are time-bound, while right-brain thinkers deal with pictures, assessing things as a whole and in relation to one another and are time-free.
When thinking about first impressions and how you’re going to transform a space for maximum buyer appeal, tap into right-brain thinking to create cohesion throughout the entire space. When selling a home, you can’t just hang a picture on a wall because the wall is empty – the picture should be generic enough to appeal to all types of people. It has to match the color scheme of the room and be in proportion to the rest of the items in the space.
If you’re a left-brain thinker, tap into your creative side to make a difference in the space. Take one room in the property and go through the space, critiquing everything from top to bottom. The ceiling, lighting, paint color, furniture placement and so on. What’s on the floor? What do you see? What needs to be changed?
Through the power of imagination, you can visualize a new room. Here’s how:
- Make a list of what typically goes into the room. An entryway, for example usually has a table, table lamp, mirror or artwork, a place to sit and storage for shoes and coats.
- Next, write down where each of those items would go in the room. Be as specific as possible.
- Try to capture the reaction you want the buyer to have when he walks through the room. Involve as many emotions and senses as possible.
- Then go through what is already in that room and around your house. Can you reuse what you have to satisfy the items on the list?) If you can, jot that in your notes.
- If you’re going to need to rent or buy anything, start a separate shopping list.
Stephen R. Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change,” writes about tapping into the right brain daily to change a behavior.Setting up your home and maintaining it are two different things. You can’t just set it up and expect this singular experience to change the outcome of your life.
You’re going to need to maintain the space, and that requires using your “right brain power of visualization,” as Covey puts it, to keep you on track with your goal of decorating your home to sell it or simply enjoy it more.
Covey explains how to use affirmations to visualize the perception you want to create. “A good affirmation has five basic ingredients: it’s personal , it’s positive , it’s present tense , it’s visual , and it’s emotional ,” he writes in the book.
A good affirmation for maintaining the entryway, for example, could be something like this: It is deeply satisfying (emotional) when I (personal) put away (present tense) coats, shoes and other belongings when I come home to keep a neat and tidy home (positive). This helps sellers visualize the act of maintaining a clean home daily, not to mention changes habits to enhance a lifestyle for the next place you’ll call home.
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