What does selling your home have in common with online dating? Probably more than you think. There may be plenty of potential prospects out there, but it’s not always easy to find the perfect match. Sound familiar? Fortunately, sellers can learn a few lessons from dating services, that ensure their home attracts the best prospects, who appreciate its worth and treat it well. Most importantly, they won’t leave you high and dry before the closing.
Lesson No. 1: Hide your crazy
Whether you’re trying to get an offer for a house or a dinner date, you might not want to immediately disclose the more unique aspects of your personality. This means stash away your 18-year collection of the Teddy Bear Times, bikini babe posters, etc., before an open house.
Lesson No. 2: Write up an enticing profile
Whether you’re trying to rustle up a date for Friday night or find a potential buyer, it’s important to sell yourself—and, when it comes to home sales, that means your property. Highlight the best features of your home, like the awe-inspiring floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings, or new, energy-efficient appliances to make buyers swoon.
Downplay the small master bedroom or the garage that can accommodate only one car. Or you can frame it as a project for new homeowners—some people like fixer-uppers.
Lesson No. 3: Looks do matter
In the same way that a new wardrobe, a personal trainer, and a few laser teeth-whitening sessions can work wonders for your appearance, so can some new carpeting, wallpaper, or flooring in your home. Making basic and cosmetic repairs can add thousands to the price of your home—and help it to sell quicker in many instances.
It may even be a good idea to call in a professional staging company, to swap out the furniture and upgrade the decor to show the property in its best possible light.
Lesson No. 4: Don’t show those Bush-era photos
Nearly all online daters have had that terrifying moment when they meet that smoking-hot single they’ve been messaging with—who is clearly 15 years older, 30 pounds heavier, and generally way schleppier than the person depicted in those Tinder photos. Sigh.
It’s the same with homes. Hire a professional photographer to take current pictures to show off a residence’s best qualities.
Lesson No. 5: Be realistic
No matter how great your home is, it’s important for folks to set realistic expectations, say real estate agents and dating coaches.
“If you’re in your late 40s, you’re unlikely to date someone in their 20s,” says Arthur Malov of NewYorkDatingCoach.com. Similarly, if every other home on your block has been selling in the mid-$300,000 range, your home probably won’t fetch $400,000, he says.
Sellers also shouldn’t expect that every potential buyer that comes through their door is “the One.”
“Don’t go crazy worrying about every little detail,” one REALTOR® says of sellers. “Pretty soon they are a year down the road and … their house isn’t even on the market because they don’t think they’re ready yet.”
Lesson No. 6: Appearances are often deceiving
First impressions can be deceiving. For example, the nice couple who oohed and ahhed during the open house may say they’re emotionally ready to become homeowners, but they may not really be prepared.
One sign that can help you separate the commitment-ready from those just playing the field is to look for buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage.
“If a buyer takes the time to write up an offer, they’re serious,” says REALTOR® Deb Counts-Tabor. But “you don’t want to get an offer in and find out halfway down the road that they can’t get financed.”
Source: Realtor.com (February 2017)