Many sellers have a routine for showings that involves making beds, opening blinds, etc. And most sellers are more than aware of the value of curb appeal. But home stager and real estate agent, Sabine H. Schoenberg, reminds sellers of the importance of what she calls the “windshield effect”. More and more buyers act independently- researching properties on line and doing a drive-by of potential properties and neighborhoods long before they ever tell their agents they’d like to see a particular listing. Your home’s windshield effect could be costing you.
As Schoenberg writes in her blog, “By the time buyers enter a home they already formed opinions. They already have emotional imprints and reactions. The property, including your seller’s “stuff” spread around the outside of the home, gives them clues about the sellers and, most importantly, their motivation for sale.
I always tell my client sellers: Daily living and presenting a home are two very different experiences. We are all bound by our habits. However, a buyer sees a home for the first time with fresh eyes and as a visitor.
Have your seller ask themselves these five questions:
• What story does your home tell a visitor right now? What story do your home want it to tell?
• When you drive up to your house, what do you see? Overgrown shrubs or a landscape, which draws your eye right to the front door?
• Where do visitors park, and how do they get from there to the entrance? Is it in front of your house, to the side, in front of a garage? What makes the walk from the car to the entrance enjoyable? Are surfaces, handrails, and steps safe and secure?
• What kind of items are scattered around your house at any given day? Do visitors have to walk past garbage or recycling cans since pick up occurred that day? Are kids toys strewn all over the front yard? Are their “gifts” from your pets on the lawn? If the listing shows a sprinkler system, for example, do not have a sprinkler hose hanging out on the front lawn?
• Is your house nicely lit at night? Good lighting adds a romantic side to your home. Buyers who are contemplating a purchase might just be doing an evening drive by for a bit of dreaming – let them fall in love!
Today’s buyers are independent. Many drive by a home before having the real estate agent even arrange for a showing. Your home and property have to be in “show condition” 24/7 – NOT JUST made ready for a showing.