(305) 793-1365 restivomiami@gmail.com

RX for selling your house FAST… in this TOUGH market!

April 12, 2009

P R O P E R T Y   S E A R C H

R E S T I V O – H E C H T M A N    T E A M

Intriguing inquiry?  A creative selling tool, perhaps,  when innovative ideas are sorely needed.  question-mark3a I got an odd phone call, with potential brilliance for selling homes.  This proposal has me pondering though:

The “caller” proposes moving into any vacant  South Florida home  I  currently have listed for sale:   furnishing it… decorating it…  maintaining the landscaping, lawn and pool… paying for the utilities…. allowing showings, open houses…. She proposes living there for a maximum of 6 months  and vacating with  30 day  notice once I have a buyer. 

I thought the idea was ingenious… but fraught with potential pitfalls.  The pitfalls are obvious when you  ponder  possible “scenarios”… but intriguing nevertheless.  She’d live for free, making the house more appealing…  “lived-in”.  A possible win-win situation for both seller and caretaker (stager/ “house-sitter”).  Marketing genious?

A while back, FOX NEWS  did a clip on just that.  Realtors and sellers have become increasingly more creative with marketing and showcasing their properties.  It’s a sign of the times.  FOX showcased  people moving into vacant homes,  furnishing them and making them more appealing to buyers by showcasing them as ‘occupied’…  living  virtually for free  themselves, until the house sells.

Houses tend to look  and show  better when furnished and lived in… no doubt.   Most of us have a hard time envisioning what a property void of furnishings will feel like furnished.  Much about buying a house has to do with the emotional component… the connection a buyer has with that home, imagining himself (or herself) there:   A guestroom set up with plush linens and a breakfast tray on the bed… an adirondack chair on the porch or patio;  an open book perched on it….  fresh flowers …  rolled-up towels whispering  ‘spa’…  a couple of wineglasses on a tray… all  create an emotive tie,  and the thought “I could live here”.   It paints a picture.

Houses that are “theme oriented”  detract from buyers  ‘connecting’ with that house.   Portraits and family photos covering the walls “claim” the house, declaring it as “belonging to” the current owner.  (Clutter has the same effect.) 

 Creating  a sense of  ‘This could be mine!’  is the goal.  Depersonalizing any house  listed for sale does that,  increasing (exponentially!)  the potential for a buyer to emotionally “move-in”.   In terms of  ‘staging’ a house for sale…  decluttering  and ensuring that buyers can walk through easily,  is paramount. Defining areas  by purpose (dining area, reading areas, zen-like nook, family room, office, guest room, bedroom) as opposed to catch-alls for multipurpose use or storage makes any house more saleable.

Much about preparing a house for sale has to do with creating emotion… and absolutely nothing to do with how the buyer will ultimately keep it.  Buyers buy on emotion, then alter the house to their own liking. The way we live and the way we set-up our house for sale are entirely different. Your house should welcome buyers with open arms (… think  “hotel “….): Warm, welcoming and ready for the guest to settle in. 

Staging it  to make your potential buyer imagine living there, waking up there, creating memories there…. is key.  Allowing the buyer to sense what it would feel like to live there, as they step through the front door,  may make the difference between selling and not.

You want the buyer  to imagine sitting at that bay window, lingering over coffee in the morning, taking in that view,  puttering in that kitchen,  bar-b-queing on that deck, relaxing on the covered patio and watching the rain,  luxuriating in the spa tub,  curling up on that chaise lounge under the palm tree….  living there… the house being his… no longer simply just a house but  his house… his home.  Two different words,  significantly emotive:  house versus home.   A house is what you sell…  It’s a commodity.  Your home is where you live, wherever that this (even temporarily).  You sell a  house… and buy a home.   When you are ready to buy or sell property in Miami, call us.  Vicki Restivo  (305) 793-1365  …    Alexandra Restivo (305) 632-0164

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