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Selling the Lifestyle

PUBLISHED: 12:57 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 15:12 20 February 2013

Apples

Apples

Think back to the time when you decided to buy your current home. What were the reasons? Chances are that the majority were emotional. Why? Because we buy a lifestyle, not bricks and mortar. Successful property developers understand this. They are...

Think back to the time when you decided to buy your current home. What were the reasons? Chances are that the majority were emotional. Why? Because we buy a lifestyle, not bricks and mortar. Successful property developers understand this. They are adept at selling you a lifestyle - a lifestyle to aspire to. And they do it for one very simple reason - to improve profit.


Using similar techniques you can increase the 'perceived value' of your property. The goal? To inspire buyers to say the magic words: 'I like this house, it feels like home!'



Staging the lifestyle



Creating an aspirational lifestyle isn't as difficult as it sounds. After all, most buyers are trying to climb the property ladder. Simply treat your house like a stage set in just the same way as a developer prepares a show home. A staged home sells faster and for more money. Why?


It gives buyers a visual blueprint for what life could be like


It makes the home feel warm and inviting


It showcases the positives and minimises the negatives


Good staging has two major impacts. Firstly, it makes rooms seem larger and secondly, it defines spaces that show off the best features of the home's layout.



TOP STAGING TIPS


Define spaces



That little alcove under the stairs becomes a home office area when dressed with a small desk. Or that slab of concrete becomes a private patio when furnished with an outdoor lounge chair and table.



Create focal points



In every room, draw the buyer's eye to the farthest point to create a sense of space. For example, put an orchid on the bedside table farthest from the door.



Think outside the room



Chances are that your furniture is focused internally - for example, facing the television. Move some chairs to face an outside space, especially to large windows. This borrows space from outside and creates a sense of openness.



Go minimal



Remember, worktops are a valuable commodity, so clear surfaces to show off as much space as possible.



Appeal to the senses



Lighting, sound, scents and touch should all be used. For each viewing turn on some strategically placed lamps to make rooms feel inviting. Some soft, soothing and barely audible music in the background creates the feeling of relaxation. A throw across the back of a chair says 'warm and cosy'. Real citrus scents create appeal; squeeze a fresh lemon carefully in the sink and wipe out with kitchen towel. But avoid artificial scents. And open the windows for 30 minutes before the viewing.



Be squeaky-clean spotless



When was the last time you saw an untidy and dirty show home? Clutter makes buyers think there isn't enough storage space, and dirt makes them think that the property will need a lot of upkeep. Give them the opposite impression. If necessary, pack up possessions and put them into storage. It's well worth the cost.



Make it warm



Not just visually but also physically. If it's chilly put the heating on prior to the viewing. A warm house feels inviting, a cold house feels cold in more ways than one.



The final secret



You've got a buyer to fall in love, now you must ensure they stay in love. It is essential that every time the buyer comes back to the property it still looks perfect. Make sure it always looks as it did when they first saw it. Don't relax until the sale is complete.


Matthew Lincoln is a director of Thorpe Lincoln Mortgage Consultants, the local mortgage experts who focus on obtaining the mortgage rate most suited to your individual situation and needs. Visit www.thorpelincoln.com to find out more.

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