The days of selling a "2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1800 sq ft, nice view" property within days or weeks of posting it on the MLS® are long gone. So what's a realtor to do?
To this point in our guides we have repeatedly written about features and benefits. The features include such items as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet and parking; the benefits are the lifestyle that your home supports. Today it takes a lot more than features to sell a house; we need to sell a lifestyle.
There is so much competition out there that we need every advantage we can get to attract today's buyer. Price and terms are certainly up there at the top of the list. If your home isn't priced competitively the market place you aren't even on the buyer's list. Buyers are looking for a lifestyle. They imagine themselves raising their families or entertaining friends as they tour your home. Marketing benefits encourages the buyer's imagination along with their dreams.
Clean Up! Pick Up! Polish! These items are a given! We're talking about grabbing the attention of the buyer's sub conscience. By marketing benefits we are planting a visual seed that leaves an imprint for the sub conscience to feed on after they leave your home.
In reality you have a very brief time to make that first and lasting impression. By marketing benefits we capture the attention of the buyer. It is our experience that the buyer's initial reaction occurs within the first few moments of reading the ad, seeing a picture or viewing the property. If the basics aren't taken care of the deal may have died the moment they drive up to the curb and take a quick look at the exterior. The first minute is critical but the next 6 to 20 minutes must support that first impression.
Let's assume that Bob and Mary read an ad that captures their attention, call their realtor and are now taking the home tour. Our job is to feed those thoughts and impressions that are going through their minds. During the next 6 to 20 minutes they are either going to "confirm" or "rescind" their first impression. It's at this point that we must capture their imagination so they can visualize living in your house and enjoying a particular lifestyle. How well each room displays its own, unique features will either enhance their "lifestyle" image or erode it.
We use subtle "vignettes" to make little mental suggestions to support a "lifestyle" image. A fully set dining room table with candles and a flower arrangement or children playing soccer in the back yard are a couple of examples. A beautiful view outside the living room window needs to be featured with a furniture setting that takes advantage of it. Or a beautiful kitchen that is open to the dining room needs to strongly express entertaining. The options are endless and depend upon the trained eye recognizing and setting up the selling features of the house.
Our job is to use the resources at hand to tap into the buyer's mind to plant positive "lifestyle" images. Today buyers are well informed about development, the neighbourhood, the market and houses on the market. The Internet has turned realtors into information interpreters. The buyers have most likely already done the math, checked on the mortgage and sifted the options down to their short list. For your house to be chosen it must capture the buyer's imagination and get them to begin seeing themselves living there.
Buyers are looking for that one home on their short list that screams "I'm The One". Today marketing benefits is the key to successfully selling to homebuyers. Yes, by all means it's de-cluttering, deep cleaning and ensuring that the house's best attributes make a strong statement. It's our job to make sure buyers walk out of your house with "visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads".
We Don't Sell Houses – WE Sell Lifestyle!