Home Selling Series, Part Three: Home “Hot Buttons” Which Appeal to Buyers

In this last installment of the Home Selling Series, discussion will revolve around elements about a home sellers don’t normally think about highlighting, which buyers get really excited about. Tara calls these items “hot buttons” in her article 5 Things You Didn’t Know Could Get Your Home Sold (and Why Buyers Should Think Twice Before Biting!).

The definition of hot button is, “Something that elicits a strong emotional response or reaction.” Because of this strong emotional response in buyers, if a home possesses one, or more, of these elements it should be mentioned in marketing material, if at all possible.

Number one on the list of desirable attributes is the proximity of the home to local favorites, like a Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco, a popular coffee shop or farmers market.  Tara explains the psychology behind the appeal, “This specific location factor vividly colors in a buyer’s mental image of strolling a block or two over to do something they already like – or need – to do very much, and very frequently.” In the greater Seattle area, the home’s proximity to bike/walking trails,  public transportation hubs, dog parks and book stores/libraries might be quite attractive to potential buyers. Sellers, discuss with your agent what local favorites, close to your home, could be attractive to potential buyers, and how to best highlight the information.

Staging the outdoor spaces around the home makes number two on Tara’s “hot button” list.  Intimate, delightful patios, balconies overlooking green spaces, bbq areas and interesting porches stimulate thoughts about outdoor entertaining.  By taking the time to create thoughtful environments in the outdoor space, sellers may be able to create for potential buyers images of themselves drinking coffee and reading on that balcony, or entertaining on that patio.  Day dreams about outdoor fun is alluring, and staging the outdoors around the home may capture potential buyers’ attention.

Light, bright rooms are usually more inviting.  Have the window coverings seen better days? It might be to the sellers’ advantage to save the cost of replacing curtains and blinds by getting rid of them altogether. The third “hot button” element discusses how windows without coverings may help a home appear lighter, more spacious and inviting to buyers. If ditching the window coverings sounds like a good idea, sellers will need to consider the direction a room’s window faces. The light streaming in a window highlights a room, the color of its walls and the furniture, differently depending on the direction the room faces. Before chucking the window coverings into the garbage, remove them for a few days as a trial run. Does the light streaming in compliment the coloring of the room?

Number 4 on the “hot button” list is the appeal of built-in shelves, nooks and crannies.  These handy areas help build the image of a more organized lifestyle in many buyers’ minds.  There is something sophisticated about book nooks. Useful places to store board games, crafting supplies and other hobby items gives hope to buyers currently living in apartments lacking the space for such storage options.  If a home contains under-utilized, uniquely shaped niches, sellers might consider adding shelving. How about that space underneath the stairs? There are many ways sellers can update the space beneath stairwells. Of course, sellers will want to keep in mind renovation costs when considering pre-listing home projects.

The strollability of a neighborhood shopping district is the final “hot button.” The stores’ proximity to the street can be very important to potential buyers. Tara mentions that studies of neighborhood WalkScores have discovered a correlation between higher WalkScores and an increased value of a neighborhood in the eye of buyers. Since these walkable shopping areas often have a name, it’s easy to highlight this important detail in the home’s marketing material.

By keeping these five emotionally enticing elements in mind, and approaching a home like a potential buyer, sellers can feature a home’s most positive housing-related traits. The strong emotion associated with these “hot buttons” might push a great home into the spot of THE home in the eyes of a buyer. The seller’s agent is the perfect resource to help select which elements would be best to highlight in the home’s marketing material.

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