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Sell the Story

April 23, 2010
by Scott Levitt ·  

Scott’s Thoughts: Have You Sold the Story?
Help people see the home inside the house.

“A good home must be made, not bought.” –Joyce Maynard

The word “house” covers the physical realities of a property.  Three bedrooms, two baths, a new roof.  A loft with a deck.  A fourth-story beach condo with carpet that could really use replacing.

The word “home” goes beyond the mere walls, and occupies a powerful mental space for people.  ”Home” is what a house becomes when the owners have shared experiences in it.  ”Home” is where memories are created, where good fortune is celebrated and bad news is endured.

If you’re only pitching the “house” and neglecting the “home,” you’re probably missing out on a few deals every year. Some buyers need help seeing what can be beyond what currently is.  Ask yourself: Are these buyers disappointed by the property, or uninspired by the lack of story?

You cannot ignore a buyer’s practical reality, but you can assist them with the vision. Rather than tell them what they should see in a property, tell them a story about “a client you had once” that was looking at a similar property or in a similar neighborhood.  Talk a bit about their transition from house to home… how the right-sized house, or the proximity to the beach, or the fantastic schools all contributed to making them “at home” in their new residence.

It’s a bit like time travel.  Give them a virtual tour of their future.

Do you need to turn it into a sentimental Hallmark card?  No!  But helping potential buyers visualize a future in a happy home can certainly help the sale.

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