We understand the “IT Factor” when we see it; that certain something that appeals to most, if not all. The enticing vibe, the charisma that radiates, the undeniable mystique that captivates everyone with no explanation. The sumptuous nature that is on the tip of our tongue, but we can’t quite describe. You know what I mean. It!
When it comes to selling and buying our homes, we want our home to exude that “It Factor” when it hits the market. The MLS is the fashion runway for homes. Your home is now launched globally for all to see. Men and women feverishly clicking through the photos and descriptions, pinning it to Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress and only the social media gods know what other realms will capture your homes image and bio. When your home hits that page…, will it strut its stuff and cause quaking silence, gasps and 3 a.m. texts to your Realtor, because they have to see it Now! Or will it stumble and fall and become runway road kill?
Are you ready for your close up? Does your largest investment scream Home? Is it current? Is there that secret trait that will mesmerize and enchant people when they walk through the door? Does your home have that certain something that everyone will want to buy? Does it have that confident allure that will tantalize a certain few, and create a commotion, or, is it like the little black dress, and arouses everyone as the new must have? Is it a juxtaposition…, the address of style! The modern edge versus traditional sensibility! Chandelier meets barn board walls. You get the idea. It’s like that car you must have, and hate your neighbor Richard for already possessing. Or that suit that makes you look fabulous no matter how hung over you are the next morning.
What is IT? Think quality. That polished look that is pulled together and easy on the eyes. That does not mean it has to be perfect. But you can’t go and put a frame around a hole in the roof and call it an avant-garde skylight! Nor will the water gushing into your basement pass as your reinterpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house! Wright’s was an architectural achievement, not a, we sprung a leak, lets pass it off as an indoor brook that is “quaint and charming.” Not going to work. And the buyer’s mortgage rep has learned the hard way not to overlook such scathing lending faux-pas.
Frankly, not all homes have It. And believe me, you don’t want to be the home that is described as “Barbie’s Malibu dream house meets Lady Gaga during a panic attack. Bad, bad, bad! But, that does not mean you can’t make the most of what your home does have. Like concealer, mascara, and the right shade of lipstick, a can of paint, attention to detail (moldings, shutters, de-clutter) and a well maintained abode can fetch you close to what you are asking for, if you are priced right.
Why are you selling your home? If you want to get the hell out because you can’t stand it anymore, well, that’s what happens when you lose “IT”. Pottery Barn doesn’t give you paint swatch names, show you what they look like in a room, paired with furnishings and accessories for the hell of it. It’s like Garanimals for your rooms. Color is a beautiful thing until it lands in the lap of someone who is color blind or indecisive and goes for the whole Disney palette inside the house, and 50 roaming gnomes with their fairy girlfriends greeting you as you walk up the front walkway… It is not a victimless crime!
Your home needs to turn heads, and that means for all the right reasons. Remember, stylish fashion runway, not a beauty pageant where big hair, pounds of makeup and sequins are all the rage. Hint: If you have orange, turquoise, chartreuse and lapis lazuli blue in one room with a zebra rug on the wall (no judgment) that is the opposite of the It Factor. People are forgiving if there is a splash of funk here and there, but when they have to take out a second mortgage to factor in repainting, that’s a clue you need to tone it down. Yes, it is your house. Yes, you can express yourself. Yes, you can also have 50 showings, and your agent passes out Dramamine to all potential buyers before they step through your front door. No, it is not your agent’s fault that it has not sold yet. And yes, your agent is telling all buyers about the walk-in closet with spinning shelves for shoes and ties, the new roof and radiant floors. But that is after your agent peels them off the ceiling, because they can’t get past the fact you prominently display your collection of freeze-dried Perpetual Pets (even Goldie the goldfish!) in the “guest shrine,” master bedroom, the entrance and up the stairs.
People want to see their future home when they enter and walk through the rooms. People want to see what they are buying. They want to see the walls, floors, ceilings, and the size of the rooms. Will their furniture fit? Is the dining room close enough to the kitchen? Can they imagine raising a family there and entertaining friends? They do not want to run screaming from your home and back to the therapy couch for their coulrophobia, because you have your clown collection sitting at the dining room table and all over the kitchen countertops and on the back of the commode!
Really look at your home. It maybe your fashionista dream come true, but does that mean it will hit the market and a bidding war will erupt the first day? Is it neutral? Is it clean? Does it have that polished look as you drive up that screams– I’ve been cared for!! They love me, they really, really love me! It does not matter the price tag nor the size, it has to be pulled together, because first impressions matter. Buyers can’t see past your stuff. It is a negative distraction. Your home needs to tell a story of timeless livability, space, flow, and address. It needs to speak to the potential new owners, that this will be their new safe haven, a place to build their memories and to create their own history. Like great design in fashion, interior and architecture, it needs to speak to the masses. You want to attract and captivate. You want them walking up that front walk and to open that door with anticipation and knowing, this is the one, I found my new home, this is It!