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Selling Houses: The Basics of Design Psychology

I'm often asked about the basics of Design Psychology, which offers innovative interior and exterior design ideas for increasing profit and shortening market time. In reply, I begin by saying that Design Psychology's strategies go well beyond normal cleaning, painting, and repair.

Here are a few Design Psychology tips you can use to maximize your sales profits without having to spend a great deal of money:

The first step is to emotionally detach yourself from your home. Think of your house as an investment that needs to be sold. Your ultimate objective is to spur buyers' imaginations by making your home feel like a nicely-appointed vacation property.

Set out your best china and finest linens, and pack away everything you won't need, including personal items such as family pictures. You want to create a feeling of luxury and comfort, because buyers will pay more for a home that makes them feel pampered.

Once the interior of your home feels warm and inviting, it's time to take a look at the rest of the property. Pretend you're a home buyer, seeing the property for the first time. It may help to have a friend along, in order to be more objective.

Walk around your property, making notes of "No Cost," "Small Cost," and "Dream List" changes. Then walk to the front door, enter the house, and walk through your home, letting the natural flow of the floor plan guide you all the way to the backyard. Look for things that need attention, noting everything that detracts from the warm, inviting feeling you're trying to create.

When you're done with your investigation, tackle the "No Cost" items first, which might include such things as simple as rearranging furniture to improve traffic flow or to make the rooms feel larger. Under-furnished rooms will also give buyers the opportunity to imagine their own furnishings in your home, so it's worthwhile to either sell or place unnecessary furniture in storage.

When you begin to consider the repairs that will cost money, make sure that every expense will be worth the eventual benefit. Ask your Realtor for help determining which upgrades yield the highest return in your market.

(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see http://www.doghousetodollhouse fordollars.com/pages/5/index.htm

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