Sellers – Its Time to Bring Sexy Back
Sex sells. This is what Ms. Monroe knew but most of her contemporaries did not understand. More than a half a century ago, Marilyn recognized that as a yet-to-be discovered talent she had the one thing that trumps everything else in the world: sex appeal. This is why Marilyn will always be remembered as an iconic example of personal reinvention. So much of Marilyn’s appeal was not so much wrapped up in the package she had to initially work with, but rather in the final illusion she offered. Marilyn completely mastered the art of possibility. Through the arch of an eyebrow, a secret smile and the tilt of a hip, she convinced a generation of young men and many generations to come of two things: that she indeed was a sex goddess come to life and that ordinary guys had a chance of making it with her. How do we translate this concept to the art of selling your home?
First, you should hire the right person to sell your home. Realtors whose names and faces you see plastered around town have mastered the “Marilyn” art of self promotion. They might not necessarily be the best person for the task. These realtors are banking on the fact that many consumers will assume that because they do a lot of very effective self promotional advertising they will do a good job of selling your home. This is a common fallacy found in all forms of advertising. All you have to do is search your memory regarding past political campaigns and ask yourself, does a large campaign budget equal success in the position? No it equals superior fundraising skills. Try to keep in mind that what you really need is a Realtor knowledgeable in what buyer’s want and in the art of promoting your home. Instead, interview those realtors who have represented buyers purchasing in your neighborhood. You can get this information from any realtor or the local association of realtors. Those Buyers Agents obviously are whom you need to talk to because they have a proven history of access to potential buyers and are familiar with your area.
Second, correctly stage your home – Remember even in Real Estate Sex Sells. In a buyer’s market (we are definitely in one due the recent down turn of sub prime mortgage availability) your home needs to grab the buyer’s imagination immediately. It is not enough that your home is tidy and in good repair, you need to present a storyline that potential purchasers cannot resist. To “bring sexy back” to your home, here are a few “Marilyn” ideas that will work just about anytime.
- Create a Master Bedroom Suite that oozes sex appeal. This is where you will get the biggest bang for your buck. (Intentional double entendre) Place a lacey peignoir set casually at a diagonal across the bed with a dainty pair of high heel slippers with caribou feathers on one side of the bed and on the other side place a remote control on the night stand. The luxury of the lingerie will appeal to all of the women and it may appeal to many of the men too. However, the idea that a woman sexy enough to wear that nightie will also let them watch TV in bed will hook the rest of them.
- Master Bathroom. Remove any reminders of the “ordinary” and replace with Fantasy. Clear all medicine cabinets, closets, and vanity tops of everything medicinal. Buyers know when they peek inside these areas they are entering a “personal zone”. Never forget, there is no room in any fantasy for wart remover, acne medicine, hemorrhoid creams, diaphragms, hair rollers, or exercise equipment. Give them something to wonder about instead, something they just cannot get out of their heads. Be subtle – no oversized sex toys or fetish equipment, please. You do not want to offend, only to intrigue. Stock your medicine cabinet with designer personal lubricants, flavored lotions, and exquisite perfumed soaps. Its almost passé to stage your bathtub with candles and bubble bath. Do it anyway. However, be sure to add a touch of whimsy. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by some tins of “pudding flavored” soaps and a small rubber duck amongst your basket of bath time goodies? Make sure that all of your products have been opened but are almost full. You want it to be evident that this bathtub is used by two and in the most delightful way. Not sure if your accessories are headed in the right direction? Think the art of romance as in “Victoria’s Secret” not overt sexuality as in “Tabu Toys”.
If you have a spare room closet, move your out of fashion, frumpy clothes out of the master closet. Display instead only your loveliest lingerie and your best designer clothing. Set a mood. You’ve got a lovely feather boa? Hang it on inside back of the closet door. Sure beats a flannel robe or paint stained tee shirt and is sure to leave a lasting impression.
- Can you make a kitchen sexy? Sure. The easiest way is to pack up just about everything and get it out of the house. Be sure to get rid of everything plastic, broken, chipped, stained or mismatched. Only crystal, china, nice flatware in drawers and cabinets. Countertops should be bare with the exception perhaps of one expensive trendy appliance like a cappuccino machine or imported wine station. Any left over items in the fridge should be in containers from fashionable restaurants and condiments should include unusual and exotic ingredients. Pantries should be emptied of the mundane. Remember fantasies generally do not include jumbo-sized packages of generic bran cereal or canned corn. But who wouldn’t be intrigued by chilled champagne and strawberries in the refrigerator and a pantry filled with a rather large collection of imported chocolate sauces, flavored coffees and other known aphrodisiacs?
The most important thing to remember while selling is that you must present your home in a better light than it normally exists. Be creative where you store the things that must be out of view but that you need for everyday use. Never forget that the minute you put a “For Sale” sign in the yard you have just moved your home into a make believe perfect world where dirty dishes are transformed into nicely naughty dirty daydreams. If you want your home to sell quickly, get on board with this concept quickly. A properly priced home in excellent condition, staged smartly sexy will sell immediately and often for above market price, while an overpriced, cluttered home may stay on the market twice as long, usually nets the seller less and in some cases may never sell. . Is your home the virgin bride in a freshly starched peek a boo skirt with white eyelet panties or the beast that sweats a little too much in way too much makeup, a tube top, daisy dukes and every piece of jewelry she ever owned? It is your call
Besides who knows, you might just enjoy this quick trip to Marilyn’s world. For the serious seller, here’s my best buyer’s agent insider tip: While buyers love surprises, they never look under the bed, in dresser drawers or what’s in your trash bag under the kitchen sink.