You may be someone who is ready to walk upon a new path, and as they say, all paths lead to home and all homes have stories to tell. Whether you are selling your home or buying a new one, the story you tell is often what leaves the lasting impression on a home buyer and creates a tale worth selling. Now let’s make a batch of cookies and warm up some milk, stoke up the fire, and start crafting a story worth selling.
Once upon a time, real estate listings were just about the boring facts, documenting the number of bedrooms, square footage and tax assessment were about all you got. Today, at Merrill Thomas we are sharpening our pencils and our storytelling skills and using our creative talents to help you sell your house.
We can all agree it’s the stories that help illustrate our lives, especially when it comes to where we live. Pretty pictures and the right price might lure a buyer to a listing, but a well-written narrative can be the hook that reels in a big fish sale.
The Art Of Story “Selling” in Real Estate
First, identify the story behind your home and lure them with a catchy subject line.
Maybe it’s the history of part of the Adirondack town it’s located in. Or, perhaps it was once owned by the founder of the local chocolate shop and contains hidden golden tickets in the walls. The hook of a good story is in the essence of the facts, figures, and hidden treasures. If you’re lucky, a famous or prominent person owns or has owned the property, which can make a listing stand out. If not, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to make the home stand out – focus on the area around, the neighborhood, a nearby swimming hole, or hike! If you want to play detective, search property records for deeds and titles and make the fun history facts stand out in your listing title. For example, instead of selling a two-story cottage on Upper Saranac Lake (boring), you are selling ” A Sliver of Adirondack Lake History” (fun).
Second, paint a picture with words for the buyer.
Instead of talking about the center island in the kitchen (boring), help them imagine cooking appetizers for their guests while they sip Italian wine, laugh, and share stories about their summer plans (fun). Instead of selling a renovated room in the basement, help them plan out their family movie nights, eating popcorn while watching “Harry Potter” movies on the big screen.
Here are some quick tips:
- For fireplaces: “There’s nothing like relaxing with a cup of tea (or glass of wine) in front of a warm fire on a chilly autumn night.”
- For kitchen islands: “Your friends will gather around your kitchen island on Super Bowl Sunday, dipping chips into salsa while chili simmers on the stove.”
- Tubs in the master bath: “Imagine soaking apres ski in the jetted tub, while your cares melt away.”
Third, evoke emotion.
Our agents are skilled at noticing a home’s great qualities, like working fireplaces, open floor plans, and a kitchen with a center island. Now, close your eyes and imagine how another family could live there. That’s your home’s narrative. Good property stories use emotion to make the buyer wonder “What will happen next?” or “What will it feel like to live in this property?” Stories create an emotional attachment to a product for consumers, and a story told the right way can add significant value to even the most insignificant items. Get your buyers where it counts – in their heartstrings!
Fourth, use the power of “good vs. evil.” aka channel Tiger King vs. Carole Baskin.
Having a common “enemy” in your story will increase its buying power. Is the home you’re selling centrally located? Maybe the enemy is a long commute. Buying this home will not just be convenient; it will save them hours of drive time and help them gain a better quality of life. Is the home located in a rural area with a generous amount of land? The enemy is business and a fast pace of life. This home will help them slow down and enjoy the peace and quiet of the forever wild nature.
Make maintenance a plotline.
Although lifestyle is the obvious story, the way a home has been lovingly maintained can be a compelling subplot. Remodeling and maintenance records can create a digital history of a home tenderly cared for, which gives buyers confidence in their purchase.
Lastly, don’t limit your stories to face-to-face interactions.
Given we are still living in a pandemic we have had many buyers looking at homes virtually via Facetime and Zoom – be sure we have the tools to help your story sell while we are touring homes on your behalf. At Merrill Thomas, we use blogs, e-newsletters, videos, social media, and even our own website updates to widen each story’s impact. The more people who see it, the more likely it will sell.