What Buyers Want to See When They Walk into a Room

Tuesday Apr 25th, 2023


People often ask me how best to prepare their home for sale. Surprisingly, thinking a little less about how you use your home and a bit more about what buyers need to see really pays off. From the listing photos to the in-person showings, making sure your property is primed and ready by making some (big or little) adjustments where necessary is the best way to be set up for a smooth sale.

After a decade in real estate I’ve learned there are three things buyers want to see when they view a potential home:

Number 1: Space

When viewing a home, buyers are usually employing some mental gymnastics to imagine their furniture fitting into each room. They are wondering where their couch would go, what corner they would put their lamp in, and whether their big table for holiday dinners would fit. Therefore, keeping the view as unobstructed and decluttered as possible (or, in some cases, professionally staged) is key to allow buyers to get a sense of the space and to imagine their own stuff inside it.

Takeaway: Keep things tidy, open, and maybe even remove furniture to let buyers imagine their own items in the space. If in doubt, discuss staging with your realtor.

Number 2: Functionality

Buyers want to see what the room is used for. You might have loved using your second bedroom as a gym or a yoga room, but you don’t actually want the buyers to think about what exercise equipment you own, you want them to see a blank canvas to make up their own minds what to do with. it’s best to let each room be what it was likely intended for to avoid distracting potential buyers. 

Takeaway: Keep it simple! Remove things that could distract the viewer from seeing what the space was built for or how they might use it.

Number 3: Themselves

As soon as buyers walk in, you want them to be able to imagine not only their stuff, but themselves in the space. That means making it look less like your loved and lived-in space and much more impersonal. Family photos, keepsakes, and personal touches can make viewers feel like they’re visiting your home, instead of meeting their future one. You can talk to your realtor about replacing family photos with prints, or even renting a short-term storage unit for those extra items you want to stow away. 

Takeaway: Depersonalize the space as much as possible by removing personal items—think of it as early packing!

Keeping it open, keeping it simple, and keeping it impersonal will absolutely help when it comes to selling your home or property. By doing this prep work in advance of listing, by the time your showings start the hard work is already over for you.

Talking to a realtor about how best to tackle this advice, or whether extra professional services might be a good idea is extremely important. As a realtor of homes, condos, and more, I have a lot of experience in preparing properties for sale, so let’s chat about your future and how we can get you there!

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