Imaginary Real Estate

When selling your home, one of the most important elements that will determine your success or failure is something you’ve never seen and never will, invisible and intangible, and yet ultimately the most important factor in the success of your endeavor: The buyer’s imagination.

When potential buyers are walking through your home, no matter if it’s the first time or the 5th time they’ve viewed it, the one activity in which they are constantly engaged is that of imagining themselves living in it.


Consciously or unconsciously they are cooking in your kitchen, sleeping in your bedroom, or even getting ready for a night out in front of your bathroom mirror. The decision to purchase or walk away from your house is going to be largely based on the experience of living in it that takes place in their imagination.


If they can really imagine themselves living there, and if this is an enjoyably imagined experience, there’s a good chance they’ll put pen to paper. If their imaginary experience doesn’t measure up, or if they can’t imagine themselves living in your home, no other enticement on Earth will get them to make an offer.


If you keep the buyer’s imaginative journey in mind, it will help you prepare your home and create a space that welcomes the buyer’s reverie and therefore increases the chances of finding the right person or family to sign that contract as quickly as possible.


If you’ve been reading our past articles, you already know some of the more blatant items to remove. It’s hard for anyone to imagine living in a home with someone else’s family member staring back from the picture frame on the shelf or fridge. But there are other, more subtle ways that you can disrupt the buyer’s imaginative journey. For instance, if you display your collection of plates, spoons, or ninja swords, the buyers will inevitably stop and look at your collection, and in that moment, they will clearly be in your house, and not in their house.


Of course, some people can see through these personal effects and will only focus on the house itself, analyzing the space and features in a more calculated way. However, the process of choosing a new home is often driven less by rational analysis and more by emotion and imagination, and you want to give every buyer the best chance you can to imagine themselves as kings of your castle.