Showings—whether here in Morris County or anywhere else—can succeed or fail as a result of quite minor details. Appreciating that fact isn’t hard to do when you relate showings to their theatrical first cousins: stage presentations. In important ways, they are quite similar.
Think of what happens when you attend a live play. The audience finds their seats, settle in, and wait for the action to begin. The house lights dim, the stage lights brighten, and the action begins. If all goes without a hitch, the play captures your attention—and it has every chance of successfully casting the spell the author and director intended.
But if one element is jarringly out of place, the whole effort will go kablooey! If a stagehand accidentally wanders onstage, the illusion is wrecked. Likewise, if a drama’s agonizing death scene is perfectly portrayed—up until the moment when the dying actor’s mustache begins to slip—the audience will be hard pressed to stifle giggles.
In a different way, the success of Morris County showings is subject to similar kinds of missteps. The illusion we are after isn’t that of a home that has desirable features and is in great condition—that’s no illusion: it’s real! The illusion part comes when we create the impression that the current owners are not much in residence; that the home—although it may be furnished—presents itself in a neutral kind of way that seems to be awaiting the new owners’ belongings and personal touches.
Showings tend to be most successful if prospective buyers have no trouble envisioning themselves as the comfortable new owners. They may or may not find that the spaces and features will accommodate their family’s needs—that’s not subject to illusion. But showings have the best chance for success if the “stage” is clear of distracting elements. That’s why evidence of pets should be avoided. Strong odors of any kind, likewise (fresh popcorn or newly-baked chocolate chip cookies are prized because they supersede other aromas). Family photos should be removed if at all possible; personal mementos of all kinds stored out of sight, and so forth.
When you appreciate the reasoning behind a showing’s attempted illusion, you can see why most Realtors® advise against decor schemes featuring strong colors. It is also why it’s a good idea for owners to safely vacate the premises with a few minutes to spare. It’s not because the owner is objectionable—it’s that the presence of the owner counteracts the illusion.
The funny thing is that the “illusion” is actually an authentic projection: it’s a mock-up of the reality that will come to pass if the prospect does decide to become the home’s owner.
Showings are key parts of a coordinated residential sales effort that begins with the first consultation and continues through closing day. I hope you will remember to call me when you decide it’s time to put your own Morris County property on the market!