By Craig Lowe
Buyers purchase property emotionally rather than rationally. Most buyers know within two minutes of entering a home if they like it or not. This ‘gut instinct’ is hard to influence but your best chance is in the way you present your home. I see many homes that actively minimise emotional appeal, rather than maximise it. This topic alone could fill an entire report, so we will just touch on it here.
We offer all of our clients our expert advice, and detailed step by step instructions on creating emotional appeal. Because this is absolutely critical in achieving a premium price, we urge you to contact us for a free consultation. Not presenting your home well could cost you many, many thousands of dollars. Here's just a few ways you can improve the presentation of your home.
Repair signs of any leaks
Often we find that home owners repair the cause of a leak (e.g. fix the roof) without the fixing the stains on inside walls and ceilings. This damage is extremely off-putting to purchasers as they assume that the original cause has not been fixed. Some plaster and paint are an excellent investment in this area.
Minimise any damp smells
A damp problem is one of the biggest turn-off’s to people viewing a home. If possible it is obviously preferable to rectify the cause of such a problem. Most dampness is caused by lack of air flow rather than lack of sun. Digging out a bank behind a basement wall can often fix this for a few hundred dollars. To mask the smell of damp it is necessary to create a more pleasant smell as an alternative. One of the most effective ways is to have a little oil-burner and candle lit during the open home. Other effective tools are the smell of a hot-bread maker or hot coffee brewing.
Maximise sunshine and warmth
Ensure your home is getting the most sunlight possible by pruning or removing trees or plants. If you can maximise a view that is blocked by trees, this could potentially unlock tens of thousands of dollars in your selling price. You may be able to strike a deal with your neighbors if the trees are on their property.
Always show the home during hours of good sun
All purchasers want sun. Make sure that your open home time is during a period of the day when the sun is streaming into your living area. This should also be noted for any personal viewing and an attempt made to bring people through at an appropriate time. If have to have an open home during a howling Wellington Southerly, get the house warm and toasty to create that comforting and emotionally appealing cosyness – buyers will love it.
Use furniture to showcase the space
Without fail, rooms look smaller without furniture. This particularly applies to bedrooms. An empty double bedroom will consistently attract comments that it is only a single. If you can, borrow a double bed and a dresser to show that they fit comfortably in the room. In today’s market most buyers are seeking double rooms, even for their children.
Get on-side with other influencers
If another party can impact on the selling of your property then try and get their support. If it is tenanted then offer them a small rental discount during the marketing in exchange for open homes and an agreement that they will keep it tidy. Maybe drop them in a small gift or if you think it will help then offer then a bonus if you sell for a good price. (This works wonders when prospective purchasers start asking them questions about sun or dampness). If your neighbours like loud music, or long lawns then get them on your team also. Mow their lawns or shout them brunch during the Open Homes so they disappear for a little while.
Look at the property from the eyes of a purchaser
The presentation of your home reflects on the level of care and maintenance you have provided it over the years and no one wants to live in a house that hasn’t been looked after. You wouldn’t sell your car without having it professionally groomed or at least washing and vacuuming it would you? The same reasoning applies to your home as well. The best thing to do is to try and look at your home from the perspective of a buyer, and see what needs to be fixed up. Mow the lawns, weed the garden, sweep the paths and ensure that all shrubs and bushes are trimmed and neat. If you buy some nice pot plants, you can place them along paths and on decks and patios to add to the appeal. Clear all visible and unnecessary rubbish, toys and general junk from your home, both inside and outside. Use the sale as an excuse for a spring clean.
Fix up any obvious maintenance issues
Go round the house and make a list of everything that needs doing. You should water-blast the paths, gates and fences. Also wash the exterior of your house down, it’s amazing what a difference this can make, but don’t use the water blaster if your paintwork is old and flaky and you do not intend to re-paint it. The street appeal of your home is crucial to first impressions.
And remember, there is more than one agency/salesperson that knows your area and your market! Please feel free to contact me anytime on 021-764-647 for a free, professional consultation on the presentation of your home and a comprehensive report on its potential value.