There is no right way to sell a house, but there are wrong ways to do it.
All agents have their own way, and each buyer will react uniquely to their sales pitch. But those varied responses don’t give agents a free rein.
Though prospective buyers will all be different, they will be influenced by human nature. This means there is still some type of rulebook when it comes to selling a property.
Buyers will be turned off by dirt, bad odours or clutter. So you have to make an effort to help them visualize themselves living in your home.
Having said that, here are nine things that could possible turn off prospective buyers. Ignore them at your own risk.
- Clingy vendors
It cannot be easy letting go of a home where you have spent years making memories. But when you have decided to sell, you need to commit to see the process through.
Allow your agent to do their job, and provide prospective buyers the space they need to get attached. Sellers who hang around during an open home, or entertain prospective buyers with family stories, normally turns off buyers instead of attract them.
Even if you are quite entertaining, don’t forget that selling a home is a business deal. You have to remain as detached and neutral as possible, and let the buyer imagine themselves moving in and living in your home.
A property that is not well presented can often break a deal. Buyers will leave if they see dust, dirt and other mess. So get the services of a professional cleaner, a home stager, or both to put your property in order.
Clean the whole house from top to bottom, including those spaces that are not often seen, with special attention on the living areas, backyards, bathrooms and toilets.
Moreover, do something about evidence of wear and tear. Small maintenance problems might not be a big deal, but buyers may see them as a sign of much bigger, underlying problems.
There are different opinions about which smells help sell a home. However, most property experts say that the easiest way to a buyer’s heart is a reliable supply of fresh air. That is because buyers have different smell preferences and because there are those who assume sellers are trying to hide a bad smell when they use air freshener heavily.
So instead of trying to look for the right incense or candle, work on getting rid of bad smells instead. Open a lot of windows hours before the open inspection, and avoid cooking as well.
There is no reason for a house to be cluttered on open inspection, so you have to do more than a cursory cleaning before you put your home up for sale. Think strategically and systematically when de-cluttering. Begin in areas that will be used by the buyers the most. You may be able to excuse an untidy garage, but you will not find it easy to explain a messy living room.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, hiring a professional organiser is worth considering. A professional will view your mess in an objective manner, launch quick, decisive measures to eliminate your excess, and stow away the rest out of your sight.
It is what we call the Goldilocks effect: If a home is too warm or freezing, your buyers will not be happy.
It may not break the deal completely, but buyers will not be pleased if they don’t experience your home at its optimal comfort levels, and will ask pointed questions regarding the heating and cooling system. So, be ready with an air conditioner and heating when needed.
Preferably, you want the temperature at your home between 22 degrees and 26 degrees. Doing this may increase your monthly energy bill slightly, but the amount that you will pay to achieve the optimal temperature for your property will be nothing compared to the amount that you will receive from the purchase price.
- No price
Your listing is typically the first time potential buyers will look at your home, so it should contain as many important information as possible to catch their attention.
First, your listing should state the asking price. If they don’t see it, buyers will quickly dismiss your property, and jump to the next one that fulfils their requirements.
Buyers have budget in mind all the time. Pining down a specific dollar figure is not always possible, but not putting at least a price range in your listing will most likely turn off buyers, who may presume the home is beyond their budget (even if the truth is the opposite).
Keep your property in contention by allowing buyers to determine whether they can afford it or not.
- No photos
Are you willing to purchase a product without seeing it first?
Photos are the most effective way to encourage a prospective buyer to make an enquiry or take a look at a property. People either have to envision themselves living in your home, or they have to gain a realistic impression of how it will fare as an investment.
Ask your agent for help in creating a series of photos that will showcase your property in the best light. Failing to do this will narrow down your target market significantly.
- Personal photographs
Never forget that you are not the person purchasing your home.
The things you like may not be the same for buyers, so you must try to create an empty canvas for prospective buyers to let them envision living in your home. Remove provocative pieces of artwork, paint your home in neutral colours, and store any personal photographs. Moreover, hide any evidence of you and your family’s occupation of the property.
Your property should still look and feel homey, but all notes, documents or certificates that show your identity should be stored away, as they can hinder a buyer’s efforts to connect emotionally to your property.
- Your agent
Your agent can make or break a sale by being sloppy or underwhelming with the advertisement description of your home. Make sure to choose an agent who has experience in marketing properties across a wide range of platforms by asking questions and doing a little research.
Compare marketing campaigns of agents in your short list, and find one with a comprehensive knowledge of marketing. Focus your questions on their experience and how they will go about promoting and selling your home. View and study how they promote other listed properties and show up at their open inspections in order to observe how they engage with buyers.
Your chosen agent should be able to design and recommend a good marketing strategy to attract targeted buyers, and should possess the skills needed to turn a promising lead into a sure sale.
Even the best negotiator is never going to be able to sell your home if they can’t market it and get the buyers to turn up!