A comment I often get from buyers is “I can always tell when it’s one of your listings Nat, it looks so much better than the others on the market”. I love hearing this kind of feedback because it tells me that the sellers and I have done our job – we’ve made the property look more attractive and better value than our competition. If my listings look better than everything else on the market I’ll get more interest, more offers and a better selling price for my clients – simple. Simple, yes, but not always easy.
If you want to make as much money as you can from the sale of your property you’ll need to set aside your personal tastes and attachments to it and take a long, hard look at it from a buyers perspective. Here’s what I know:
Buyers don’t want to buy your home, they want to by theirs.
The majority of buyers struggle to gauge the size of spaces of rooms or to look past a sellers decorating tastes – too much furniture, too little furniture, too much of your own personal stamp, personal effects and photos and too many bright feature colours are all off-putting to buyers.
First impressions count – buyers will often drive past a property before deciding whether or not to view it.
Great presentation can distract from minor maintenance issues or make dated kitchens and bathrooms appear less so.
Buyers can accept liveable, they can’t accept dirty.
I get new business because sellers are impressed with how my properties present and want theirs to look that good when they sell too. They can see that well presented homes get more interest and better results. You don’t need to have an expensive house for this to work – I’ve worked with sellers of sub $300,000 properties though to $1m+ homes – the principles are the same.
Here’s what else I know…
If you invite an agent in to appraise your property and they aren’t capable or willing to give you advice on how to best present it for sale then don’t work with them – full-stop.
Many agents are reluctant to give a seller feedback on the presentation for fear of offending them and losing the listing. Instead, they’ll say it’s lovely, that you should get a lot of interest and that’s it’s great as it is so you list the property for sale for them. Then when the photos are taken, it’s on the market and you’ve had a few home opens but no interest and you ask the agent why, they’ll start to tell you what the buyers are saying about the presentation and price. You’ll feel defensive (it’s your home and you love it afterall), you’re over having home opens, you’ve already lost on your hot buyers, you’ll feel like you have no choice but to adjust the price, you’ll finally (hopefully) get an offer and you’ll end up selling for much less than you’d hoped for. Sound familiar?
Investing in presentation is the best investment you’ll ever make. Your photos will have more buyer appeal, you’ll attract more people to the home opens, it will present and feel better at the home open than the competition, you’ll get more offers and you’ll get a better price. Premium web or print positioning is important too, but it makes no sense to spend a bucket load on advertising if your presentation isn’t up to scratch.