Sellers, effective marketing of your property to buyers is critical to you achieving the price you deserve. It's so sad when we see sellers making little effort to present their homes well – despite pleas to do so. I often compare the marketing of a property to dating. Back in the day when we went out on a date we all made sure we looked (and smelled) our best. It was really important to create a good impression – and often we only got one shot at it.
It's the same when marketing a home. Buyers make an emotional connection with the property they want to purchase. Small things can impact that connection, and it's important to use them to your advantage.
Here is a list of matters to consider when you present your home for sale:
- Carpets and Flooring: carpets need to be clean. Smelly carpets covered in stains do nothing to impress buyers. It may not be necessary to replace carpets, as in many cases a buyer will have their own taste, but get them looking their best. If you have cracked tiles that you can replace then do so.
- Walls: Dirty or marked walls don't impress. Can they be washed? If not, then a repaint makes a huge difference. Go with neutral colours, and off-white is a safe bet.
- Bathrooms: Mold is a definite turn-off. Clean with an appropriate product, or even consider repainting ceilings and walls with treated paint. Fix dripping taps. Clean the baths and showers. Replace broken or damaged toilet seats.
- Kitchens: de-clutter the surfaces. Clean oil and grime off the hob and stove. Glassware needs to sparkle. Taps, sinks, and skirtings need to be looking their best. An old kitchen can look much better with new cupboard handles.
- The garden: cut grass, clean flower beds, and a sparkling pool make a huge difference. Dog mess on the lawn is not impressive. Cut back overgrown shrubs. Make sure any irrigation system is working properly and the grass is green. Fertilizer will help.
- Clear the gutters of grass, repaint gutters and downpipes if you need to and seal the joints.
- The entrance to the front door is the first and the last impression – make it count!
- Replace dead lightbulbs and make sure the lights are on if the day is overcast or it's dark outside.
- Woodwork needs to be in good order.
- Whilst many people love their pets the reality is that someone who doesn't is going to be turned off by pet smells. Address odour issues. And keep the pets locked away for viewings.
- Fresh flowers, the smell of fresh coffee and cake or biscuits, soft background music – all these go a long way to creating the right impression.
As hard as it may be when your agent brings a buyer around, after the initial introductions, give them space to do their job. A buyer won't speak freely if you are in earshot – and your agent needs to get them to express themselves. Understand that you have just one chance to make a good impression – so make it count!
© 2015 Steve Caradoc-Davies