While every buyer is their own man or woman, there are some common complaints from buyers looking for properties that don’t pass muster. Know what they are and you can avoid them when it’s your turn to sell.
It can be extremely difficult to let go of a property, especially if it’s somewhere you’ve made a home and stitched together memories. But once you’ve decided to sell you need to commit to that process.
Give your agent room to do their job, and potential buyers the space they need to get hooked. Sellers that linger during an open inspection, or start regaling inspectees with merry tales of every last crevice will turn most people off.
Even if your stories are actually quite charming, you need to remember that selling a property is a business transaction, and stay as dispassionate and objective as possible.
Selling a property is a business transaction – stay as dispassionate as possible.
Walking into a property that’s not well presented is often the death knell for a sale. Buyers will away if they’re inundated with dust, dirt or other muck. Make an effort, and hire a professional cleaner, home stager, or both if you need a hand.
Thoroughly clean the entire property, including all those areas you think no one notices. Living areas, backyards, bathrooms and toilets should get extra attention (you’d be surprised how many people use the bathroom at an inspection).
You can’t really overdo cleaning when it comes to selling – properties that just look neat and acceptable might not be enough, especially if you’re commanding top dollar.
Your home should shine as much as it possibly can.
Ah, the good ol’ nose, always ruining things. Actually, we should be glad we’re so sensitive to smell, and that smells can have a big impact on our property buying process.
Setting up your place for sale can involved creating a set of inviting smells. But it should also involve getting rid of the unappealing ones.
Top of buyers turn off lists are pet smells. Even if we love our own animals, we don’t really want to smell other people’s, especially when it’s in an environment we’re trying to imagine kicking back and relaxing in.
Other smell turn offs are cigarette smoke, mustiness, food and overpowering perfumes or incense (if you’re dressing your home for sale, less is more).
Read more: Smells that sell property
If your property is for sale, you usually need to do a little more than a quick spruce (unless you keep an amazing home all year round). Declutter strategically and systematically, starting with those areas that will interest most buyers when they inspect your home, and the areas they’ll do most of their living in.
A cluttered living room is harder to explain away than a cluttered garage, for example.
Even organised clutter can be unattractive to potential buyers.
Getting a professional organiser in to help you out can be a great idea, especially if you’re overwhelmed with all the other business involved in selling a home – not to mention living your life around it.
A pro can look at your clutter objectively and take quick, decisive action to remove the excess and store the rest out of sight.
Read more: 5 things you can do to organise your home
Call it the Goldilocks effect.
If a property is too hot or too cold your buyers will bristle. Though it mightn’t be a deal breaker it does invite pointy questions – does the heating or cooling work as it should? With such high ceilings, it is expensive to heat?
Buyers get turned off it they can’t experience your home at its optimal comfort levels.
Fewer things will frustrate a buyer more than looking at an advertised property with no price.
Your listing is usually the first time your possible buyer will see your home. If the required detail isn’t there, it’ll have be something truly unique to get them to dig deeper, rather than just scrolling past to the next property that meets their criteria.
Price is often the first thing buyers will look for when house hunting.
Budget is all important for a buyer. It’s not always possible to pin down a finite dollar figure, but if your property advertising doesn’t at least have a range listed, it’s a top turn off for buyers, who probably think they’re in for a nasty shock (even if the home is reasonably priced).
Help them marry their budget to your property and be upfront.
Read more: How to stand out at auction
Buyers want and deserve to know where their investment is located. Sometimes the suburb alone isn’t enough; surrounding streets and amenities can often make or break a sale.
Make sure your agent includes the full address you have available so it’s easy for buyers to do their homework on your property.
Not including information can be seen as a way to hide less than desirable details, whether or not it’s the case. And hiding doesn’t help anyone.
Would you buy a product sight unseen?
Photos are the single most powerful tool to inspire a potential buyer to inspect a home, or make an enquiry. People need to imagine their lives in your property, or get an authentic impression of how it will stand up as an investment.
Work with your agent to create a series of photos or video that shows your home in its best possible light. No visuals bodes poorly.
Just as your agent can make your sale, they might also break it if buyers are finding them hard to reach, or difficult to deal with.
Your agent is working for you, so make sure they’re treating buyers with respect and professionalism. Most agents are great at this and you should be able to ferret out their personality when you meet, greet and decide to appoint them.
Avoid these traps and you won’t sabotage your sale before you even start. It always helps to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer.
Would you buy a home with insufficient information listed, or one that looked messy, chaotic or smelt funky when you went for an inspection?