The importance of marketing properties is something that is often undervalued. Big budgets are dedicated to selling everyday items such as food or clothing, but the same principle is often not applied when people are looking sell their biggest capital asset – their homes. It’s no secret that buyers are sometimes expected to see past clutter, dirt and dated décor when purchasing a property, but this only makes it more difficult to secure a successful sale.
By properly planning your home’s entrance onto the market and taking all of the necessary steps to make the property appeal to potential buyers, you can ensure the transaction is as profitable as possible by increasing the selling price and decreasing the property’s time on the market.
Here are our top five tips to help you improve the sale of your home:
- Understanding your demographic
Before launching a home to market, work out who the buyer for the house is most likely to be. By assessing the target audience – whether its first-time buyers, young professionals, families or retirees – you can see what changes are required entice this demographic.
It’s also a good idea to do some market research to work out what the competition is like in the local area. This will help you understand how to appropriately present the property, give you a reasonable guide price and heighten the chances of securing a sale.
If you are struggling to recognise what needs improving, take photographs of your home and look at them through the buyer’s eyes. This will help you to view your home from an outsider’s perspective so you can better assess the changes that need to be made to increase the chances of attracting a sale.
- Kerb appeal
Buyers will often drive past a property they are interested in before booking a viewing, so first impressions are incredibly important.
Make sure the front of your home is in good shape and it properly reflects the house’s value on the market. Repair the broken gate, paint the windows and fascia boards and fix the shed roof. If your home looks badly maintained from the outside, then many buyers will be put off and assume it needs renovating on the inside as well.
Those who do book in for a viewing may reduce their offer based on the external work that needs doing, so it’s essential that you get this right.
- Declutter and decorate
Decluttering is one of the most important steps when getting ready to sell. Buyers are often expected to see past clutter, but this can drastically slow down the selling process and decrease the property’s value. By presenting the house as uncared for, potential buyers will quickly assume that it is not well-maintained, which will be reflected in any offers you receive.
You will also need to think about any unsavoury smells that could put off potential buyers during viewings. Cigarette smoke, damp or pet odours can all have a huge impact on the success of the sale and can be an immediate deterrent when prospective buyers walk through the front door.
Once the home is cleared of clutter, you might want to consider whether or not your home would benefit from redecoration. If the property hasn’t been redecorated in the last five years, chances are that it could do with a fresh layer of paint.
A common misconception is that decorating is a waste of time because the vendor will re-do the paintwork to their taste once they move in. However, by repainting your walls in tonal, neutral colours, you can easily freshen up the look of the property and save the buyer the painstaking job of repainting when they move in, adding value to the home and making it a more attractive option.
Steer away from creating dramatic feature walls or using bright colours as these are often dependent on personal taste and can put potential buyers off. If you do want to add a splash of colour, purchase accessories in a matching accent colour to create cohesion throughout the home.
- Promoting the property’s potential
When selling your home, it’s important that every room has a purpose and is presented as such. To attract higher offers, spare rooms should be furnished as small bedrooms, dressing rooms, gyms or office spaces so buyers can envisage how they can use the space.
This has been especially important throughout the pandemic. Buyers are now looking for houses that offer extra amenities to reduce the need to venture outdoors, so this is something that should be considered before the staging process.
You also need to consider the lifestyle you want to promote through the marketing of the property to help attract the right buyers. For example, if the home is suited to young couples, position the sofa and chairs around a stylish coffee table with wine glasses on so that buyers can visualise how they can enjoy the space. Alternatively, if you are selling a family home, emphasise how one of the smaller rooms can be utilised as a playroom by strategically displaying children’s toys and games.
These small changes will help the viewer to buy into the lifestyle the property promotes, rather than approaching the purchase with only practical rationale.
- Lights, camera, action
Once the house has been properly presented, it’s important that the marketing materials reflect this. Bad lighting, blurred photos or terrible angles can completely devalue the listing and lead to buyers passing up on what could be their dream home.
High-quality photographs need to be taken on a clear, sunny day and should be carefully angled so that viewers can feel the full extent of the space. Another thing to consider in the current climate is a video or virtual tour of the property. Not only can this help to show the property in all its glory, but it can also act as an important piece of marketing collateral if buyers are unable to attend a viewing due to lockdown or other logistical reasons.
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