“Don’t judge a book by its cover” ….. when it comes to Real Estate, Sellers can easily lose out on a potential buyer just because the “cover” of their “book” has been neglected.
Unless a buyer is looking for a “fixer-upper” or maybe something he/she can get for a very good price (below market value) to fix up and then “flip” or use as a long-term rental, FIRST IMPRESSIONS are extremely important when selling property. Together with the aesthetic appeal of the property, price, location and general condition are probably the most important factors that buyers are look at.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS include everything a buyer will see at first glance when viewing a property. Many small things are sometimes overlooked by sellers / homeowners because they see the property every day. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the property is, if the property looks neglected from the outside, buyers WILL judge the book by its cover and assume the same goes for the inside …. this will also alert buyers that there may be other hidden problems / maintenance issues not clearly visible when viewing the property.
Even the photos that agents take for advertising purposes can have an influence and can either be to the sellers’ advantage or detriment. If you are currently selling your property through an agency, do yourself a favour and go have a look at the listing online. Look at the photos and read the description ….. you might be pleasantly surprised or shocked!
Before we sell a car, before we take it to a second-hand dealership to get a valuation or to trade it in on a new car, what do we do …… we take it for a wash or maybe even a full valet. We touch-up little scratch marks and polish the paint. Sometimes we buy new tyres, pray air freshener in the car etc. Why don’t sellers do the same with their properties? It will obviously cost a little more to repaint and to do minor maintenance but dressing up, fixing up and “de-cluttering” your house before putting on the market will definitely help to sell it faster and maybe even at a higher price. Here are a couple of things that we see every day that is a big let-down for property buyers:
- Uncut pavements, long grass, gardens with overgrown bushes and flower beds.
- Boundary walls falling apart, falling over, loose bricks, cracked / broken walls with large damp sections and paint that is flaking.
- Driveways with grass & weeds growing through the paving or cracks in the cement.
- Steel / wooden gates, doors & garage doors that are weathered, rotten, rusted, cracked and in need of attention or replacement.
- If you recently fixed some cracks on the outer (or inner) walls of your house, make sure you paint with the same colour / shade of paint than the rest of the wall, otherwise its better to paint the whole wall.
- Water marks / stains anywhere on a property is extremely negative, even if the geyser burst a year ago and left a little watermark on the ceiling which you forgot to paint, buyers will not believe you and think there is a problem.
- Gutters, down-pipes, plumbing pipes, fascia boards in need of repair or painting looks really bad. In sectional title complexes this will make the buyers think that the Body Corporate is in financial trouble or that the complex is not well-managed … a very big negative for buyers.
- Old carpets, bad odors, damaged cupboards, wooden floors that are lifting, chipped walls and any cupboard, window or door that doesn’t close properly are big turn-offs.
- Pools that are green any time of the year is a sure sign that there are problems.
The general condition of the property can go a long way assist with securing on acceptable offer. Your agent should also be able to assist you in pointing out the main issues that will need attention. Don’t sell yourself short ….. happy selling!