In a tough market with fewer buyers it is important to make the right impression as soon as the buyer enters the home. There is often no second chance, and it is important to get it right first time according to the Seeff Property Group.
That is why estate agents always emphasise that sellers must get their property in the best condition before putting it on the market, and why preparing for viewings is so important.
It is easy to overlook things that we get used to every day, but a buyer would notice immediately. It is therefore important to think of the buyer and how they would see the home when you prepare your home for viewings.
Buyers often look for a reason not to pay the full asking price and they can be quite critical. According to research done in the USA, these are the five things that buyers notice as soon as they enter the home.
Light. The first thing that buyers notice is the amount of natural light. A dark home seldom encourages a buyer to put in an offer. Ensure there is a lot of natural light by removing clutter which can make the home look dark, opening curtains and so on. Dark paint can also make a home look dark, so keep it neutral with only accent walls in a darker tone. Mirrors are always a good reflector of light.
Space. At least on entry, the property must appear spacious. Pack away unnecessary items in all rooms including kitchen and bathroom clutter. Consider storing some items if necessary. It is best to ensure there is nothing off putting. Creating the right atmosphere will give the property an advantage.
Smells. A clean and well-kept home usually also smells fresh. If there are any unpleasant odours, this will be off putting for a buyer. A lingering smell will make them uncomfortable, and they are likely to rush through the viewing and depart without indicating that they would like to put in an offer. A bunch of fresh flowers can add a pleasant fragrance.
Pets. While pet ownership is on the rise not all buyers are pet enthusiasts. Even those who do love pets may still be put off by pet hair and smells. Be sure to remove food and water bowls, toys, and things like cat litter so that it is not visible during the viewing. Pets must be removed during the viewing or at least kept in a separate area so that there are no distractions during the viewing.
Damage and disrepair. Buyers tend to almost immediately notice cracks, bad paint, broken or damaged tiles and the like. They also notice a dirty stove and untidy bathrooms. While these may seem minor to the seller and might even be quite inexpensive to repair, the reality is that most buyers will look for an opportunity to discount the asking price. It is best not to give them any reasons to do so.