There’s no doubt about it – the way people find their dream home has changed.
The introduction of Rightmove in 2000 and then Zoopla in 2008 saw less people visiting dozens of local estate agents, they could now shop the local market from the comfort of their sofa having all of those agents properties in one convenient place…now a huge 99% of all buyers start their home search online!
On top of that the devices that people search on have changed, with more people now using a mobile phone, tablet or laptop which have amazingly good quality screens.
What does this mean for you? Well it means that in order to stand out from the crowd your marketing and photography is incredibly important! take it from me, the quality of your marketing will have a huge impact, not only on the amount of viewings you receive, but also on the speed you are likely to sell and the offers you are likely to be presented with.
If you are relying on an Estate Agent to provide your images, pay attention to the equipment they are using and ask about their “post-production process” do they take HDR photos? Are they edited to show your home in its best light? Do they have a wide angle lens? (arguably the most important piece of equipment outside of the camera itself)
Uninspiring photographs taken on a budget camera, or worse still, a phone (yes that happens!) are not going to help you stand out from the crowd, a high performing camera & an eye for detail are a must, we have all seen images that show only a corner of a room, unmade beds, blurry, dark or overexposed photos.
We like to think we are a little better than average in this area and are happy to show you any of our previous work.
Along with quality photos you will at the very least need a floorplan, but wouldn’t you agree that a floorplan and a 360 virtual tour would help your home stand out! allowing potential buyers to see your home from any angle and at anytime of the day or night, will not only engage potential purchasers but it will also cut down on the amount of “physical” viewings any potential buyer will need. We are pleased to offer both of these on all listings.
Now if you have decided to take the plunge and put your home on the market, a good agent will always offer help and advice on how to present your home in it’s best light, but to help you get ahead of the curve check out our “things to do ” checklist below:
Let’s get you ready for market!
To give us the best possible chance of success, we need to take the proactive approach and always be “at the ready” for viewings, even those at short notice. (short term pain for long term gain)
You often get two (yes two) opportunities to make a first impression, the first being online and the second at the viewing:
Online: Having images that show your property at its best will generate initial interest but it’s important that we are telling a consistent story about your home. Chosen photographs should, therefore, match the presentation of the property at viewing so potential buyers are not disappointed
Viewing: The way in which your property is presented from the outside (its “curb appeal”) will often determine the way a potential buyer feels about the property before they enter it. Remember, house purchases are often an emotional transaction with many buyers performing a “drive-by” in advance of any formal viewing. Let’s, then, take the proactive approach and keep things neat and tidy, as it really does make all the difference. It also, incidentally, makes a viewing request a lot less stressful.
Keep the garden tidy – especially in the autumn months
Wash down / paint front doors if they are looking tired
Clean the windows
Remove any dead plants (ideally replacing them with something fresh)
If the bins live outside, tuck them away in a tidy corner: this means they will not be the first things seen.
Clear out the weeds from paths and planting areas
If you have outside lighting, make sure that they are working and switched on for evening viewings
Create a welcoming entrance: plants and pots that frame the front door always look lovely
We want the potential buyer to imagine themselves living in your home so :
Give the rooms their right “purpose”. We don’t always use rooms for the purpose they were intended: we may use a dining room as a bedroom, or a bedroom for a study. Some buyers find it hard to see beyond the current use of a room, so if you are marketing a room as a bedroom it is best to set it up as a bedroom.
Keep it tidy: Keeping your house clean and tidy for viewings will not only create the right impression but help buyers see beyond your contents.
Declutter: a little effort here really does go a long way! By “declutter” we don’t necessarily mean “depersonalise”: It’s about creating a blank canvas for your buyers to imagine how their own belongings might appear in the same space. So, start packing up now and you will have a head-start once sold.
Let there be light: Open curtains and blinds and let in light to create a better sense of space. If you are going to be at home for a viewing, switch on the lights and lamps in the rooms before your buyer arrives.
Set the temperature: If there are rooms in your home you rarely use and thereby rarely heat, switch on the radiators ahead of your viewing so the whole property is warm and welcoming.
Bathrooms and kitchens: Sell houses !! so should always be clean, tidy and mould free. Think clean, clear, clutter free and smelling fresh.
Pets: As a dog owner myself, I understand completely how much we all love our furry friends. However, not everyone loves animals and some may even be allergic. So make arrangements for them to be elsewhere at viewing times, popping beds, bowls and other paraphernalia away (the car boot works well).
Parking: the bugbear of the modern world! If you normally squeeze several cars on to your driveway, try parking around the corner giving your potential buyer sufficient space to park as if they already live there.
Keep it simple: If you feel the need to re-decorate before marketing your property choose neutral colours that have a universal appeal.
Minor repairs: The little things add up, so if there are any simple repairs to be done, attend to them before putting your property on the market. This will reduce the space for potential buyers to find anything wrong, however minimal, with the property. Whilst these minor things may not be be ultimately off-putting to buyers, it does give them room to negotiate on the price…