11 Feb House hunting: Love at first sight
Did you know that house hunting can also be love at first sight?
According to a survey by Rightmove.co.uk, two in five British home-owners decided their home was the one for them before they even got past the hallway. In another survey, this time by ING Direct, buyers apparently spent 17 minutes deciding whether to buy a home. (That’s compared to an average of 54 minutes choosing curtains!)
The point is that for all the fact that it’s one of life’s most important decisions, buying a home is still an impulsive buy. Many buyers describe meeting their house akin to meeting a future partner, knowing that it was “the one”.
For the seller, it means that you don’t have much time with which to win the hearts and minds of your buyers. Here are our top tips to make sure your house is “the one” for your buyer!
Get the picture right
Much like an online dating agency, the first impression of your home is going to come through photographs. A picture showing a tidy but somewhat cluttered lounge will get half as many hits as the same room pictured with the curtains fully opened, cushions neatly on the sofa and less clutter.
Having chosen your agent carefully, they should be making sure that the photographs of your home do the utmost to show off its best features. Don’t forget, most people search online now, before approaching agents for a viewing.
The next thing a potential buyer sees is the outside of your house. We can’t overstate the importance of “kerb appeal” and that every minute spent pruning, sweeping, mowing, wiping and cleaning is worth its weight in gold. If you have your car parked outside you should give that a going over as well. They may not notice your clean car – but they will notice a dirty one. And if you don’t keep your car clean, who’s to say you look after your house properly?
You’ve captured your buyer this far, now you have to make sure they really fall for your home. A blank canvas that the buyer thinks they can paint on is far more effective than your own eclectic taste in furnishings/paint. Even if it pains you to do so, if you’re serious about selling your house, get rid of clutter, paint the walls a neutral colour, invest in some bright cushions and attractive plants.
How can you tell if a buyer has fallen for your house?
Research suggests that if the potential buyers like your home they’ll still be there 20 minutes later. If they linger in one particular room, then that’s a positive sign. If they start talking about where they could put their furniture, you know all your hard work has been worthwhile! Second viewings are obviously a good sign, but second viewings with a tape measure in hand and other people in tow (children, builders, mothers-in-law etc) are a really good sign!
If you want help getting buyers to fall in love with your home, don’t hesitate to call us on 01494 873663 or visit www.a-place.co.uk.