Persuading a client to make an offer on a property isn’t always easy. While we all have stories of someone who walked through our office doors one day with money to spend and no qualms about spending it, they’re the exception rather than the rule. The majority of buyers are cautious. Some can even be non-committal. For every story we have about a customer who bought the first property you showed them, we have at least three about clients who you showed around four or five properties and never even tabled an offer.
When you get on a streak of fussy, non-committal clients, you can begin to doubt yourself. Have you lost your touch? Are you doing something that’s turning clients off the idea of making an offer? You’re almost certainly not doing so intentionally, but perhaps there are minor tweaks you could make to improve your prospects. Alternatively, perhaps there’s something wrong with the way the properties themselves are presented. If you’re aware of these factors and you can do something about them, you might be able to improve your conversion rate with a minimum of effort.
Ultimately, nobody likes to put time and money into anything without a realistic prospect of a reward at the end of it. That goes for real estate professionals and sellers alike. Pouring your energies into something without a guarantee of a reward is akin to gaming, and that’s best left to gaming websites. There are many themes and genres available on gaming websites and review indexes like sistersite.co.uk can help players to find the best ones, but “real estate” isn’t one of them – unless players are looking for Monopoly themed casinos like Monopoly Casino. That’s because people involved in the real estate business like dependable results more than the prospect of a big win! If you feel like you’re gaming every time you show a client around a property at the moment, perhaps these tips will help.
Ideally, clients would be able to visualise a home as it would look empty when they walk through the door. Not everybody has that degree of imagination, though. If a property has a bad layout – whether that’s one caused by poor choices of furniture or unusual decisions about the function of each room – it’s a deal breaker for buyers. This is why a rejig of the layout is one of the most likely ways to add value to a home. Replace curtains with blinds and hang mirrors on walls to make cramped internal spaces feel bigger. Go for smaller furniture where appropriate. Make sure the purpose of every room feels ‘right’ to the viewer. If the seller isn’t using the largest bedroom in the property as the ‘main’ bedroom, change this before anyone is shown around.
A small kitchen might be acceptable if you’re selling an apartment. It’s less acceptable if you’re selling a house. There’s a trend for kitchens to be spacious these days, so a cramped corner isn’t going to cut the mustard anymore. This can be an issue if there’s no option but to work with the space that’s already there. Is it possible for the seller to add new kitchen equipment to the deal, making use of redundant cupboard spaces to fit ovens, freezer units or microwaves? If the kitchen is in an open plan room, could it be extended further into the room? If the seller isn’t willing to undertake the work, sell the possibility of it to the buyer. They need to see how things could look as opposed to how things look right now.
For reasons that our parents might understand, but we don’t, textured ceilings were popular in the 1980s and 1990s. They’re anything but popular now. Even worse is the popcorn ceiling, which is covered in lumps and bumps from years of spray treatments and one layer of paint going straight on top of another. Dirt gets trapped in the crevices, staining can occur, and before you know it, a room that ought to look lovely instead looks dated and decaying. Smooth it out before you even try to sell it. A nice, flat surface painted white will do just fine and shouldn’t cost much.
You’re a real estate professional, not a gardener. It shouldn’t fall on you to get the mower out and take care of overgrown plants and weeds. You might have to do it, though. If you’re selling an empty property or one that the owner no longer tends to for whatever reason, chances are the garden looks awful. If it does, it won’t matter how pretty the rest of the house is. The garden is probably the first thing your client is going to see when they look at the property, and if it looks terrible, you’re going to struggle to sell. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the garden is a big part of that. Roll your sleeves up and get it cut down to size – or pay someone to do it for you!
An old-fashioned bathroom can ruin the effect of an entire home. Your clients will judge the cleanliness of the whole house by the bathroom. If it looks musty and old, they’ll think the rest of the house looks musty and old even if it doesn’t. If any area of the home ought to be improved and modernised before a sale, it’s the bathroom. Your seller might not initially want to spend anything on improving their faded, dated bathroom, but they might be talked into it if you explain how much difference it’s likely to make to both the sale price and the speed of the sale. If they’re not willing to spend, do what you can. Replace the sort furnishings and pay for a deep clean. If there are any carpets in the bathroom, rip them out immediately and polish the floor. Nobody needs to be dealing with carpets in bathrooms in the 2020s!
The sale of a property is a business transaction – one in which your seller should get the best possible profit, but your buyer should still feel like they’ve got a good deal. Sellers should appreciate that sometimes they need to spend money to receive more in return. Buyers should also appreciate that they can drastically improve a property with minimal spending on refurbishments, but they don’t always. Do what you can with the time and budget available to you, and focus on the areas above. We’re sure you’ll see better results if you do!
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