How Can We Hook A Buyer?

Feature signsI pass a home for sale in my area on occasion and the signage always makes me smile. The front yard is full of signs that extol the virtues of this property. The real problem is that it is a busy 4 lane street so time is limited as one passes and it's hard to read all of the signs at once. It's clear that the seller and the agent wants to make sure those passing by have a clear understanding of the updates in this house.

While I think the unique approach is eye-catching, my guess it that it won't do much to sell this property. There are however a number of things that you can do to get your home noticed by buyers and to create a desire for them to get inside for a look.

1) Clean and purge as though your sale depended on it because it does! If you don't need it or haven't used it since you moved in....donate, sell or dump now! You are creating the perception of space in your rooms, cabinets and closets when you eliminate things. Buyers love space and storage.

2) Recognize if you don't possess a designer's eye for decor. I usually recommend having a stager come in before I list a property. This doesn't mean you will have to buy or rent a lot of things unless your property is vacant. It means that this professional will take what you have and make suggestions for removing, rearranging or relocating items to enhance the appeal of your home. You are creating an environment in which a buyer can begin to see themselves living in your home. A stager is a neutral party who can assist you with creating the best possible impressions.

3) Repaint, repair and prepare! Rid the property of wallpaper, your daughter's favorite purple passion for her room's color, the tired and worn carpet,the beat up trim, the repairs you "were always going to get around to". Recognize that whenever repairs and updates are evident buyers are going to factor that into their offer.....and it will ALWAYS be a factor greater than what your actual cost would be to get it done upfront. Additionally the work done will make your home more desirable to buyers every time.

4) Curb appeal! I believe that 50% of the sale takes place at the curb. If buyers aren't impressed (or even turned off) when they drive up, then it is going to be very hard to overcome that first impression once inside the house. Curb appeal means bushes trimmed or replaced if overgrown, sidewalks and driveways edged, lawn mowed, pet waste cleaned up, fresh woodchips, flowers at the front door (if the season allows). Make sure the front door is cleaned and freshly painted, if needed. What do you think buyers are looking at while they wait for the door to open or their agent to unlock it?

5) Make sure your property is presented with the best possible photos on line so that buyers who are looking will not want to miss seeing your home. Those photos will reflect the work you did to purge, prepare and present! I obtain all of the photos (either my own or professionally done) prior to listing a property because, when the listing becomes active on the internet and the MLS, buyers want to see the photos immediately. You may not have the opportunity to get them to return for a second look. Make sure the info and images are there when they come to look!

5) Price the property right! That's a subject for a whole new blog! Listen to your agent, pay attention to the real final sales prices of comparison properties and don't build in "a nice cushion" for negotiating.

6) Recognize that the majority of home shopping is done on the internet and the decisions that buyers make about looking at a property are made on that first "click-through". They are looking at lots of properties and, often, they are looking for reasons to eliminate some since there is a plentiful supply. Price and appearance are all they have to go on until you actually get them inside your home. If you don't hook here you may never again have the opportunity.

7) Since the majority of buyers are shopping on-line make sure you have maximum exposure quickly and broadly. Make sure your property is readily found with a Google search and can be accessed from a wide variety of sites.

A multitude of signs in front of your property may generate a smile or annoy your neighbors but preparation and presentation are really what is needed to "hook" your buyer!

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