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Buyers Spend Just 25 Seconds Deciding Whether a Home Is Right for Them

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Making a great first impression is essential when selling your home. A recent survey by Purplebricks revealed that when searching for a new home online, homebuyers spend an average of just 25 seconds deciding whether a home is right for them.

According to the survey, 77% of buyers think that location is a leading factor in whether a home is right for them. However, the survey also shows that how you market your property online can affect how many viewings you get. For example:

  • 47% said the lead image used for the online listing could put them off.
  • 21% said out-of-date décor would put them off.
  • 28% of buyers would be put off by a small garden.
  • Kitchen, lounge and bedrooms topped the list of most important rooms in the house.
  • 70% think it’s important for the property to have the potential for renovations or improvements.
  • 36% like a property that’s ‘social-media ready’ and can be shown off on their personal profiles.

“But it’s a seller’s market”, you may be thinking, “can buyers afford to be so picky?”

Well, it’s suggested that homebuyers often go on gut instinct when viewing properties. They put less thought into the initial consideration than when choosing what to watch on television. This could be because where our security is concerned, humans are built to go on gut feelings. A home is a place to feel safe, to care for your family, to build a future; that could be why buyers are so willing to discount property listings so quickly.

There could also be a sense of urgency behind buyers’ perusal of online property listings – homes are selling faster than ever before, and buyers don’t have time to dither. So, if it feels right, they act on it; if it doesn’t, they move on.

As a seller, you can capitalise on this. Read on for some top tips for making the perfect first impression when selling your home.

How to make a great first impression when selling your home

Optimise your online listings

The vast majority of property searches nowadays start online. So, making sure your property is presented in its best possible light online is essential.

There are two ways you can do this:

  • Hire an estate agent
  • Do the marketing yourself

Hire an estate agent

Having an estate agent do the work for you can take a lot of the stress out of marketing your property.

They’ll be responsible for getting you viewings. To do this, they’ll take photographs of the property, they’ll write a description, and they’ll post listings on their website and popular property websites, such as Rightmove.

Because they’ve done it hundreds of times before, they’ll know what attracts buyers (such as which photo to lead with and what features to highlight in the description).

However, estate agents are not all equal. There aren’t many rules regulating the industry, so there can be a huge difference in quality. Make sure you check reviews thoroughly and remember that it’s your home, so don’t be afraid to provide your creative input into how it’s marketed online.

Market the property yourself

Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to sell your home by yourself. Websites will allow you to post your own private listings for a fee. Here are some tips for your online listings:

  • Take clear photographs of both the exterior and interior. Make sure every room is photographed. You may even want to hire a professional photographer to make sure your photos present the property in its best light.
  • Create a virtual tour – film a video walking around your home to give buyers a feel for how the layout works. There’s loads of guidance online to help with this; for example, Purplebricks are now encouraging sellers to create 25 second TikTok home tours.
  • Create a to-scale floor plan – it can be hard to visualise a house from photographs alone. To-scale floor plans help buyers understand how the property is laid out and how much space there is.
  • Pick your lead photo – this is the first photo buyers will see when they scroll past your listing. A good exterior shot often works, but if you have a ‘show stopper’ room such as a huge, modern kitchen, you may choose to lead with that.
  • Work on your description – has your home been recently renovated? Is it steps away from a great school? Identify the best features about your home and write a description for your online listing highlighting them. Don’t forget to include all the standard stuff about how many bedrooms and bathrooms as well. Use bullet points to convey lots of information in a readable way.
  • Share on social media – extend the reach of your online listing by promoting it on platforms such as Facebook.

Tidy up the exterior

If your online listing works and you start booking in viewings, you need to make sure that your home is just as impactful in real life.

The outside of your home is what buyers will see first, so make sure it’s attractive or you’ll lose their attention before they even walk through the front door. Weed your front garden, put bins away and give the house a lick of paint, or pressure wash dirt away for an instant uplift.

Spruce up your garden

The ‘race for space’ post-Covid-19 means gardens have shot to the top of homebuyers’ priorities when perusing property listings.

Even if you just have a small garden or courtyard, you can make it look lovely and inviting and a space anyone would enjoy spending time in.

Read our article on quick ways to spruce up your garden to attract potential buyers for more tips.

Think about smells

People can be heavily influenced by smell, and a bad smell is something that can instantly put a buyer off. If you know you’ve got a viewing the next morning, try not to cook anything too fragrant the night before. Additionally, before a viewing, make sure that you open windows to air out your home, wash pet bedding, clean your carpets and invest in an air freshener such as a reed diffuser or wall plug-in.

Be welcoming and friendly

When you’re trying to fit viewings in around your busy schedule, it can be hard to keep a constant smile on your face. But a standoffish seller means that buyers may be reluctant to have a proper look around your home which may mean may discount it early on.

Ideally, you should make yourself scarce for viewings so buyers can have a look around without feeling like they’re intruding. If this isn’t possible, make sure you’re welcoming and friendly, but keep your distance to give the buyers space.

Are you thinking about selling your home?

Once you’ve found a buyer, you’ll want to start moving as quickly as possible. So, make sure you have your conveyancing solicitor lined up and ready to start the legal process.

At Bird & Co, we are a specialist firm of Law Society accredited conveyancing solicitors who help people across the UK buy and sell their homes.

We can handle all the legal aspects of your transaction on your behalf, making the process as simple, straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Get a conveyancing quote online to see how much your transaction is likely to cost, then a member of our conveyancing team will be in touch shortly.