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When cold feet strike – what turns a buyer off a property?

March 14, 2023

Picture this: you’re going to an open home to check out what you think will be your dream digs. You pull up outside, full of excitement and anticipation. As you walk in the front gate, it creaks a little. “No biggie”, you think, "A little WD 40 will fix that."

Then you go through the front door… and the first thing you smell is tobacco smoke. Ugh. Further inspection reveals cobwebs, dirty skirting boards and windows that haven’t been washed for a long while. Then, you’re confronted with it – the awkward family photo that permanently etches into your mind an image of the people who used to live here.

Do you:
1. Turn around and sprint back to the car, speeding off into the sunset?
2. Immediately sign the contract of sale, thrilled with your purchase?

Putting yourself in the shoes of potential buyers is an important part of selling your home. It can be difficult to be objective about somewhere you’ve lived in, especially if you’ve been there a while. That’s where an experienced agent can prove invaluable.

Consider the senses: sight, smell and sound

Presentation is one of the most important components of selling a home, Matt Peden, Principal of Independent’s Belconnen explains.

“We think it’s pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many sellers - and some inexperienced agents - don’t put a whole lot of effort into their open homes,” Matt says.

“Unless the home is actually a ‘renovator’s delight’, and advertised that way, presentation both inside and out are key”.

There are numerous examples of issues that can give off a bad impression to buyers, including:

▶  Bad smells like pet odours, cigarette smoke and general mustiness

▶  Unkempt gardens

▶  Litter and clutter around the property (this goes for inside and out)

▶  Small repairs not being fixed;
Things like chipped paint and small cracks give the impression that the property has not been cared for and buyers may be suspicious about why the repairs haven’t been done and what other bigger issues are lurking beneath the surface. A buyer might decide they don’t want to fix someone else’s issues and remove it from their list of potential properties.

A noisy home environment, such as a barking dog, lots of traffic or noisy neighbours leaves a bad impression. As a seller, there’s not much you can do about some of these issues, but double glazing is one way to reduce noise.

Too many personal items hanging around – it may be important to you, but no one wants to see your pet’s ashes on the mantelpiece or teaspoon collection in the kitchen.

▶  Mould and mildew – these issues give a very bad vibe and honestly are just really gross.

The agent’s conduct

Matt points out the important of trust when it comes to buying and selling property.

“If a buyer feels like they’re being deceived or mistreated by the agent, this can really turn them off a purchase,” he says.

“It might be something as simple as perceived rudeness or as complicated as some form of misrepresentation.

“Choosing the right real estate agent, one that can quickly build trust with buyers, and actually knows what they’re doing, could be the difference between a good sale result and a great one.”

The negative influence of family and friends

Even if your presentation was flawless and the open home went perfectly, there might still be some buyers who get turned off once they start sharing the properly listing with their family and friends. Suburb reputation, opinions about the floorplan or block size can all come into play here.

“A good agent will talk to interested buyers about their needs during the open homes and can counter this negative influence before it starts,” Matt says.

“When you understand what a buyer needs in a home, you can help them see all the strengths of the property and suburb.”

Overall, impartiality and common sense are key when selling your home. If you wouldn’t buy it, that’s probably a good indication that others won’t want to either. A little effort can go a long way in presenting your home in its absolute best form, and working with professionals will make all the difference.

If you’re thinking of selling, you need the experts. With over 60 years in the Canberra market, we are well versed in all aspects of buying and selling.

Get in touch today to find out how we Make It Happen.