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First impressions: how to make your house appealing to buyers | Strutt & Parker

When selling your home, first impressions can heavily impact how a potential buyer sees and feels about it.

In fact, exclusive research commissioned by Strutt & Parker reports that 76% of buyers think first impressions are everything when they visit a property, while 66% agree they are vital when viewing a property online.

How to make your house more appealing to buyers

Today, more people than ever before feel comfortable browsing for property online. In this world of quick clicks and snap decisions, over a third of buyers spend less than five minutes viewing a property online before deciding whether they want to visit it. So, how do you give your property the edge?

Hire a professional property photographer

Buyers have learned to rely on online listings more than ever when searching for property. Lawrence Brown, head of Strutt and Parker's Cambridge office, believes using professional photography is one of the best ways to make a good impression.

It is crucial to use a specialist photographer who knows how to shoot a house and rooms from their best angles. 'These should be high-quality shots that the client couldn't take themselves,' he explains, ‘that’s why we use skilled photographers who specialise in property know how to make a room look its best.’

It's essential to show the right number of pictures. 'Fewer than eight, and buyers wonder what you're hiding. More than 12, and you're increasing the possibility they'll see one they don't like and immediately click off.’

Prepare for your photoshoot

A photographer can only shoot what's in front of them, and Lawrence says that's when agents need to brief vendors properly:

‘I am keen to help throughout the process, including advising how best to present a property to maximise online enquiries.’

How to prepare for a house showing

When preparing to show your house to a potential buyer, you want your property to make a homely, welcoming impression. The old agents' joke still rings true: pack off the kids and dog to your nearest and dearest, bake some bread, put the coffee on and light the fire.

Making your property place smell nice, opening the doors to the garden in the summer, and keeping the house warm in the winter helps make it appealing to buyers.

Refreshing your decor, like adding a fresh coat of paint, can help form a positive impression. That being said, there's no need to undergo significant changes like installing a new kitchen. The cost of substantial work is hefty and skimping on price is never a wise move. Besides, buyers often like to have the opportunity to put their stamp on a new home.

Property not selling: what if it gets 'stuck'?

When a property doesn't sell, the reason is usually price or presentation.

Understandably, some sellers are reluctant to invest in a property they're leaving behind, but holding back on investment often means compromising on price.

Updating online images with seasonal appeal can present the property fresh to buyers who might have already seen it and attract new interest, preventing the need to lower your property's price.

'We had a property that came on to the market, and the owner moved out,' says Lawrence. 'The heating wasn't on. It was empty, cold and had dirty windows. There was no interest, so we cleaned the windows, hired some furniture and put the heating on. Soon after we had multiple offers.'

Get expert advice on selling your property

It's always worth seeking to help sell your property for its maximum value. At Strutt & Parker, our expert teams draw on years of local experience to provide sellers with everything they need to sell their homes. Contact one of our offices today to begin selling with us.

Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK respondents planning to buy a home in five years. Research was carried out in 2018.


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