Understanding the Home Viewer's Mindset

There are few, if any, more critical moments in a home sale than when the prospective buyer initially views the property.

In many ways, this is a make or break situation. Create the right impression and you could soon be putting out a sold sign. Get it spectacularly wrong and it's very likely a case of needing to do much better next time.

Getting it right first time is therefore the only sensible option. So how do you ensure that your home has the very best chance of wowing each and every viewer?

I think one of the best strategies here is to really understanding the mindset of the buyer during the viewing process.

The first thoughts the buyer will have about the home is its condition and appearance. The trick here is to simply leave nothing to chance, with a thoroughly well decorated and maintained property with a beautifully staged interior. You'll never get a second chance on this.

The next thing the buyer is likely to be on the search for are obvious problems. It's reckoned that for every fault a buyer discovers, there will be an assumption of several others still waiting to be unearthed. The devil is most definitely in the details here and even a light bulb that isn't functioning is enough to begin to erode buyer confidence. Don't leave anything to chance and carry out a thorough audit of what's wrong in the home, no matter how minor, and get it fixed.

Your home's features are going to be closely scrutinized very quickly. It's important, therefore, that, to achieve the best return, your features are competitive with other similarly priced homes for sale in the area. Renovating your kitchen, for example, can have a disproportionate positive effect on the buyer's perception of the entire property. Anything that's unique about the home needs to be accentuated in marketing and very clearly shown during the viewing.

Although you can't physically move your home, of course, location is going to be another key consideration for any buyer. Don't assume, however, that everyone knows your area as well as you do. Make sure you work with your agent to ensure that all local advantages and amenities are included in your home marketing materials. The same goes for logistical considerations like access to road networks and public transport options.

Despite the fact that agents will generally show a property when the owners aren't present, buyers will still, to an important extent, judge the home on all visible signs of the owner's footprint. Anything that demonstrates certain political and/or religious leanings should be stored away for your next home and it's also a bad idea to have lots of framed family pictures.

Essentially, you need to take your personality out of the property and make the home as neutral as possible, so that buyers can see its potential for themselves. Statistics suggest that only about 10% of buyers can envisage what a home could be, despite what's presented to them - too low a percentage to take a chance on.

You should also not give buyers another chance to negatively judge you through any unwillingness to co-operate with a viewing time that may not be ideal for you - always remember that some people, including many very well qualified buyers, work the strangest hours. And why not leave out some refreshments for your visitors to make them feel especially welcome.

While all these considerations are vital, the overriding consideration in the buyer's mind is likely to be how the asking price matches what is on show. The better the job you make of preparing for the above eventualities can go a very long way to achieving an optimized sale in the shortest possible time.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this process and, at The Nicoli Group, we take our clients through the above thought process to anticipate and prepare for what is going to happen during viewings.

Motivations for buying properties in differing circumstances and conditions dictate that this is never a cookie cutter solution and every home receives an individual, tailored approach, judged on a case by case basis. Call us today to find out more.

Dominic Nicoli