Anyone selling a property should think hard about presentation but don’t overlook what turns a buyer off even in a well presented home. There are many lessons to be learnt with some more obvious than others.
To know what turns off buyers who better to ask than someone who presents homes for a living … a Real Estate agent, of course. Here is a quick list;
A No Brainer
Most people would realise that a modern kitchen with a reasonable amount of cupboards and a good bathroom are a must to attract the better buyers but there is a lot more than just that. Even a lot of brand new kitchens will fail in the basics especially if they are a budget kitchen. Is there adequate bench space; after a microwave goes on plus a kettle and toaster some kitchens don’t even have enough room to spread your toast in the morning. For any suburb there is a price for a house beyond which buyers expect things like a dishwasher or a decent sized fridge alcove. Forget about some of these things and you might as well discount your price by $10,000.
Shower Pressure & Hot Water
Many people will run the taps in a house including in the shower to test the water pressure and to see how hot the water gets. They must have had a bad experience.
Internet & Phone Reception
This can make the perfect home into a no go zone for any student or professional who works at home not to mention the avid gamer. There can be many options for you to pursue to get a good connection before you go onto the market. You can bet your prospective purchaser won’t be able to explore these options as well as the owner can; they will go to the house for sale at the other end of the street.
A separate vanity outside of the main bathroom can be a sort after option especially if the house has only one bathroom. For some people it might be just as important as a second toilet. But with no separate vanity lighting and only the main central light when you will stand at the mirror the light will be at your back and your face in shadow.
You might lose a buyer who doesn’t want to do any modifications; and there are a lot of them, including me.
Timber Retaining Walls
Timber sleepers common in retaining walls can be a source of real concern for potential buyers. They have a very limited life span although it can vary drastically depending on the soil type, dampness and presence of termites. Even if they are new and look perfect they introduce an element of doubt. Concrete is the obvious choice – if you get the opportunity to rebuild.
Poor Presentation by Tenants or Owners
This is what very quickly scares many buyers but if you want to get a bargain look at these homes very carefully. After settlement the junk should be gone and underneath there might be a beautiful home.
One of these homes can be music to the ears of the bargain hunters but if you are the seller then you need to consider getting a Professional Property Stylist in to give you some key advice that could make you a windfall.
Poor Advertising for the House
Poor quality and/or few photos and no floor plan for a property for sale is like a messy home it gives your buyers no idea of what the house is really like. I remember one buyer saying that he reluctantly went to one open inspection, expecting very little, but was amazed to find a gem. There was no one else at the open inspection so they got a buy of a lifetime.
Strata Fees and Sinking Funds
Strata units, apartments and homes built within Community Groups can have significant quarterly fees attached. There is not much an owner who wants to sell can do about these but they represent a real hurdle for many buyers such that they can cross these types of properties off their list without a second thought.
If you still find one of these properties that you want to buy have a close look at the fees and just remember the sinking fund is a fund of savings put away in case of future maintenance so it can change from time to time. It is probably there to help you maintain the externals on your property so it’s not all bad.
High fees can be due to the maintenance requirements of facilities such as lifts, gardens, pools, gyms and other shared facilities that might have been the reason you were attracted to the property in the first place. You will need to read the minutes of the Strata or Corporation Group very carefully to find out if there are any significant issues such as large maintenance works planned soon which may even require a new owner to contribute extra to.
Bad Neighbours or Neighbourhood
There is often little a seller can do about these things. They are the things not shown in the usual real estate marketing but are what every buyer wants to know about. Even vacant land or laneways next to the property for sale will detract some people.
Unusual Sale History
Homes sold at regular intervals can be an indicator of something odd going on such as structural problems that don’t become evident for a while after purchase or nightmare neighbours. If you own a home like this you might need to think hard on what you need to do to break the cycle.
I know people with difficult neighbours who are waiting them out. When they leave the area it will be like a new lease on life and $1,000’s extra at settlement.
Depending on where you live you might know examples of Asian buyers who were turned off a property because it didn’t comply with the requirements of Feng Shui. This can be a whole study in itself but there are some simple rules to follow that will help you to buy a house that will be easy to sell in the future.