Most agents would say that anything could sell at the right price but many factors can help sell a home faster if online postings can engage the viewer.
As COVID-19 continues to limit site viewings and buyers rely on online posts, sellers must learn to optimise the few seconds a potential buyer zooms in on a picture before they decide whether it's worth their while to take a second look. Otherwise, its swipe left on their smartphone or on to the next property.
As such, sellers must ensure that pictures of their listings wow potential buyers and not turn them off instead. Of course, it takes more than online visuals to win over a buyer but like the old adage says, “First impression counts”.
Location, amenities and layout count too, not to mention some "feng shui" elements that Asian and Chinese buyers are sensitive to. But attractive pictures will be the first step in capturing their attention which is why it is so vital that sellers and agents understand the importance of posting attractive images of properties meant for sale.
To keep potential buyers engaged when viewing listings online, we have some tips that we recommend to sellers and their agents.
#1 Unattractive pictures
There are plenty of “terrible” pictures of all types of property listed online. Some are out of focus while many are taken without proper lighting, giving rooms a creepy look and loads more that show flaws like stained and cracked walls and dirty toilets and kitchens. These kinds of pictures are immediate turnoffs. Under the circumstance, it would be wise to ask the seller to consider some cosmetic work to upgrade the look of their homes or engage a professional photographer who can stage their shots and provide better-looking images of the property rather than random snaps from a smartphone.
#2 Messy and unkempt
There’s nothing worse than seeing a picture of a cluttered and untidy home that’s still inhabited by people. The mess distracts buyers from seeing the potential of the space and layout of the property. Make sure tenants tidy up or declutter their personal belongings before photographing the place if they are still inhabiting the property. Dirty bathrooms and an untidy kitchen will not portray the property in a good light. If a seller is unable to clean up, seek the help of a professional cleaning crew to do the job. It would be worth the expense to do so.
#3 Lacking light
Lack of natural light can make any property much less desirable. Nobody wants to live in a dark and gloomy “hole”. So keep this in mind and remove heavy curtains and other window coverings that prevent light from filling a space. Make sure pictures are taken with good lighting or install enough lighting fixtures before snapping those shots.
#4 Mouldy and stained walls
Buyers today are more aware of environmental issues than before. Moulds and dirty grouting in bathrooms and kitchens can turn buyers off. A thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of paint can do wonders in convincing buyers that the property is worth considering.
#5 Outdated décor
A tired and old-looking home can be impossible to sell as well. Some buyers may not want to fully gut and renovate to upgrade the property they just bought, especially if the price tag is at a premium. Fine-tuning some details in a home, even if it means having to invest in some updates such as putting in new lighting and replacing kitchen cabinets, countertops and bathroom taps and showerheads, can make a huge difference besides justifying the property’s value.
#6 Outlandish colours
Although colours can brighten up homes, certain hues – deep purple, canary yellow, shocking pink – can be immediate turnoffs. Nobody wants to buy a home that looks like a production set for a kids’ cartoon show. Buyers tend to look for soft warm shades that emanate a sense of calm and serenity while blinding candy colours all over a property can deliver a chaotic shock to the senses.
#7 Unkempt exteriors
If a landed property has yards and gardens, it’s best to clear dead lawns, standing weeds and overgrown patches. A well-kept garden is always a sight for sore eyes even if it's just an image online. A landscaper or gardener could easily clear up neglected outdoor spaces and dress them up with well-placed potted plants and shrubbery while an unkempt garden might suggest that previous owners were not house proud and that the interiors could match the exteriors.
While any property is sellable at the right price, all it takes is common sense to make sure your property is portrayed in a good light.
Juwai.com has a wealth of information about dealing with Chinese buyers, including …
1. 6 tips on how to engage Chinese property buyers
2. How to convert your sales lead into a deal
3. How best to reach a Chinese buyer after receiving a sales lead
3. How feng shui can help close a deal.
4. How Chinese travel can impact where they choose to buy their overseas property
5. Which are the top 10 global picks for Chinese buyers when it comes to buying a property