We talk often about the importance of understanding the needs and wants of international buyers and reflecting this in the approach you take to sales. But have you ever considered that it’s possible to get your vendors to do some of the hard work for you?
This week we’re looking at some of the things you can encourage vendors to do when you’re heading their way with international viewings. Not only will this increase their chance of getting that sale, but it might make it an altogether more pleasant experience for you as you show potential buyers around.
Politely suggest these items for your vendor’s pre-viewing to do list:
1. Undertake basic DIY
It’s often the little details that count, and a home that feels inviting and ready to move into with minimum fuss, will be a much better prospect for an international buyer. While a touch of mould on the shower sealant or a few chips on the paint up the stairs might not seem like a problem, when taken together they can add up to a picture of a property that’s not been well looked after.
Whether that would definitely lead to a lost sale might be debatable, but it will certainly mean a bit more haggling over the asking price.
2. Clean up in advance of the viewing
Whether DIY is doable or not, at the very least ask your vendors to make sure their home is clutter free and presentable. Again, this may not seem important, but if a viewer is busy stepping round boxes or avoiding mess, they won’t be able to enjoy all the great things the property has to offer.
Clear, clean and clutter-free rooms give a potential buyer the opportunity to concentrate on deciding whether the property will provide them with everything they’re after. After all, if it’s not a nice environment to spend time in, they’ll probably want to get out as quick as they can, which is unlikely to lead to a purchase decision.
3. “Dress” the property
This one may need a little more explaining to the uninitiated, but talk to your vendor about creating a welcoming, homely ambience that encourages viewers to stay a while and imagine themselves living in the space. Think fresh cut flowers in a vase on the kitchen table, local produce in a bowl on the side and how about the smell of delicious cooking floating in the air? You could even go as far as to suggest they lay out place settings on the table on the terrace – so your viewer will be able to easily imagine themselves dining al fresco in the balmy evenings.
And don’t just limit it to eating areas, give the whole place a touch of the ‘showhome’ magic. Add plump, inviting cushions to the sofas and sumptuous throws to the beds. Make your viewer want to move in immediately.
Get some more ideas from this blog post: Tips to steal from home stylists.
4. Consider curb appeal
First impressions count. Explain to your vendor that a positive viewing experience starts from the second your potential buyer pulls into the street. On approach to the property, they will begin their appraisal, forming a judgement within 30 seconds or so. By tidying the front of the house, mending any visible broken tiles, tending to hanging baskets and hiding garbage bins elsewhere your vendor will create a much more appealing initial impression.
You’ll be surprised the difference it can make.
5. Find information to help sell the local lifestyle
Ask your vendor to find out a little about local points of interest that might appeal to people moving into the area. Think about the type of buyers that might be interested in the property you’re selling. Is it likely to be a retired couple, or someone looking to invest in a rental? Either way, help your vendor to think about the types of activities and local attractions they might be interested in. They could even leave multilingual leaflets out on the side for viewings as a start point for these kinds of discussions.
Of course, not all viewers are made equal. Some will have different likes and dislikes, and they’ll likely all be looking for different things from the property. Find out more about the thinking of potential buyers from all over the globe by listening to our podcast or reading our recent blogs on buyers from various countries: try US buyers, UK buyers and German and French buyers for starters.
That way, if you know who’s on their way to view, you can offer specific advice to vendors. You never know, a few thoughtful touches that don’t cost a cent could very well be enough to clinch that sale.