By Simone Date-Chong
Looking To Sell
When it comes to selling your home, there are plenty of tricks to get you across the line, but the best tips for selling your property can come from a surprising resource. Online dating uses many strategies to pair the ideal combination of people together with the aim of an almost perfect match being found. The way singles present themselves and communicate what they have to offer, is equally useful to home owners looking to find the ideal match for their home.
Clean up your act
You’d put a bit of effort into your appearance if you were going on a date so you should pay the same attention to your home when preparing it for sale. Manicuring, waxing and getting facials has its equivalent in gardening, trimming things back and washing walls, windows and paths. A trip to the barber or the beautician can inspire a new outfit, just as tidying and cleaning the house can reveal that a fresh coat of paint is needed.
Use realistic, quality photos
The world of digital dating photos never ceases to be fascinating. From men posing with a dog and a shotgun, to women with dozens of duck-faced poses in bathroom mirrors. It can be like a car crash you can’t look away from. The thing most online daters overlook it’s not just what’s in the photo, but the kind of photo that’s taken, because that’s what tells the real story. Like online daters, a property owner should think about who they want to attract with their images and style them accordingly. Quality of image, time of day, lighting and styling all contribute to a great attention-grabbing image. One of the cardinal sins of online dating is forgetting that eventually the reality will have to stand up to the photos. Don’t Photoshop things in that aren’t there, or crop things out that will be glaringly obvious on the first date – the property inspection.
An honest and genuine bio
Singles love nothing more than curling up on the sofa, smart phone in hand to try to find ‘the one’ or something close to it. There can be literally hundreds of options to choose from and though looks may be the first thing to catch their eye, it’s the details about the person that will be the decider on whether to swipe right or delete. Being truthful and realistic but also honest and genuine about the property makes a huge difference. It’s important to provide the facts but it’s also strategic to add some personal touches such as ‘just 5 mins walk from the local gym’ or ‘leafy private backyard for the kids’. Online daters do well to stay away from clichés such as “I like cooking, movies and travel”, yes, most people do! The same applies to your property details. Give us much information as you can that gives them a good sense of the property’s features, but specifically its unique qualities.
Smoke and mirrors
Online dating is all about smoke and mirrors – you have to strike the balance between attracting your potential match, whilst not deceiving them, but without revealing all your flaws at once. It’s the same when it comes to selling property – yes you should hide all of your weird collections and unfinished projects wherever possible. You might want to put a painting over the crack in the wall, a cushion over the stain on the sofa, or a fruit bowl over the burn mark on the kitchen bench. Sure, that helps presentation purposes, but remember that concealing serious faults may cost you big time when it’s time for the pre-settlement inspection – after you’ve moved out but before your buyer pays the balance. It’s your job to catch a buyer’s eye in the first place, but it’s their job to do their due diligence and uncover the truth. However, as mentioned previously, they will find out the truth eventually so just as it makes no sense to not include full body photos in your dating profile, a property listing with no photos of the bathroom may make them suspicious. Even the worst bathrooms can pass inspection online with some clever photography angles, a nice candle and some strategically placed towels. Having one simple shot is always better than none at all.
Sniff out commitment phobia
Many digital daters cut straight to the chase and say ‘not looking for anything serious’ or ‘no casual flings’. The property dating scene is far more ambiguous so you have to depend on your agent’s skills and experience at sniffing out less than genuinely interested buyers. Many buyers are serious about wanting to buy and can prove it by having their deposit ready to go, and by providing details of bank finance pre-approval. Ideally there will be enough of these that you can ignore those looking for a casual affair, or just window shopping.
Online dating companies have already done all the hard work when it comes to matchmaking. If you can apply those principles to the process of selling your home, you too may just find your property buyer perfect match.