Three Primary Impression Points to Make an Appealing First Impression for Potential Buyers
Flipping houses can be an extremely lucrative form of real estate investment. You’ve got to get the property ready, though, and market it to sell. There are three points of initial impression and these must work in conjunction with one another to facilitate the deal.
Marketing and online appeal
It is believed that 9 out of ten buyers avail themselves to the uses of the Internet to begin their search for the perfect property. If you are not familiar with digital marketing and advertising, it is imperative that you get there because it is likely that the very first impression a potential buyer is going to get of your property is via the Internet.
You’ll want to use social media, as well as search engine optimization best practices to get your site and properties found. Pictures, videos and a good description of your properties will be needed to entice buyers to take a closer look. According to some, good images are second only to price when it comes to prompting consumer interest in a property via the Internet.
Once you get them there, you’ll need to make that most important first impression, the home’s exterior. Of course, if you didn’t take care of your due diligence before you purchased the property to be sure that the neighborhood itself is appealing, you’re probably done before you ever get to this point, but assuming you did, you can employ several techniques to accomplish this. A conservative fix should do the job; no need to spend a ton of cash on something that might not appeal to everyone; keep changes universally appealing by staying away from unique features or colors. Install a flower bed, paint or replace the mail box, replace worn gutters, do some general clean up and fix cracks in the drive. These are all small and affordable fixes that will make a big difference in the buyer’s first impression.
So far your potential client has passed the Internet and curb to get inside the door. You would be amazed at what that initial impression will do to their perspective of the rest of the house. First and foremost, when they cross that threshold, they should not be greeted with any kind of unpleasant smell. Eliminating any source of bad smells that emanate from residual pet presence, mold, mildew or cigarette smoking is critical as a bad smell can shred your deal faster than just about any other issue. You probably should go beyond cleaning carpets and replace them altogether. The same goes for window coverings and wall paint. Bad smells can really sink into the walls; especially from cigarettes or mold. A few fresh coats of paint will go a long way toward alleviating that problem.
Many real estate agents recommend baking cookies or apples as these appealing scents permeate the air, but not everyone will appreciate the sweet smell of baking; alternatives are naturally spicy and calming scents like lavender or rosemary or bergamot, but keep it very light. Stay away from overpowering flowery smells that come from air fresheners.
Once you get past the intangible sensory impressions, it is important to make sure that fresh pain, clean carpets and floors and neutral colors and décor greet your potential buyer; just as with the exterior, you’ll want to stay away from trendy décor or unique colors and go for the more classic and widely appealing.
Finally, though they go beyond the first impression, a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says there are a few top things that tend to increase perceived value and bring in a better price are central air, hardwood floors, granite counter tops, fireplaces, eat in kitchens, en-suite bathrooms, and new (especially stainless steel) appliances.
Rehabbing and flipping houses can be great business and a lot of fun, as well. The idea, though, is to spend just enough time and energy to make the property more marketable without eating into your profit margin.