So you’ve made the decision to sell your house and move. But now comes the stressful part, which is will you get any viewings, and if you do will any of the buyers make an offer?
So how do you get a buyer to make an offer? The best way to get a buyer to make an offer on your house is to make your home so irresistible they simply have to make an offer. Price will always play a big part in getting offers on your house, but remember you are competing against other similar properties in your area.
But the key is for you to help your buyers to visualise themselves living in your home. You want them to walk around your house and feel it could be their next new home.
Put yourself in the mind of potential buyers. The more your house can satisfy your prospective buyer, the more incentive there is to buy.
You need to capitalise on all viewings and make each one count. The more buyers your house appeals to, the more likely you are to receive an offer.
What do you need to do to get buyers to make an offer on your house?
It’s very difficult to make someone do anything they don’t want to do. Not least it’s morally wrong in any case.
Which means if you want to get a buyer to make an offer on your house, your property needs to appeal to them. It has to be exactly what they are looking for.
You need to be appealing to their emotional values. If your house ‘speaks‘ to your buyer, they are more likely to make an offer.
Take a look at why people buy houses…
Most people buy anything because they think the purchase will enhance their lives. So with this in mind, as we look at why people buy houses, it helps to better understand why people make an offer on certain houses vs why they don’t on others (see below about move-in ready homes).
This point is better answered by looking at why people move house. The following are examples of why people move:
- Upsizing to accommodate an increasing sized family.
- Downsizing because the family size has decreased.
- Moving to another area for work purposes.
- Going up in the world due to better financial circumstances.
- Downsizing due to poor financial circumstances.
- Divorce and going separate ways.
Let’s take a look at each of these with a mind of how each move is done to enhance lives. But as you read each of these reasons, think about how you can appeal to each type of person, with a mind on how to get each buyer to make an offer on your house.
The more of these buyers you can appeal to, the more chances you’ll get an offer from any one of them.
1. Upsizing to accommodate an increasing sized family
One of the top reasons why people move house is because they are increasing the size of their family. The enhancement to a family and to their life in this example is obvious. Which is they need more bedrooms to accommodate their growing family.
If they don’t have enough bedrooms in their current house to accommodate their whole family, a move to a larger property becomes a must to them. It is buyers like this you need to appeal to the most.
For example, they may currently be living in a two bedroom house. But they need a three bedroom house instead. The wrong approach is to not show all your bedrooms off as bedrooms.
Many sellers make the mistake of using a bedroom as a home office or as a junk or storage room. Don’t do this, as buyers need to be able to clearly visualise themselves living in your home. Or alternatively, the furniture in the room is wrong which makes the room look small and cramped.
Dress all the rooms in your house in the way they are designed for – e.g. 3 bed house needs to be shown as a 3-bed house. But choose the furniture carefully to show each room off to its best.
Make it easy for your viewers to see how they can enhance their way of living. This way you are more likely to get an offer on your house if you create an appealing family home with the correct number of bedrooms dressed as they should be.
2. Down-sizing because the family size has decreased
Once the children have flown the nest, often times parents decide to downsize. The enhancement to someone who is downsizing is more often than not for an easy life. Most people who are in their mid to late 50’s are not usually looking for a project.
Therefore in order to appeal to the downsizers you are better to show your house off where nothing need to be done. Each room needs to be perfectly decorated and dressed in such a way so that downsizers can visualise themselves relaxing and enjoying life in your house.
You are therefore more likely to appeal to this type of buyer and to get an offer from them if they feel they can move in not having to lift a finger in terms of repairs and maintenance.
3. Moving to another area for work purposes
The enhancement in this person’s life is a new job and a new beginning. But it’s unlikely that many people who are moving for a new job will also be looking for a house to refurbish.
Therefore, in order to also appeal to buyers who are moving to another area of the county, you are best to show your house off in it’s best light. Make sure you do all the repairs. But also, make sure to upgrade the kitchen, the bathrooms and give your house a fresh coat of paint.
4. Going up in the world due to better financial circumstances
For those who are going up in the world due to their career taking off or because their business is doing well won’t have the time to spend renovating a house.
Therefore to appeal to this type of buyer you need your house to be newly refurbished and staged so that they cannot resist putting an offer in.
5. Downsizing due to poor financial circumstances
It’s difficult to think about how someone who is downsizing due to a poor set of financial circumstances, like a redundancy or a failed business, could enhance their life by buying a new property.
But by downsizing they are reducing their out-goings. This in turn will reduce stress levels which will enhancement their life.
On the one hand you may think that someone in a poor financial position might buy a house that needs to be refurbished, as it will be cheaper. However, this may not necessarily be the case, as they may not have the funds to make the refurbishments needed.
So if you want to get an offer from a buyer who’s going through financial stress, show your house off as a stress-free environment. Stage the house so it looks inviting.
6. Divorce and going separate ways
To appeal to a buyer who is moving due to a divorce is a tricky one. But I’d say that most people who are going through a divorce are looking for and easy life.
Having gone through divorce myself I know what this feels like. The last thing that you want to face is moving into a wreck of a house. You want to be able to relax in a house where all the work has been done for you. You want it to be move-in ready.
So I am hoping you have picked up on a theme that runs through each of the above reasons why people move. Which is to have a move-in ready house, which is the best way to get a buyer to make an offer on your house.
How to enhance your house to make it more appealing to buyers so they want to make an offer
- Upgrade your windows to UPVC and double glazed. This not only improves the house’s energy efficiency, but also improves on noise reduction.
- Improve the EPC rating on your house as much as possible, as this will appeal to those buyers who are energy conscious.
- Stage your house with the right furniture and buy new furniture to enhance each room or rent the furniture to enhance what it looks like.
- Don’t forget about the small touches, as it is these that can sometimes make all the difference whether you sell your house or not. Make your house feel homely, but don’t make it too personal.
- Declutter and depersonalise your house as clutter will put many buyers off. If you are a collector, pack these away in boxes. If you have loads of family photos, change these to non-personalised pictures or paintings to help the buyers visualise it as their home.
- Subtlety of paint colours is important. Make sure the colours you choose are on trend but not too garish or individual.
- You should make your house smell nice with scented candles or scent sticks to enhance the smell for viewers when they first arrive. Make sure to remove any bad odours including the smell of pets.
- Avoid cooking strong smelling food like curries until you’ve sold your house.
- It’s always important to buy right in the first place. But if you didn’t you’ll may have cut out certain sectors of people – e.g. on a busy road etc. If you are near a busy or noisy road, enhance your house by installing double or triple glazing to cut down on the noise.
The bottom line to how you get a buyer to make an offer is by appealing to as many buyers as possible.
Holding an open house is a good way to get buyers to make an offer on your house
An open house is one of the best ways to generate interest in your house. This works particularly well if you end up with a number of viewers who like the house, as this will create competition amongst your buyers.
The two main reasonS why people buy are a desire for gain or from a fear of loss. An open house provides the best platform to provide for both of these emotions.
An open house provides for these two emotions as follows:
- The desire for gain is provided to the buyer by giving them the opportunity to view your house presented in the best possible way.
- The fear of loss is provided by the viewer seeing other buyers in the house at the same time who may also want to buy your house.
Brian Tracey cites a study that shows a desire for gain has a motivational power of 1.0, whereas a fear of loss has a negative power of 2.5. Which means that people are much more motivated by a fear they will lose something by not buying.
Which is why open houses work so well if done properly. But it’s about getting the marketing done correctly so as to have plenty of viewers show up on the day.
An open house works best if your home is completely refurbished to a good standard. An open house works even better if you also spend money on staging each room with new or rented furniture. This way you’ll be more likely to get a number of buyers who won’t be able to resist putting an offer in on your house.
But for an open house to work well, it is also important to get the list-price right. Make sure the estate agent prices your house realistically. This way you are more likely to get more viewers to the open house.
You don’t need to overly worry if the price is less than what it’s worth. If it is you may end up with a bidding war and this will push the price up in any case.
Setting your listing price is a balance between asking slightly too much vs listing your house at slightly under market value to generate competition.
Move-in ready house vs a refurbishment project
If you want to appeal to a wider audience and therefore increase your chances of getting an offer on your house, you need to present a move-in ready home.
Top of the list is a new kitchen, as kitchens sell houses. Second on the list is new bathrooms, but don’t think that you should just upgrade the kitchen and leave your bathrooms, as they both help to sell.
Your house should be repainted or re-wallpapered from top to bottom. Any rooms with an unusually or unconventional colour scheme should be changed to something neutral
Price plays a big part in whether or not someone will be prepared to make an offer on your house
It almost goes without saying that price plays a bit part in whether or not someone will buy your house. But it is important to get this right. You may not get any viewings in the first place if the price is too high. Without viewings you’ll not get any offers.
But also if the price is too high they may not be comfortable putting in a lower offer. Not everyone is happy to be cheeky with their offers.
So before you list your property, make sure you’ve done your own research on house prices in your area. Don’t just take the word of an estate agent, as estate agent valuations can vary by a lot. For this reason, make sure you have more than one estate agent to value your house too before you choose and before you decide on what to list it for.
But whatever you do don’t over-price your house. If your house is over-priced it will end up sitting on the market and stagnating. Buyers will start to avoid even looking at your property.
This will leave your house showing on Rightmove as an old listing. Houses that have been listed for a long time on Rightmove will attract the type of buyer who look for motivated sellers and who are looking for a bargain, like an investor.
Getting to know your buyers may give you a better chance to sell your house
It’s always a good idea to build rapport with your buyers. You may not think this will help, but it can’t harm. If you spend a bit of time to find out what makes your buyers tick, as a result you may just find out something That’s key to selling your house.
This is better explained as a list of things you may find out.
Reasons why rapport building with your buyers in important for getting offers:
- Sell the area to your buyers. For example if you discover they have a dog you could tell them about all the great dog walks near to your house.
- Finding out that your buyers are commuters will give you the opportunity to explain the local transport links and parking facilities. It’s likely that buyers will already have done their research. But why not help them as much as possible, as this will help to confirm their research.
- If you discover a hobby or interest of your buyer, you may be able to tell them about a local place of interest for their hobby.
- If you find out they work from home, you may want to tell them about how good your broadband is in your house. Obviously only do this if it is good. But if it’s not it would be good to resolve the problem if you are able to.
- Discovering that your buyers are first time buyers, you could offer to leave some or all of your furniture. It’s possible your viewers may not like your taste. But if you find them commenting on how lovely your furniture is, you could encourage an offer by telling them they could have it.
- By knowing your viewers have children and finding out their ages is a way for you to give advice about the good schools in the catchment. Parents will usually already know this and Will have done their research. But if they hear good things from you, this will cement their thinking. But on the other hand, if your buyers are moving from another part of the country, they may not necessarily know as much as you do.
- In discussions with buyers you get the opportunity to explain how lovely your neighbours are. This always goes down well.
Finally, by building a rapport with your viewers could make all the difference. If for example, a buyer has seen two properties that are the same, they may choose to buy the one from a person they got to like instead of from someone they didn’t.
Think about the competition of other houses for sale in your road or location
It’s important to understand that your house is not the only house your viewers could buy. Before you list your house with an estate agent, take a look at other houses in your street or location and see how these look. But also the price they are listed at too.
I’d even suggest you pose as a buyer and visit other similar properties. This way you can get ideas for your own house, but also to gage the competition. This way you can make the best impact when it comes to selling your house.
But don’t necessarily restrict this to your area. If you can find similar sized properties to yours and get good ideas about what looks good, draw on a wider area.
Watch out for which of these houses sold the quickest. The houses that sell fast are the ones that appeal the most. You want to appeal in the same way to get your house sold fast.
I hope this article has helped about how to get a buyer to make an offer
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