Comox Valley real estate first impressions are everything when it comes to selling a home. First impressions are generally involved when we meet someone for the first time, go somewhere for the first time or do something for the first time. First impressions are important in all aspects of our lives, including real estate.
First impressions involve immediate evaluations and intuitive responses that are often lasting. They are based on direct inputs from our senses and they can trigger emotional responses. When people meet other people or visit a new part of the world, first impressions are often powerful. The mental images created and the conclusions drawn of people and places can last a long time. The impact can translate directly into actions over the short and longer term. Opinions are often formed about other people during first encounters and in the first few seconds. Appearance, body language, grooming, approachability, attitude, and what is said, all affect one person’s evaluation of another in a very short period of time. When first impressions are negative or wrong, they can be very difficult to change.
First impressions are also important to the powerful Comox Valley listings market place. Our senses are used to create those first impressions and our emotions come into play as we formulate opinions and draw conclusions. Emotions can often overpower logic and rationality and the conclusions reached through first impressions can make or break the home sale, and sometimes even affect or negate the viewing of a home. This real estate fact cannot be over emphasized to home sellers.
Given how many people currently start a home search, preconceptions can also come into play. Preconceptions involve the formation of an opinion before adequate property knowledge or experience. While there is a difference between a first impression and a preconception, they both can ultimately affect how, and even if, we view a home. Preconceptions are generally at work during the first and second stages of a home search.
According to home buyer profiles, nearly 90% of home buyers employed the internet and a real estate agent during their home search process. For many people, the first stage of a home search currently takes place online. Many people will spend time surfing the internet even before they enlist the help of a local Comox Valley real estate agent. It is, therefore, important for sellers to understand this. Their home should have a significant online presence, their home should show up well in searches, and their home should be presented in an accurate and positive way.
Think about the following examples:
A Comox Valley home does not show up well in searches so it is rarely found or seen.
A home shows up online but there are no photos.
A home shows up online but the photos are poorly taken and they do not accurately or positively represent the home.
As a Comox Valley real estate agent, I continue to see each of the above happen all too often. For example, some real estate agents will use a “smart phone” to take photos of homes instead of using professional photographic equipment. Which type of photos do you think will be more effective? Some real estate agents either do not have a personal website or they have a website that does not show up well in searches. How effective is this? Some real estate agents may take photos of a home before the home is property presented. Do you think that the home will show well? Which of these options provide best service to the seller?
There are many elements of a good and effective online home presence. Years ago, real estate photos were used almost exclusively. Next was the real estate virtual tour that comprised photos stitched together to provide a 360 degree view of a room. More recently, real estate videos have become more prominent. Which medium does your agent use? Does your agent create professional descriptions of your home? These are but a few of the current considerations.
What happens when the online presence is not effective, and worse, not accurate? People can, and do, formulate preconceptions that may eliminate consideration of your home without actually seeing it. Properly displayed and attractive Courtenay real estate listings may look great in real life but they also need to look great online.
During the second stage of a realty home search many people will enlist the services of a real estate agent. All agents are different and they often provide various levels and types of service. Some agents may offer to review MLS lists and show you a “selective” list of homes. Others may go through these lists with you so that you can decide which homes you wish to see. Whichever method or methods are used, if your home does not show well on the MLS system, it may fall prey to preconceptions that eliminate it from consideration before the buyer actually sees it.
Let’s assume that your home does show well online and in the MLS system and it is on the buyer’s list of possibilities. Your home made it through the first two phases of a home search and it is on to phase three – the actual viewing. Here is where first impressions count. The mental image that is created stems from our senses (sight, sound, smell) is often created within the first few seconds and the appeal or lack of appeal created. Remember that “appeal” is an emotional response created through the use of our senses. The bottom line is that a person’s opinion of your home will most often be created within the first few seconds of seeing it. First impressions are critical and your home will not get a second chance to make a good first impression.
What impression does the neighbourhood give a potential buyer? What impression is formulated by the buyers as they drive up to your home? What impression is formed as they park in front of your home and walk up to the front door? What impression is formed when they walk through the front door?
When they near the home what catches their eye first? Does the home present as one that is well care for and well maintained? Are the colours appealing? Is the yard dull, cluttered, and unappealing, or is it inviting? Does the approach to the front door leave them with a spacious feeling or does it leave them with a feeling of being claustrophobic? Does clutter detract from the home? Are there any bad smells or annoying noises? When they open the door, does the home offer a warm and inviting feeling?
Many different things have the potential to create a bad first impression and turn off a potential buyer. Having a home properly prepared and presented will help to minimize negative influences and maximize those that are positive. It may not matter if you have a great kitchen and bathroom or updated features throughout the home if the first impressions are negative. I have been with buyers who approached a home and drove away without even getting out of the car based on first impressions. Others have opened the front door and then closed it without entering the home based on bad first impressions.
Negative preconceptions and bad first impressions are things that a seller needs to avoid during the sale of their home. Effective online marketing, and proper preparation and presentation of a home will help increase the number of potential buyers who choose to visit and walk through your home. Your home may only get one chance to impress online or in front of a buyer. It is important that your home makes the most of each chance it is given! If you are looking to sell your Comox Valley home, contact me to discuss how I can help you do this effectively in today’s market.