How to avoid common pitfalls when marketing a property

How to avoid common pitfalls when marketing a property [Photo: adempercem via iStock]

When it comes to selling a property, it's more important than ever that you get your marketing messages, and your ability to carry out viewings, absolutely spot on. Low supply means that sellers are in competition more than they've ever been in the past, and to get ahead, you need to make sure you have the best strategy in place. 

One way to undo all your hard work, however, is to fall into some of the most common pitfalls that can emerge in property sales. Here, we take a look at a few of these and how falling victim can negatively affect your ability to sell your home this year. 

Be realistic

If you've lived in your home for any time at all, chances are you'll have developed a bit of an emotional attachment to the place. But it's important not to let this get the better of you when you are looking to sell. 

Do your homework to work out what properties in your area, and similar houses, have been selling for in recent times, as well as taking into account the current state of the market. And don't let your heart lead your head. At the end of the day, you want to make that sale, and overpriced properties tend to hang around on the market for far longer. 

Be honest

You might be a little nervous about issues that have affected your home. Damp and other forms of damage can often put off a seller, so it's understandable that divulging such information can be difficult, but it's important not to get caught up in hiding stuff. At the end of the day, the information will still come out in the buyer's survey, so it's best to be honest from the off. 

The same applies to any descriptions you write about your house. There's no point, for example, marketing your home as having three spacious bedrooms if the first person to come to a viewing is going to see straight away that one is a cramped box room. Be more honest from the off, and your chances of finding success will be much higher in the end. 

Don't let the camera lie

The ease of taking pictures and uploading them has made it easier than ever to advertise what your home has to offer, so it's important to take advantage of this. If you don't have images of your house in your listing, or not enough, then chances are that your potential buyer will click on a listing that does. 

However, it's also important to remember not to misrepresent your home in the pictures you use. Some people might be tempted to take a photo from a flattering angle to make the room look bigger, or even to stretch a photo to enhance this illusion. But at the end of the day, the buyer is going to find out eventually what the home looks like in the end, so you need to be honest from the off. 

Don't get complacent

Another common pitfall when it comes to selling a home is to get a bit too complacent with how the place looks before someone comes around to see it. It's especially easy to fall into this trap if you've had a property on the market for some time, and despite lots of people coming to see it, no one has made an offer yet. 

It's always advisable to do your best to make your home look as presentable as it can. Buyers will expect a little "lived in" atmosphere to be present, but remember, you want to impress them, so you need to make sure that before any viewings, you clean up, put away any clean washing and give the place a quick once over, including using an air freshener, to make it look and smell perfect.