The true cost of a bad first impression when it comes to selling your home

It has long been known that first impressions count whether, for a job interview or a first date, the same applies to selling a property.

Related topics:  Property,  Sellers,  Kerb Appeal
Property | Reporter
3rd August 2023
house summer 1
"Sellers simply can’t afford to deter buyers through something as trivial as a poorly kept front garden, or the need for a lick of paint"

A shabby exterior or interior, size, smell, and an unkept front garden are the things most likely to make a bad first impression with homebuyers when it comes to your property, which could end up costing you upward of £60,000 in the current market, according to the latest industry insight from eXp UK.

That all-important first viewing can be pivotal when it comes to selling your home, particularly in current cooler market conditions where buyer demand levels have fallen and sellers are finding it harder to secure a sale.

Analysis from eXp UK shows that 46% of potential buyers will spend between just 15 and 30 minutes in your home when forming their first impression.

93% are also likely to request a second viewing purely based on the first impression they get, however, if that first impression is a bad one, 78% stated they wouldn’t return for a second viewing.

What’s more, only 33% would seek advice from the estate agent in question if a property made an initial bad impression on them.

For those that would push on with a potential property purchase despite a bad first impression, 86% would offer less than the asking price as a result.

14% stated they would offer up to 5% less, while 35% said they would offer as much as 10% below the asking price.

However, a notable 23% said they would offer up to 20% below the asking price, that’s £57,172 on the current average UK house price of £285,861. 13% even went as far as to say they would offer more than 20% below the asking price due to a bad first impression.

So what is likely to make a bad first impression?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the exterior appearance of a property ranks top as the first thing buyers will see. This is followed by the size of the property itself, then the interior decor and furnishings.

The smell of a property was the next most influential thing that could make a bad first impression, followed by the appearance of the front garden.

Making a good first impression is key and eXp UK found that for those who can, 93% of buyers would be willing to overlook other minor property imperfections.

Head of eXp UK, Adam Day, commented: “When it comes to selling your home, making a good first impression is vital if you want to entice enough interest and this has become particularly important of late, as buyer demand levels have dropped and market conditions have cooled.

"Sellers simply can’t afford to deter buyers through something as trivial as a poorly kept front garden, or the need for a lick of paint. Even if a buyer does decide to make an offer following a bad first impression, the chances are they will do so for a good chunk less than your original asking price.

"On the other hand, making a good first impression can help smooth over any other minor imperfections your home may have, so it’s well worth investing the time and effort into ensuring the key areas of your home are up to scratch.”

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