There is nothing more exhilarating than being fueled with anticipation. The satisfaction of finally having your expectations met and even exceeded, makes you feel so complete! Unfortunately, there is nothing more deflating than the let-down of un-met anticipation. So where do your listings fit in this spectrum?? Do you over promise and under deliver or do you peak their interest with a hint of promise, and then over deliver?
Last fall we were looking for a new cottage. I scoured all the listings and narrowed down my search and was so incredibly excited about one listing I literally counted the days until we could see it! I had thought it was just what we were looking for – until I saw it! You cannot imagine my level of disappointment and frustration when my husband saw it and said no way! It had very low ceilings, which made the rooms feel very small. The photos were taken with a wide angle lens making the rooms appear much larger than they were. There were significant maintenance issues that needed to be addressed that just were not evident in the photos and costly repairs. It was waterfront – but so far back from the water you couldn’t even see the water from the house! We had come prepared to spend in the top range of the asking price for a cottage that required little to no work. We found a cottage needing quite a bit of work asking top dollar! I left so disappointed I wanted to stop looking! The photos and the listing info had built my expectations up and the property just couldn’t compare! It over promised and under delivered.
Then we saw the cottage we purchased. It didn’t look like anything special in the photos – in fact, it looked like it needed work. I was not in the least bit excited to see it and almost didn’t get out of the car! We really didn’t want another “project”. Since I’m a Designer and my husband owns a Renovation Company – work didn’t scare us, we just wanted a place we could relax. We had decided we wanted to pay more for something in great condition so we could just enjoy it. We would rather just not work on a cottage on our weekends off! ….Then we saw it! The room sizes were much larger than they appeared in the photos. The layout of the cottage was almost exactly the same as our old cottage – open concept with high vaulted ceilings and lots of windows – only it was much larger than our old one! It had beautiful water views from almost every room in the house! The lot was huge and private with twice the water frontage of the one I “loved”! The price was exactly as it should be for the condition. Basically, the listing under promised and the property over delivered! We saw tremendous potential in this neglected home. We bought it that day and decided the location, price and condition justified the work and we agreed we would spend the first year doing the major upgrades we wanted. They are almost all complete – and from now on we just pick a project for the coming year and sit back and enjoy!
How our expectations come into play in our home search has a huge impact on how we perceive a property. Take accurate photos that truly depict the space. Stand at the far end of the room but don’t use a wide angle lens that makes the room appear twice the size it actually is. If it is truly well maintained and immaculate then say so. But don’t give the impression that a property is in A-1 condition if it is not – most buyers just don’t appreciate it. If they are looking for something in top condition and willing to pay more for something in top condition – that is exactly what they want to spend their time looking at. Many will find themselves annoyed at having their time wasted by a misleading listing. Price the property fairly for its condition. Almost all Home Sellers are also Buyers. I often hear their feedback on their home search and the most common complaint are properties that are priced too high for their condition when compared to other properties of similar cost! If your vendor wants that premium list price, then try to convince them to spend the time and if necessary, the money, to bring the property into similar or equivalent condition to other comps in that price range. At the bare minimum, you should be delivering what you promise. If you can draw them in with a hint of promise, then really wow them once they come in by having a property that over delivers, then you’ve got them sold… Hook, line and sinker!
Well off to the cottage for a quiet weekend!