Agent Resources

How to tell a vendor they don't have a

“Your property isn’t pretty”: smart but sensitive ways to tell your vendor

Properties come in all shapes and sizes, designs and tastes, but occasionally a property crops up that is next to unsellable. It may not have structural damage, decay, or any genuinely serious issues, but in your experienced eye, you are certain that it will struggle to attract buyers. Fortunately, little changes to lighting, decor, and furniture can sometimes be as striking and effective as an expensive refurbishment or decoration. It is important to clearly assess what you think might cause obstacles to selling and then come up with workable solutions.

Without getting carried away by the task in hand, it is first important to intelligently, and sensitively, communicate with your vendor.

Start small

Presenting anyone with an enormous task that must be done quickly is likely to fail. They can rapidly become confused, overwhelmed, and even irritable when presented with something they had not even considered a problem. Instead of stating that the house may need an overhaul, begin with small and sincere questions. Are there aspects of the house that they have considered changing, for example? What do they feel are their property’s strengths and weaknesses when selling? Do they themselves find anything off-putting about the house? Establishing how willing they are to change can be crucial for knowing how much or how little to suggest and whether to introduce changes slowly or rapidly. Starting with a particular room or even an item of furniture such as a rug, sofa, or wallpaper can provide a good way in. By asking the vendors for their own opinion on whether they like, dislike, or would consider changing aspects of the house, it feels like the criticism is coming from them rather than at them.

Present objectively

Try to use language that does not suggest anything is against your personal taste. You are thinking only of the buyers and how to maximise your vendor’s house selling price. “Buyers really go for…” or “Buyers are attracted to…” can be a more positive way to introduce changes than, “I think that you should…” or “I am not keen on…” Attaching observations firmly onto the buyers keeps things professional, accurate, and ensures that there is no atmosphere of a personal attack on what might be beloved decor. Emphasise the positive outcomes that other buyers have had through changing certain things, and the vendor will make the connection themselves.

Offer general solutions

In the same spirit of ensuring comments are not taken personally, offer general solutions to what you see as problems. A room can appear fresher and more spacious with improved lighting, for example. A beautiful fragrance when entering the home has proved effective for previous sellers. Whatever you suggest, try to naturally emphasise the changes that others have made and the successful outcomes they have experienced. You should be clear in your own mind about what you feel the issues are, but then suggest solutions in a sensitive and general way.


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