To help sellers better understand what buyers are paying attention to, a recent poll was released by the Ontario Real Estate Association. Conducting the survey, Ipsos Reid interviewed potential buyers likely to purchase within the next 2 years. The question asked: “How much of an impact would each of the following factors have on your decision to want to see more of a home?”
The poll targeted 9 different aspects that would influence a buyer to want to see a home and the results indicate varying degrees of impact. Here is a rundown of the top 5:
- Price: not surprisingly price was noted as having the biggest impact of whether to see a home. 75% said price has a big impact; 19% said some impact; 3% not sure and 3% said no impact. Experience has supported this finding. The largest number of people would not look at a home they determine to be overpriced and for most, reviewing listings on the internet or even the newspaper is a process of elimination; price is a big eliminator. Regardless of market conditions, there are always homes that linger and don’t sell because of overpricing.
- Features: 56% of Ontarians say that features stated in the listing have a big impact on whether to view a home. Yet of the 44% remaining, 32% say features have only some influence and for the rest little or no influence.
- Curb Appeal: surprisingly curb appeal revealed varying levels of impact. Only 41% say curb appeal has a big impact; 47% say some and 10% say small impact. This is interesting given the affect curb appeal’s can have on value and can cause buyers to drive away before entering an open house or park and go inside.
- Photography: for exterior photos, 46% of buyers are highly influenced and 41% somewhat influenced. For interior photos, there is a big impact on 55% of potential buyers and some impact on 32%. The impact of photos hovers between 87% and 88% for most buyers. Though enhancement of the photos can attract a buyer to see the home, it can also create a false expectation and disappointment once the home is viewed.
- Description: The numbers here are less dramatic; only 38% of buyers say that the home’s listing description has a big impact on deciding to see it. A larger percentage, 48% say some impact and 11% claim it has a small impact. The description is subjective and therefore dependent on how the listing salesperson describes the home and/or how the seller wants it written. Exaggeration here can also create a false expectation and more disappointment. Setting the right expectation is important to creating a positive outlook.
To a lesser degree, the other 4 impactful features are: being close to a major road, neighbourhood demographics (age distribution and household income), transit service and being close to a highway.