Home-owners frequently assume their property is worth more than it really is. If you want to sell in a sensible time frame and not have your home languishing on the market for ages with no viewings, it’s important to listen to your sales agent’s advice. They’re seeing properties day in and day out and can compare yours to others sold in the area or to data which shows local trends and market dynamics.
Unrealistic prices cause prospective buyers to lose interest before even inspecting the home. For these reasons overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, more often than not at a lower price than a sensibly-priced home.
Price your property competitively to other similar homes in your area, and you’ll spark interest which could lead to multiple offers and potentially, a higher sales price.
When the buyer pulls up in the car to inspect your home their first impressions are crucial – they can make or break the sale. Bushes should be trimmed, lawn mowed and leaves blown away. Freshen up tired paintwork, clean the windows and banish bikes and bins. The property should look welcoming and ready to move into from the outside, with that essential “buy me” look.
If you’ve been living in the property for some time and love it to bits, you could be forgiven for thinking that prospective buyers will feel the same – they won’t. What’s comfortable for you could appear messy for potential buyers. The majority of buyers want a home they can move straight into, so the appearance of a unkept home will put buyers off.
Before you begin your pre-sale preparation, visit open houses in the area to get a feel for what’s an acceptable level of presentation and it will give you an idea of what improvements are needed.
The interior should be bright and welcoming. Besides carrying out minor repairs, ensure the house is well presented: store toys, personal paperwork, bathroom toiletries, kitchen gadgets and any objects which clutter the home. Clean and polish appliances, countertops, showers, sinks, cabinets, windows and glass doors till they sparkle. Repair leaky taps and showers and get the carpets professionally cleaned. And be mindful of the smell of the house – banish anything that doesn’t smell of coffee or freshly baked cake.
If you’re worried about the expense involved, think of it this way: you’ll probably lose more money or time if your house isn’t well-presented as you may be forced to accept a lower offer due to lack of buyer interest. So by investing in some minor repairs you’ll enhance the property’s value, resulting in a quicker sale and a better offer.
Your property may be just what a buyer wants – but not all buyers are able to afford their dream property. So before accepting an offer, ensure the potential buyer is pre-qualified for a loan, not just pre-approved. Today’s lending standards are tougher than before and you don’t want to take a risk with a buyer whose finance falls through. Also, don’t compare offers based solely on price – consider the buyer’s circumstances such as if they still have to sell their own home or the size of their deposit.
In today’s market a glossy brochure and advertising in the local newspaper alone doesn’t cut it. Consider this: 90 per cent of buyers today start their home searches on the internet, so it’s important to have an impressive online presence – a listing with plenty of high-quality photos, walk-through video, accurate and well thought-out descriptions which sell the dream, and easy-to-read floor plans. The more exposure your home gets, the better. By combining traditional advertising techniques with internet, and social media marketing, you’ll be giving your property the best possible chance to get it seen by as many buyers as possible.
Choosing an inexperienced estate agent could mean the difference between a sale or no sale. The inexperienced one gives poor pricing advice, leaving the vendor with an unrealistic price expectation and buyers looking at more competitively-priced properties. An experienced agent usually costs the same but with the benefit of getting their client a higher price through more skilled negotiation techniques. Not much of a decision, is it?
Property owners may feel they could make substantial savings by avoiding agent commissions. But selling residential properties requires a high level of skill and experience and there’s an overwhelming amount of work involved in the selling process. The paperwork, marketing and open house inspections can be daunting, with the entire process physically and emotionally impacting on health, work and family relationships.
Having invested a substantial amount in preparing a property for sale, owners often set an expectation of the lowest amount they would consider, and completely reject lower offers.
But beware – buyers sometimes test the market and may deliberately submit a low offer. Instead of rejecting the offer outright, a better option is to make a counter offer. If the buyer is serious, they may be willing to negotiate, and a sale could result. If not, nothing has been lost.
Find out the value of other homes in the area and what they sold for. There are various websites which provide suburb profiles, and which explain supply and demand in your area as well as providing sales data and market swings and trends. This is invaluable in building up a profile of your own expectations of your sale.
While spring is a busy time for selling properties, it doesn’t mean you have to wait until the daffodils are up to get the best price for your home. There are always people needing to buy after renting, or coming into Sydney from interstate or abroad. There’s also less competition during the “off-season,” which improves your chance of selling at a higher price.