Even in a “hot property market” a home which is overpriced can take many months to sell, and eventually will go stale. Too often the Vendor may be lured into a trap by an Agent over estimating the true market value of your home, If the sales appraisal sounds too good to be true its more than likely that the Real Estate Agent is trying to buy your business. By the time you may realize this it may be too late because you are now locked into a 90 day agreement, If the Agent has gotten this figure wrong from the beginning they will begin to start pressurizing you to reduce your price.
The best period to have your home sold for its highest price is generally within the first 30 days. During this period it will be attracting the most views from online advertising, higher attendance at open homes and the best chance of multiple offers.
There are many methods of listing your home for sale such as Auction, Price range, Set price or Preview/expressions of interest. I don’t believe any method is ever right or wrong, it all depends on the skills of the listing agent, the location of the property and demographic of the buyer as to which method will suit best.
The Selling Agent
At the time of the Sales presentation asking the sales agent a few extra quick questions will determine whether they are going to be working in your best interest to secure you the highest price possible.
- How busy are they? If they are already juggling many listings they may not have the man power to do open homes every weekend or be available to arrange private inspections through the week. Find out whether you will be dealing exclusively with one agent.
- How do they handle offers? A good agent will continue to contact inquiries and conduct open homes right up until a contract exchanges. A big mistake which agents make is when they place a property as UNDER OFFER online before the contract exchanges and they stop doing open homes. Placing a property as under offer will deter other potential buyers from wanting to inquire who may be willing to offer more than your current offer. Although it’s not very common but even a good offer may fall through, that’s why it can help to have a second offer to fall back on.
- Conduct a mystery shop on the Agent. This may include going along to a few of their open homes to see how they operate and interact amongst buyers. This will show how good they will be at the negotiation stage. Monitor how long it takes them to respond to your inquiry as a buyer and how available they make themselves. Every inquiry counts just as much as the next one, that inquiry they didn’t respond to could have been a buyer willing to pay top dollar on your property.
How a property has been advertised can play a huge role in the amount of inquiries you may attract. Generally the properties which have been on the market for an extended time are either overpriced or are poorly advertised.
I often see many listings which sit online with no photos, no address and no price, and wonder how is this working in the Vendors best interest. If an address is not supplied that means the agent can’t advertise an open home for a Saturday inspection. Buyers can also be very reluctant wanting to inquire on a property without a price guide in the fear of being misled.
Professional photography is an important part in marketing your property to attract as many views as possible. First impressions last, If there are no images to view your buyer may scroll past to the next listing. And if the first images the buyers see online are poor quality, dark with no lights turned on or windows open it could give them the impression that the home is poorly lit and does not receive natural light.
There are many advertising packages available online, depending on which level you choose can set the position on how large your ad will appear and whether it is at the top of the page or on page 2 or 3. By investing money into a more comprehensive advertising package you will be giving your property the best chance to stand out amongst the competition. In return this should convert to a higher attendance at open homes, attract more views online, and hopefully lead to a successful result in the first 4-6 weeks.
Be sure to ask the selling agent at the appraisal what your advertising package will include and ask to be shown examples of how your property will be marketed.
This area will re cap on many points from a previous article about 10 tips for styling your home.
Whether selling your home vacant, tenanted, owner occupied or a deceased estate, generally a well styled home will sell in a quicker time frame and for a higher figure.
The most important part of the styling process is de-cluttering your home by taking away any of the loose clutter and just keeping the bare necessities with some key furniture pieces, some nice artwork and lamps for extra lighting.
If you are selling a home vacant it is worth considering your options into whether to sell vacant or have the home staged. The cost of this service can start at around $2000 for a 2 bedroom property, and in most cases styled homes sell for more than a vacant home would and in less time.
An owner occupier will be able to save some money by utilising their own furniture and doing the styling themselves. I recommend it’s still a good idea to have a 3rd party to come in to provide a second opinion.
Selling vacant or tenanted
When an investment property is being sold the main question which arises is whether or not to keep the tenant in the property or sell vacant. There is a good chance that the tenant will make this decision easy and vacate once finding out the property is being sold.
A very important factor to consider is the cost difference of having a property vacant not collecting any rental income and including any stylist cost, as apposed to keeping a tenant who may be looking after the property and have it presented well for sale.
If the property becomes vacant this allows you easier access to conduct open homes and to rectify any maintenance issues before listing.
Selling with a bad tenant could end up costing you money, if the property isn’t presented well it might sell for a lower price. Arranging access for inspections can often become difficult working around the tenant, and on some rare occasions a bitter tenant may tarnish the property to potential buyers to prevent them buying the property.