Our Guide To Selling
We are happy to share our experience with you and below are a few common tips on how to maximize your chances of the finest possible result when selling your property.
Clear the clutter
Most of us collect many treasured belongings during our lifetime so it is not surprising that when it comes time to sell there are too many belongings in our homes to be able to display the property at its best.
We suggest clearing your home of these unnecessary items.
Start at one end of the home with three boxes. Mark box one for charity, box two - items to be reassigned to the shed until the property is sold and box 3 - the bin (and be ruthless). Beginning in one room, locate anything you really haven't needed or even looked at into either box one or box three, the other items you do not need but really want to keep into box two for future post sale use. Work through the room ensuring clothes in wardrobes are hung neatly, i.e. shirts with shirts, pants with pants. Use a shoe storage unit to get clutter off the floor and ensure your folded items are neat and tidy.
Keep working around the house using the box system. In bathrooms try to display matching towels, hand towels etc., and consider displaying a matching set for inspections or open houses, and match these to other items displayed in the bathroom. Remove perfumes and make up etc. from bench tops.
The kitchen is one of the hardest places to present well. We suggest to put away anything you do not use more than once a day leaving a clear, clean bench space.
If rooms are small this feeling is enhanced by large bulky furniture or lots of varied pieces; reduce the number of items as much as possible. Try to view the room through a buyers eyes - what are they most likely to use the room as? and furnish it accordingly.
Have a close look at the rooms - do they appear dark at certain times during the day? Advise the agent of this and consider whether it is worth painting the room a lighter colour.
Remember to keep lawns mowed and hedges clipped; feel rest assured presentation is everything when selling, the extra effort you go to here will translate into a higher, quicker sale price in the future.
How to present for an inspection
Here is a small check list when presenting your property for inspection.
First impressions are everything
View your home upon entry as a buyer would. Is it neat, tidy, inviting, does it need a splash of colour? Are the lawns tidy, have toys been put away, are there oil stains on drive ways, gardening equipment left out, is the pool cleaner still in the pool, is the automatic watering scheduled to come on during the inspection?
Have all the little things been done? Are the rollers on sliding doors working? Are there loose door knobs, peeling paint or scuff marks? Does the door bell or intercom work? Are the towel rails and taps etc. tight? Are there any leaks that need attention? Are the decks well oiled and the pavers clean and weeded? We have our own maintenance team that look after our 200 rental properties, please contact our office for a competitive price to ensure everything is up to standard. Buyers are far more enthusiastic about a property that has been well looked after.
Make it shine
Turn on attractive lamps that set a mood and switch the lights on in the bathrooms and kitchen to make the surfaces shine. Ensure that curtains are pinned well back and blinds are open. If you have feature lighting in nooks, pelmets or display cabinets light them up and show off the property in all its glory.
Smokers and pet owners
Nothing has a buyer turning on their heels quicker than bad odour from pets or stale air from smoking. Use room deodorizers or bake bread and brew coffee; this definitely enhances the experience the buyer has when viewing your home. Ensure pets are not underfoot, or better still, remove them and their bedding etc. from the property during inspections.
There's no need to spend a fortune
A fresh coat of paint and new carpet can certainly make the difference to a tired property, but remember this doesn't translate to a higher sale price in every instance. At the least it can prove to be the difference between achieving a sale and no sale at all. Do not spend big money if you decide to renovate a kitchen or anything else, do your homework. What you like may not be what the buyer likes and that money is wasted.
And no, pools do not always add value to a property however they do generally increase the saleability of a property.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
It is always better that an owner is not present during a showing of a property. Buyers want to be able to peruse the property without feeling they are intruding. If you have chosen well, your agent will be able to point out the benefits of your property and can better emphasize the features if you are not there. A buyer does not need the kitchen pointed out to them; most buyers know what they look like. The best time to secure a good offer from a buyer is while they are in the property and this generally will not happen if the owner is present.
Advertising - yes it works!
It is not uncommon for sellers to think their property doesn't need advertising. In some instances properties will sell quite readily without advertising, but every time I cannot help but think, what higher price could have been achieved had more competitive buyers known about the property though advertising.
We know exactly where to advertise your property but these mediums can change depending on the type of property it is, its location and where the buyers for that type of property come from. Most advertising mediums have the sole purpose of gaining the buyers interest. At this point one of two things commonly happen.
The buyer calls the agent for further details or to gain an inspection
The buyer goes home to their computer and looks the property up on the internet to gain further information before contacting the agent.
The second option is becoming increasingly the way people like to buy property. The other advertising mediums are vital to capture the buyers interest but the internet cements the interest and goes some way to ensuring a better qualified purchaser. We have recognized this long ago and now spend huge budgets on web optimization, pay per click positioning on major search engines and the finest standard of listings on Australia's biggest property websites. Statistics support our approach as 70% of buyers use the internet to search for a property to purchase. The internet is wide ranging, convenient and allows the purchaser to remain anonymous until they are ready to view their selected properties.
The World Wide Web
If you are about to become a home seller, it's worth assessing your agent's website as well as their street presence before signing on the dotted line. More and more purchasers are making their first contact with properties for sale on the internet.
Websites that get repeat visits get users to the information they want fast. Time is relative and in the Information Technology universe, seconds can seem like a long time.
Potential purchasers should be able to get comprehensive details about every listing on an agents website; users have high expectations of what it can do for them.
The more informed buyers are before they make an appointment to inspect, the fewer inspections they need before they are ready to buy. That means less wear and tear on carpets and above all less time spent presenting your house in pristine condition.
At the same time watch out for information overload; 70% of the content of websites doesn't get read. Make sure your potential buyers don't have to wade through lots of irrelevant website padding which is little more than agent's self-promotion.
Above all, make sure your purchasers can stay anonymous until they choose to reveal themselves. There's nothing more likely to annoy purchasers into clicking away from a website than being required to give contact details or email addresses in exchange for information. Purchasers may decide to give their email address if it means they will get updated information more quickly in the future, but they resent the implication that they are trading their anonymity for information that should be there on the website for all to access.
Should I list Exclusive
Many vendors think that the best way to market their property is to list it with as many agents as possible. The logic is simple, more agents = more exposure. Correct? Not at all.
Listing with lots of agents sounds good in theory, but in practice it doesn't result in a faster sale or a higher price. A lot of agents from several different companies, each with their own style of doing things and all doing a little each, doesn't add up to the professional marketing that results when one agent is fully engaged and accountable.
Good agents can't afford to spend time and money coordinating a tailor-made marketing program if the property could end up being sold by another agent. It makes more sense to put the effort into their exclusive listings and end up with a win/win situation for everyone concerned.
Many vendors report that after unsuccessful experiences with open listings they realise that they are better off with an exclusive agency with a professional, active agent. In the case of open listings, sales occur more by good luck than good management and no one is ultimately accountable.
When you list with one agent, you select for accountability and professionalism at every level of marketing. Most vendors want the agent who will get them the highest price without undue stress and in a reasonable time frame, and rightly so.
But intending vendors should remember that the agent who offers to put the highest price on your property is not necessarily the one with the expertise to achieve the best price.
In the long run, the best agent for the job will be the one with the best reputation in your local area. You probably already know who they are.
Many sellers think they should entrust the sale of their property to the real estate agent that puts the highest value on it. Often these agents are not the best to list with, as owners soon find out once the selling process begins with little action.
Agents are now required to provide a current market assessment when listing property; illustrating how they arrived at their price and what comparable sales and other facts they have derived their estimate from. Study this information and ask questions - if possible drive past or make enquiries about the properties listed. Ensure the sales quoted are fair comparisons and that your property can compete against similarly priced property in the current market place.
Those who have been through the process of selling their home say it pays to do your homework before calling an agent in. They recommend that prospective sellers talk to people whose opinions they respect who have recently sold in the area. Word of mouth is the best source of current information about local real estate agents, doctors or any other practitioners.
Once you have made your choice, ask the agent for a written submission so that you can make your own judgment. Look for level of service, commitment to feedback during the marketing program and the flexibility to tailor advertising and expenses to suit your aims and needs.
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