When you are getting ready to look for your new home, there is a myriad of things to think about, prepare for and to organise.
Here’s a short list of some of the things to watch for.
Starting Price Too High
There is nothing wrong with ambitious pricing. It’s okay to go for gold and try for a dream price. It’s when the dream price is too ambitious that the nightmares begin.
A property is fresh and interesting when it first hits the market. There is a golden window of opportunity for sellers. This is usually the first half of the average selling period. Let’s say the average selling time in your area is 60 days. The golden window is the first 30 days. After that, buyers are asking questions like “What’s wrong with this house?” and “Why hasn’t it sold?”
It’s essential to get your price adjusted to attract buying interest while you’re still within the golden window period. You may have already missed some good buyers but as long as you are priced right within this time, you still have a great chance to secure a top market result.
Keep in mind that competitive market pricing is the fastest way to attract multiple offers and competing buyers….and that is every sellers dream!
Rejecting a good early offer
The road to selling success is strewn with tragic stories about the buyer that got away. Many early offers are rejected by sellers because they subscribe to the myth that things are just warming up when that first offer comes up after only days on the market. It’s essential to remember that although you may have just put your property up for sale, your buyer may have been looking for months and is highly educated as to values in your area.
When you put your property on the market, your enemy is other homes for sale in your area and price range. You are all competing for that hot buyer or buyers to inspect your home and make an offer. Words and your asking price are simply not enough. Your property is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, so it’s worth the time and effort to get it looking right.
Well-presented homes create an “emotional trigger” that communicates desire in a buyer to own your home. This is because they “mentally move in” and see themselves living in your place. We’ve all done it. Check out home magazines or their websites for inspiration and ideas. Create the WOW factor and start the buzz happening about your place. Have some fun and get noticed.
Every time you see a poor quality photo of a home for sale, you see a real estate agent that doesn’t care and a home seller that doesn’t know any better. The digital image is now the most important item in your marketing checklist. A good, attractive image simply jumps off the page to a good buyer and says “Come around today and check me out, I might be just what you’re looking for”.
You can’t sell a secret. No matter how great you have your place looking. In order to generate real buyer interest you need to tell the world. Ask your agent where they are getting buyer enquiry and make sure you are featured there.
Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Choose an agent that is most suited to your requirements. Remember that agents who simply give you the highest valuation of your property or have the lowest commission fee may not be the most effective.
You require an agent who is an expert negotiator and marketer, someone who gives you a realistic property valuation and quality service.
- Choose an agent who specialises in your area and type of property. They will be familiar with what buyers are looking for and the market you are selling in
- Make sure your agent has a good sales history in your area with sale prices that are close to listing prices
- Check out the agents current listings. How many do they have in your area? Are they similar to your property? Are they presented professionally?
- Take note of the agent’s presentation and professionalism
- It should be easy for a potential buyer to contact your real estate agent, ask questions and view your property. If you find it difficult to reach your agent, or your agent doesn’t return your calls, a buyer may find it difficult too.
- Do your own research on the current state of the market, so you have an idea of what your property is worth.
Above all….Trust your gut feeling – your agent needs to be someone you can get along with and that you trust.
Preparing your home for Sale Checklist
Presenting your home in the best possible way can make a big difference. Aim to create a strong positive impression. Taking a simple approach can achieve a great deal.
Look at your entire home with fresh eyes. It is easy to overlook familiar objects that can detract from your home’s presentation.
You need to create a home where buyers can see themselves living there. This involves removing items that stamp your home as yours. Pack away personal items like photographs, trophies and toys. This creates an emotionally neutral area as well as adding to space.
You are trying to make your home attractive to a wide range of prospective purchasers, so now is not a time for expressing your personal identity. Sticking to a single light neutral colour throughout creates a sense of “flow” and space. Add style and splashes of colour with co-ordinating items such as a throw rug, a vase of flowers or a few elegant scatter cushions.
Improve your landscaping
Curb appeal is crucial to a good first impression, so make sure your home’s lawn is immaculate. Mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and plant flowers. Plants and pots will add life and style to your garden and outdoor areas. Stick to one type of pot and colour tone.
Clean the outside
Be sure to clean the gutters, windows, repair/replace damaged fly screens. Pressure clean pathways and driveway. Take care of major defects like broken windows. Replace faded house numbers, check letterbox, if it’s rusty replace.
Clean thoroughly – consider professional cleaning.
Clean the walls, floors, skirting and marks on the carpet and around light switches, light, and ceiling fans. Make every surface shine
Air freshen if necessary
Steam clean carpets, polish wood floors
Lounge – Less is more – it is essential to create a good impression.
A minimal approach will always look cleaner and more importantly, spacious. Make sure the entire room is spotless and free from clutter. Particularly look at the top of the entertainment area and bookshelves. Make sure everything is free from dust and cords are neatly out of sight. Flowers will liven the appearance of the room. Choose colours that complement and aim for a single type of bloom.
Kitchen – The heart of your home, a kitchen should be clean, warm and inviting
Clean the entire kitchen with special attention given to food preparation areas; the sink, oven and grill. Have all chrome appliances working, sparkling and free from drips.
Make sure all open food products are stored out of sight.
Clean cupboards and shelves thoroughly and arrange goods neatly.
Display a simple bowl of fresh fruit of the same kind i.e. all oranges, or green apples or a single bottle of gourmet produce to create a stylish, relaxed tone to your kitchen.
Bedroom – Create an ambience of serenity and space
It is absolutely essential you have clean fresh linen. Single colours and simple patterns create a calm tone. Add accents of colour with a luxury blanket, throw rug or collection of cushions.
Neatly organise then keep all drawers and wardrobe doors closed.
Keep bedside tables clear of bric-a-brac and personal items.
Make sure light shades are spotlessly clean and bulbs are working and free from dust.
Bathroom – A light and bright hygienic space will appeal to buyers
If mildew is evident, clean and remove.
Air the room thoroughly prior to inspections.
A lightly scented room atomiser can make your bathroom smell fresh and inviting
Make sure all windows and mirrors are spotlessly clean and shower screens are mould free and streak free.
Consider replacing old shower curtains with a simple high quality curtain in solid white to maximise light and space.
Ensure all taps are clean and not leaking.
Check plugs are clean
Remove all personal items such as hair accessories and toiletries
Check for stray hairs and dust.
Soap should be in a liquid soap dispenser or unused in a soap tray.
Fold fresh towels in a uniform colour over the towel rail.
A few lightly rolled hand towels in a clean basket or on an open shelf can add colour and style to a room.
Ensure toilet tissue is fresh and neat.
Make sure stainless steel toilet roll holder and toilet brush holder are clean and shiny.
Laundry – The cleaning centre
Clean thoroughly all shelves, drawers, cupboards, washing machine, dryer and sink.
Clean light shade, light globe.
Clean tiles, grout, and repair if required.
Remove clutter from shelves.
Make sure every surface sparkles.
Garage – Your storage hub
Clean oil spills
Remove old items
Why Use a Real Estate Agent
When you list your property with a real estate agent they will manage the marketing and sale of your property from advertising to handing over the keys.
A good real estate agent will:-
- Know the market and the sales history in the area – they are experts in their field
- Use their experience and knowledge to make recommendations
- Inform you of your sales options and recommend a strategy (private treaty, etc.)
- Advise on a realistic asking price
- Organise advertising and marketing – the top internet sites usually only accept listings from real estate agents to ensure quality
- Advise on home presentation
- Arrange home opens and other viewings
- Find potential buyers for you
- Communicate with you regularly
- Be available to potential buyers
- Negotiate with potential buyers to get you the best price
- Present all offers to you
- Assist in organising the contract for sale
- Keep you informed of any issues that may arise, including results of building and pest inspections, and further requirements
- Give you legal protection
- Save you time