Selling your home is a much more straightforward process than purchasing one, however, the key to your sales success lies in making the right choices. The decisions you make in relation to your choice of agent, setting your sale price and the way you choose to present your home will have a major impact on whether or not you achieve a successful result.
1. Find the right agent
When you are interviewing an agent you are looking for the best person to represent and sell your home. Using an agent, rather than attempting to sell the property privately, is the fastest and most reliable way to get top dollar for your property. You want to see what skills and talents the agent has to offer and whether there is enough rapport for you to be able to work well together. It is also an opportunity to find out about the state of the market and compare different opinions and approaches to the sale process.
A professional agent will not only have an astute working knowledge of your local area, but they will be well presented and be easy to relate to. So if you don’t feel comfortable with either the expertise or the attitude of the agent, keep looking. Remember, selling your home is a joint effort so you need to feel comfortable with your agent and confident in their abilities.
Some questions to ask your agent:
- What do you think will most attract a buyer to my property?
- What improvements/alterations should I make to maximise my sale price?
- What will you do to get the best price for my property?
- What do you think my property is worth? (the agent should have a systematic approach to this with recent data and comparisons)
- What do you think is the best method of selling my property and why?
- What can you tell me about the local property market?
- What is going to cost me?
- Why should I hire you?
2. Choose your method of sale
There are three options available for selling your property:
- Auction – the auction process creates a sense of urgency where buyers must act by a certain date. They see other buyers as their competition rather than you (the seller), which can have a positive effect on driving the sale. With an auction you have the opportunity to sell before, during or after the auction date, depending on the circumstances.
- Exclusive listing – the sale is in the hands of one agency, with the appointed agent dedicated to selling the listing. An exclusive listing means you avoid the hassle, and added marketing costs, of dealing with multiple agents. Exclusive listings last for 60 days, after which you may decide not to renew the agreement if the property hasn’t sold.
- Open listing – you can choose to allow multiple agents in the local area to list and market your property, however only the agent that introduces a buyer will receive commission.
3. Marketing and advertising
- Advertising is your most powerful tool and a good agent will create a strong campaign that includes most of the following: signage; direct mail, open homes; newspaper listings/articles; website listings; magazine articles and social media presence.
- Professional photography and scriptwriter are a must for a successful marketing campaign so ensure that your agent offers you these services as part of their advertising package.
- Professional agents will offer you a personalised marketing plan with the option to add certain elements to increase exposure. The more pairs of eyes who view your listing, the more opportunity to attract the right buyer at the right price.
- By law you must be given, and agree to, an itemised marketing and advertising campaign prior to the campaign launch.
4. Set your price
- If you ask for a price estimate, the agent must provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), the minimum of which is a comparison of three relatable properties that have sold within five kilometres of the property during the past six months.
- Everyone wants to achieve top dollar for their home, but beware of overpricing as this can stagnate the selling process to the point where buyers lose interest.
- On that note, be wary of choosing an agent purely on the basis of their price estimate being the highest. This can potentially be a tactic to gain your business and can end with disappointing results.
5. Prepare your home for sale
- Spending a little time and effort refreshing your property is energy well spent. It may not necessarily increase the final sale price, but it definitely increases buyer interest.
- Take a look at your home from the street. Would you stop for an open home if you were driving past?
- Check your roof and guttering and tidy your garden. First impressions count, and buyers want to see the property as a clean slate that they can move straight in to, not an endless ‘to do’ list.
- Clean your house to an immaculate standard and hide any clutter. Unmade beds and dirty dishes can lose a sale so make the effort to get your property as close to showroom standard as you can manage.
- Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes—make them look fantastic.
- If you can afford it, carry out any minor repairs that really need doing. If the carpet is worn and stained or the paint is peeling, get it fixed. Many buyers can’t see past these minor details (or don’t want to deal with them) and you’ll more than recoup your costs at sale time.
- Avoid over-capitalising on repairs/renovations. Decide on what absolutely needs fixing and leave the rest to ensure you don’t end up out of pocket.
- If your home is particularly dated or cluttered consider hiring a home stylist to replace your furniture with showroom style pieces. It’s more affordable than you might think and can potentially increase your sale price by thousands of dollars.
6. Open homes and inspections
- Schedule these appointments at times that reflect your property in the best light. For example, if your home is cold until the afternoon sun hits then don’t schedule an open home during the morning.
- Don’t play host, it makes buyers feel as though they are intruding and they are less likely to discuss their real opinions on the property with the agent.
Good luck in your selling journey and if you have any questions that haven’t been covered here, please feel free to contact us for an obligation-free chat.