Selling your home is a very big job. It’s so much more than putting a sign out the front and listing on the internet for sale. Following are some tips that may help you get ready for selling and help you achieve the very best price you can.
- 1. Understand your market
This requires a little bit of research but is well worth doing. You need to actively research what is currently for sale in your area and more importantly look at homes that are similar to yours. Whilst you can do this on your own engaging a quality real estate agent will help make the job easier. Our sales people conduct extensive searches on sales history and comparisons. They also have up-to-date market data. This will help you understand what’s happening in any given market. Once you have an understanding you will be better equipped to set a price for the market.
And whatever you do, don’t look at what price properties are for sale for. It’s what they have sold for that matters most.
- 2. Remove personal clutter
Once you have decided to sell you need to do a spring clean…. And then do another one! Personal clutter has a way of making homes look not only messy but also un-inviting and less spacious. We all have bits and pieces laying around the kitchen, old bills stuck to the fridge, possibly kid’s toys in the lounge, pets gear etc… and we all have that room that’s full of junk.
Before you engage an agent to come and appraise your home you should be having a big clear out. You want the agent to see your home in its best possible light so they can appraise it properly. After you have listed you need to keep the house tidy and clutter free. This is the hardest part but it is most important. You want to be ready at any moment for an inspection from a prospective buyer.
- 3. Add value with cosmetic changes
You need to do an assessment of your home. Where can you let more light in? What could do with a lick of paint? How can we make a particular room more inviting?
It may be as simple as re-arranging furniture or replacing a blind but it could also require a bit more work like painting or carpeting or even some new furniture. Whilst your budget may not allow for much in the way of renovations you would be surprised how much a quick lick of paint, a tidy up and re-arrangement (or removal) of furniture can improve the desirability and therefore potential value of your home.
Take the time to do an assessment and see what you might be able to change.
- 4. Storage is a big deal
How much storage does your home have?
Do you have built-ins in every room? How much linen cupboard space do you have?
You need to assess this and see what can be done. You may need to empty some cupboard space that is currently full of junk. Or maybe you need to install some extra cupboards. Maybe there’s room in your roof that can be converted into a storage solution.
Whatever the case is and whatever your budget allows you need to consider your home’s storage options because storage is a huge thing for buyers. Buyers love lots of storage.
- 5. Outside is So So important
The exterior of your home and its gardens is the “face” of your home. It’s what buyers first see when they drive by and its often the difference between buyers keeping you on their list and crossing you off it. Yes, that’s right, buyers have lists and they’re generally looking at several houses at any given time.
- Tidy the garden including weeding
- Trim hedges and prune trees
- Plant new trees if needed
- Keep the lawns mowed and tidy
- Deal with dog poo
- Maintain the garden once done
- Wash cladding if required
- Clean windows regularly
- Keep driveway clear of leaves and mess
- Paint if required
- Change front door if the one you have is old
- Fix or replace old or broken letterboxes
- Keep gutters clean
- Fix, paint or replace any old or damaged front fencing
- Pay special attention to the front yard
- Tidy, upgrade or create any outdoor entertaining areas
- 6. The main rooms to focus on
This goes without saying. Get it looking as good as you possibly can because buyers place a lot of weight on how good/bad the kitchen is. A messy, dark, awkward kitchen will literally kill a deal. If you can’t afford to spend much on it that’s ok. A big de-clutter and fitting of new door handles etc can do wonders. Maybe get a new toaster and kettle to add a modern feel. And take all the fridge magnets and bills off the fridge!
Keep your bathrooms modern and clean. If they aren’t modern keep them clean and decorate as nicely as you possibly can. Nobody likes old, dirty bathrooms. Make yours as light and bright as possible. Buyers love baths also. If you don’t have one consider installing one. If you can’t it’s ok.
Buyers love cupboards in bedrooms. A bedroom without cupboards gives buyers an excuse to offer lower, or to walk away. If you can’t afford to put built-ins in buy a modern looking cupboard and make it part of the sale if need be. Tidy, keep them tidy too so that means any teenagers better be on cleaning duty!
- Garages and sheds
A house with a double garage and a separate shed is highly sought after. Not all of us have that but we can make what we do have look and feel better. If you have a single garage make the other parking options at your home as secure and sheltered as possible. Keep garden sheds tidy and clutter free. Get the tools packed away and the junk sorted out.
Don’t have a shed? Don’t panic its ok. Get the garage looking as good as you can, maybe installing a small work bench if there’s room to show that there’s potential for those who like to tinker.
- 7. Listen to your agent
You must listen to the advice your agent gives you. A good agent will not tell you what you want to hear, they will tell you what you must hear in order to help you get your home sold. Sometimes what you must hear will be in line with your thinking. Other times it will not.
Don’t panic. Listen and really accept what the agent is saying. The agent is going to have a much better idea of what property is worth simply because it’s their job and it’s what they do every day and it’s why you got them in to see you in the first place.
- 8. Price your home properly
We all want as much as we can get for our home when we are selling it. Just like we all wanted to pay as little as possible when we were buying it.
Sellers want more buyers want less. It’s how it works.
Again, this is where skilled negotiation by a professional is required. But what about before there’s any buyers? It’s so important to set a price that isn’t so high that you turn everyone away and isn’t so low that you under sell. Sometimes it’s hard to know what that number is and your agent will help you determine that. Listen to them and set a price that is competitive.
You cannot go into the selling process with a price $20,000 higher than all the other homes like yours in the market thinking “somebody can always make an offer”. The reality?… nobody will make an offer and you will be left on the shelf while all the other homes like yours that were $20,000 less sell. This is the biggest mistake sellers can make. Listen to your agent and list sensibly or don’t list at all.
- 9. Be prepared to negotiate
Markets are changing all the time. They even change from the day a property is listed till the day it is sold. You must be prepared to negotiate. If a buyer makes an offer that is well below what you want don’t angrily fob it off. You don’t have to accept it but you can work with it. This is where a skilled agent comes into their own. The agent will give you advice that you should be prepared to listen to. You aren’t obligated to take all the advice but you should be flexible and listen to it…. And always be prepared to negotiate.
- 10. Trust your agent and work with them
Selling your home can be stressful. It can be difficult at times and sometimes downright frustrating. We understand because we see it every day.
When low offers come in, or no offers. When you’re haggling with a stubborn buyer. When your agent wants to discuss pricing. When your agent advises you on the market conditions. When it feels like it’s been going on too long do one thing……
TRUST YOUR AGENT
You employed them to perform a task. You must trust their advice and work with them. Sometimes the advice is going to be difficult to take but you must trust it nonetheless. Our sales people are skilled and well trained negotiators. They are in this with you and need to work with you to get you sold. This is a team effort built on trust and nobody in that team gets paid until the house is sold.