There are a number of things to consider before putting your property on the market inluding choosing a method of sale, determining a price and how to market your property to the right buyer.
Every homeseller wants to know:
1. How much is our property worth?
2. How long will it take to sell?
This guide is an open-book, full of transparent information and data to arm you with confidence before speaking to any real estate agent. If you’ve already chosen an agent, use this information to arm yourself with sufficient knowledge to question, challenge, negotiate and hold your agent accountable for producing the best possible outcome.
Before It Hits The Market
If you’re considering selling a property, it’s important to take all the necessary steps to maximize its appeal.
1/ Choose a method of sale.
There are three common ways to sell real estate in Australia.
A. Private treaty – The property is listed and sold to the highest bidder amongst interested buyers.
B. Auction – The property is listed for sale, usually with a fixed reserve price which the home is to be sold under. The property is then put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder.
C. Expressions of interest – the property is advertised and a short deadline is set in which anyone can make an offer for the property. The most favorable offer is then accepted.
2/ Determine a price.
There’s a yin and yang when it comes to pricing – too much and you could see the quality of potential buyers decline or perhaps even lose all potential bidders, but too little could see a bidding frenzy in which you could end up with offers below market values just so high bidders can beat out other bidders.
3/ Determine the best way to market your property.
With internet access and active real estate agents in your local marketplace there are many ways to reach potential buyers so make sure you think about how you want your property marketed before signing any contracts.
Preparing Your Home For The Market
Before arriving on the market, your property needs to be in tip-top shape. Here’s how to do just that.
1/ Curb appeal.
It may sound cliché, but before anyone can make it past your front door they’ll first notice what your property looks like from the outside. Therefore, it’s important to keep your entry way, front yard/lawn and gate-way looking clean and maintained. Pay special attention to cracks in the sidewalk and driveway, hanging gutters, a broken window or a crooked mailbox. All of these can detract from your property’s appearance.
2/ Make sure it’s clean.
This is a no-brainer. Whether it’s a renovator’s delight or a property you’re selling at market value, a buyer walking into a messy home will be put off instantly. Take a good look around and make sure you spend some time cleaning.
3/ Update your home.
If you are in the midst of preparing your home for sale, try to be strategic about renovations so your home looks fresh to buyers. If you’re planning on selling a property in the near future, do a clean and simple renovation that will give potential buyers the idea that you’ll continue to improve the home if it’s purchased.
4/ Make it energy-efficient.
The most up-to-date homes are not only beautiful, cozy and appealing to the eye, they’re also environmentally friendly. Pay special attention to lighting, heating and cooling systems and appliances. If you’re looking to sell in the near future, consider installing solar panels on your home’s roof or just general home improvements that will increase your investment’s appeal to both you and potential buyers.
5/ Stage your property.
Not a lot of people know about this, but one of the best ways to get the most money from your home is to stage it with all of your personal belongings put away. A home that is staged will appear larger and cleaner so you’ll end up with more interest from potential buyers and you could even sell for a higher price.
6/ Update your yard and patio.
If you spend a little time getting your front yard and patio in tip-top shape you’ll be surprised at just how much it will help your home’s curb appeal. Clear your yard of weeds and overgrown bushes and trim your hedges to make your yard look neat and well-tended. If you have a patio, make sure to clean up any spills and wash down your patio furniture.
Out And About
Once your home hits the market, it’s important to both stay in communication with potential buyers so they know what you’re doing as well as to keep your eye out for what others are doing too.
1/ All communication should be done with a professionalism.
As soon as your home hits the market you should start doing open houses so if any interested buyers want to make an appointment they can. Don’t be afraid to make yourself available while your home is up for sale. Having your home be visible will only help you gain attention, interest and prove to potential buyers that your property is active and appealing to them.
2/ Contact your realtor each step of the way.
Just like you, most real estate agents are busy people, so don’t plan on hearing back from them immediately. If you need to ask them a question or you’d like to keep them at-the-ready for any updates make sure you have their direct telephone number.
3/ Keep a watch.
When your home is up for sale, it’s only natural to want to watch your neighbour’s home to see what they’ve done to fix up their property or if they’re planning on selling. This is fine as long as you don’t get too involved and you regularly stay up-to-date on your own property’s status and activity. Always keep your eyes on the prize and know what you’re working for. Work hard to achieve your goals and you’ll be rewarded.
4/ Remove DIY signs.
You know those signs that say “DIY, Plant Sale, Garage Sale, Open Day” and such? Just like it’s important to keep your home clean, it’s also important to remove these signs, especially if your home is for sale. Potential buyers will think that your home is disorganized and unkempt, and buyers with money in their pockets will start to look elsewhere.
5/ Stay organized.
With everything going on, it’s important to stay on top of your organizing game. Keep all contact details and documents available so you never miss an important deadline or report. Make lists, check them twice and follow through.
At Open Homes And On The Market
There are some very important things to keep in mind when you host open houses or head out to see potential buyers with your agent.
1/ Prioritize your potential buyers.
There are hundreds of people who show up to open houses and while you don’t necessarily need to speak to every one, you shouldn’t ignore the important audience either. Make sure to have a schedule set out for yourself. If you’re hosting an open house try to prioritize your potential buyers and only spend time speaking to the ones who seem serious about the property.
2/ Be ready to host everyone.
Potential buyers are going to walk in with different attitudes and different qualities. Some will be serious buyers ready to make an offer and some will be lose-ends who just want to check out the home. Always be open to their opinions, be polite, coherent and honest.
3/ Make sure you’re familiar with potential buyers’ needs.
While it’s important to present your property in the best light possible, buyers won’t be interested in viewing your home if it doesn’t suit their very specific needs. Do your research, and if your home gets a good response from the potential buyers with lots of questions, that means you’re on the right track.
4/ Stay pleasant.
If you have a situation where your home isn’t being viewed because of a miscommunication, don’t be angry or upset. You’ll do better to fix the situation and spend your time showing your home to more potential buyers. If you have special instructions for interested buyers, make sure they’re clear and concise. Don’t be afraid to write down instructions and keep them in your pocket.
5/ Be flexible.
Don’t be afraid to listen to potential buyers if they want to view your property at a less than ideal time. Call your real estate agent and let them know that you’re taking the time to accommodate a specific buyer’s request. If it’s an agent you’ve worked with before, they should be able to tell you whether or not that buyer is serious.
6/ Show them your home.
Give potential buyers a realistic idea of what your home is like. Use your most beautiful furniture and make sure that you’re home is as clean and tidy as possible. If you have a big formal dining table, you can prepare a nice meal as an appetizer to the rest of the tour. You can also show them your home’s best features and make sure they’re always in focus. Don’t forget to give all of the bedrooms a lot of attention.
7/ Be Yourself.
Try to be relaxed when you’re speaking to potential buyers so that you’re not making them uneasy. Try to be as honest as you can and explain your situation as sincerely as you can. If you have a sob story or a great story, it’s okay to share it with potential buyers who are showing an interest in your home. Let them know that you’re very optimistic about your property and its potential.
8/ Talk it out.
After the tour, it’s important to give potential buyers a chance to discuss some of the things they saw in your home. If they ask you more questions, try to answer them and if they make you an offer, don’t hesitate to negotiate or accept.
9/ Thank them for stopping by.
Just because potential buyers are showing interest in your home doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy it. If they haven’t made an offer and they leave, you should still try to be respectful and thank them for their time and consideration. They might be sincere in their interest in buying your home, and if not, they’ll come back another day.
10/ Make Yourself Visible.
Post your face all over the net. Have your agents do the same and make sure your concrete work, lawn and garden services etc are clean and tidy. If you’ve done a lovely job on your home, make sure people know that.
11/ Be Friendly.
The more potential buyers you meet, the more friends you’re going to have.
So the bottom line is to make sure you present to your potential buyers a home that is presentable, tidy, that showcases your best features and reflects your personality. Remember, even if you don’t like people to enter your home, the more they see it, the more they’ll get a feel for the kind of person you are.
Planning Your Open House
1/ Let your neighbors know that you’re having an open home
This is very important. It will save you a lot of trouble if they don’t arrive to work at the same time you’re hosting your open house.
2/ Make it easy for potential buyers to find your property.
On the day of your open house, invest in a good, reliable driveway indicator. Make it so that your front garden is clear of any hazards and cars can get in and out of your drive-way easily.
3/ Make sure your home is ready for the tour.
Double check your home and make sure that all of your furnishings are in place and that all of your decorations are in perfect condition. Also, make sure your floors are polished and clean and all of your lights are shinny and bright. For good measure, it doesn’t hurt to have some air freshener ready and waiting.
4/ Clear and clean your bathroom.
Potential buyers will likely want to check your bathroom and if there are any signs of it being dirty or anything out of place, the best case scenario is that they don’t want to look at the rest of your home.