That can save you money (and stress) when you sell your home…
The secret to having the most positive experience possible when selling your home involves getting as much ‘insider information’ as you can before you list your home for sale.
That can save you money (and stress) when you sell your home…
Make your home as presentable as you can.
The presentation of your home should be the 1st consideration when getting ready to put your home on the market. The importance of this can never be overstated. A good real estate sales person will be able to guide you through what you can do to make your home more presentable before you sell. (Therefore creating the opportunity for your home to sell more EASILY and for more MONEY!) Let’s face it – there are probably a thousand things you could do that will cost you anything from a little elbow grease to thousands of dollars.
Try this exercise:
Imagine a property that has long lawns, a garden full of weeds, dirty paintwork, piles of rubbish and a junky dirty cluttered inside. This home will certainly increase in value when the lawns are mowed, the garden is weeded, the rubbish (inside and out) is removed, the place is de cluttered and the place gets a jolly good clean. (It’s got to sparkle)
What is the cost of this investment?
Time and maybe only a couple of hundred dollars?
The increased value to the home would certainly be a lot more than a couple of $100. The time it takes to sell this home is also reduced because it is so much more appealing. In addition the stress of selling is decreased as the owners have spent time to prepare their property before prospective buyers come to view it.
Get your ducks in order before we go to the market.
Make buyers feel at home
Think about it: If you are walking through someone’s home, looking at it with a view to buying, having the home owner looking over your shoulder is hardly going to make you want to linger and ‘experience’ their home.
Here are a few tips:
Get rid of:
Odours – This means things like dog smells, fishing gear, old rugby boots, dead food, pot plants, ashtrays, smelly rubbish bins etc.
Clutter – Remove anything you can from your home – within reason. This will help create the feeling of space
Remove really personal objects:
these can be distracting – buyers are looking at your home not your things.
Have a tidy fence and letter box…this si the first thing that they may see when they drive by or arrive. Flowers, fruit bowls, décor elements, aroma candles (check out home decorating magazines for ideas) even music playing instead of the TV blearing is an easy welcome
Make yourself scarce! Give your prospective buyers a bit of space to imagine themselves in their new home. Trust the sales person you are paying to work for you to discuss the necessities with the home buyers. Their expertise in ‘closing a deal’ is one of the thing your hired them for. They will ask you questions – answer it truthfully and briefly. You are not there to win friends and influence people – you are there to sell your home.
Invite the honest opinion of others.
Ask for objective input from people whose opinion you respect. This could be family, friends, neighbours, Valuers, or a real estate sales person who gave you these valuable tips. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees so it helps to have other people to point out what we no longer notice about our own property.
Ask for objective input about your home’s appearance, condition, favourable features (to be accentuated), and advantages you may not have thought of. This could include: school zones, future Council development plans, proximity to services etc.
There may be some negative features you may have stopped noticing that you may be able to put right before selling.
Be realistic with your sale price! Do your homework!
It’s vital the selling price you put on your home is set at the right level.
1. If you set your price too high – it will almost always take longer to sell (buyers will then begin to wonder what’s wrong with it because it’s still on the market). AND – unless you ‘luck upon’ a buyer in a hurry who doesn’t know the market (perhaps relocating from out of town) you will almost certainly lower your price eventually. The final (added) cost to you – an amount of ‘CASH’ and amount of TIME and not forgetting, an additional dash of STRESS!
So, be realistic and do your homework. The reality is – it’s ultimately the buyers who decide what your home is worth. 2 important tools you can use to help set your home’s sale price are:
1. Registered Valuation
This will cost you a few hundred dollars – but you will then have a professional report you can use to price your home accordingly; and you’ll have the added benefit of being able to talk to the Valuers about what you could do to improve the saleability or price you can ask for your home.
2. Real Estate Agents Appraisal.
An experienced agent will be able to present you with a comprehensive amount of information on your property, including statistical accounts of what similar properties in your area have sold for recently. He or she will take into account the condition and special features of your home – things that add or subtract value. This would include – landscaping, street appeal, décor, school zones, swimming pool, views etc.
Work with your agent to agree upon an accurate value for your home that will create the best opportunity for it to sell for a reasonable price. And always keep in mind – it’s ultimately the buyers out there who decide the value of your home.
Be smart – disclose your home defects – Disclosure forms
Be honest about disclosing your home’s defects. If you are dishonest and gloss over or fail to disclose some obvious defect that would seriously affect the value of your home – you may be in for legal problems down the track.
Some examples of disclosures are: drainage issues, leaks in roof, broken windows, Government insulation and or heating etc.
Things to be flexible about…
Be realistic about the timeframe you need between listing your home for sale and the date by which you would like to move. If there is no real reason to be firm about dates – DON’T BE! If there’s some urgency a deadline marketing strategy is the way to go. This date will give you an idea if you are able to move forward or need to re think your own options
Have a strong marketing strategy
Make sure your agent is ready to hit the ground running with the marketing of your home. The better and more aggressively your home is marketed, the more prospects will be competing for the opportunity to buy. Agents who are especially good at their marketing, end up with multi offer situations more frequently. If this happens with your home – congratulations! (Multi offer’ is more than 1 person putting an offer in on one day, and effectively having to put their best price in straight away. They are VERY good news for sellers)
Buyers feedback – don’t take it personally
It’s easy to say, but don’t get emotional or take things personally! Let’s say a buyer comes in with a ‘silly’ offer. You can do one of two things – dismiss their offer and have it ‘returned to sender’, or you can counter offer – this is where you change the purchase price on the contract and return it to them. (Remember, if they accept your counter offer – it is binding so treat it as such.) By counter offering, you will either send them packing as a buyer who is obviously looking outside their price range or you might just secure a sale.
It’s easy to say ‘stay detached emotionally’ but this can be hard to do, because the reality is, buying and selling a home is one of the biggest things we do in our lives. After all, were talking about our home! BUT – the seller who can operate on an intellectual level rather than an emotional one will come through the process better off. Be as professional and business like as you can be.
‘Read’ the market…
We’ve all heard the advice: ‘Sell first!’ Ordinarily this would be sound advice. Usually, if you resist the urge to look for a new home until you sell your own home, you would know exactly how much you have to spend on your new home and you would be in the driver’s seat. However, there are times the whole real estate market changes to such an extent that this tip itself may become redundant.
Whatever you do – get current professional advice before acting. Talk to the real estate sales person who gave you these ‘Valuable Tips’ about your individual situation.
- Collect as much information about your property: local council information, ask you about what your future plans were for your property – as this will show the potential that can be added, ask about your neighbourhood and what it offer
- Offer advice and suggestions on things you can do to increase the value or appeal of your home.
A home that is lived in will always have more appeal than a vacant one. If at all possible – consider hiring or borrowing some furniture and décor so your home doesn’t look abandoned.
This also helps buyers imagine their belongings in your home.
It immediately answers their often unasked questions like…. “Would a double bed fit in this room? Or “Would our dining table fit there?”
Consider the contract, ahead of time…
Your real estate sales person will work closely with you on your contract explaining anything you need clarification on. Think about what is important to you then consider and list everything! This list includes, but is definitely not limited to:
- Finance & Insurance, Interest Rates(if applicable)
- Builders Report
- LIM Report – what’s this
- Amount of deposit and date due
- Chattel list – be thorough
- Date your contract becomes unconditional
- Possession date
Make sure your contract is complete. If there is anything at all you are uncertain about – check it out with your lawyer. It is too late to change things once you have signed it. Choose a solicitor
It’s a good idea to have your contact checked by a solicitor before you sign
A good agent will
- Offer a free market appraisal on your property without pressure or obligation. This will be well supported by the latest REINZ statistics available
- Provide you with a marketing plan for your property. The best strategy to get your property ‘out there’ in the best way possible.
- Guide you through the steps of home selling and what you can expect. They will be able to answer any queries or concerns you may have.