How to sell your home in a quiet market…

March 8, 2005

How to sell your home in a quiet market…

Price – auction vs private treaty
In a quiet market with auction clearance rates so low I suggest you sell with a price on your home. When you?re trying to work out a realistic price for your property you can use one of two methods I use. Get 3 agent?s opinions divide by 3 to get the average and then take at least 5% – 10% off that and you might be close to what it?s really worth. Or you can get an independent valuers opinion who isn?t trying to win your business to sell your home. They are more likely to be closer to market reality.

Location, location, location
You can?t improve your location but you can point out all the benefits of it. I find very little effort is put into this by most agent campaigns. They are too busy with all the standard BS about how spacious, whisper quiet and sun drenched the home is. So I suggest you as a vendor prepare a list of all the reasons you love living in the home and ask your selling agent to put them on the brochure. At the very least it will stand out from all the other brochures.

Well presented vs sterile environment
Keep it tidy but not too tidy. A home should look a little lived in. All the rented furniture etc sometimes is a little over the top. People don?t live in a display suite or a sterile environment; they live in a home. Keep it neutral and simple.

A common request by my clients is to have easy care low maintenance gardens. The gardens should be well groomed. People are busy and don?t have time to take care of them these days. Another common request by my clients is they want the home to be light and bright. If you have trees blocking natural light trim them a little to let more in. Put in a skylight or two. When I am looking for a home for my clients I am always looking for ways to increase natural light.

Have reports on display
Have a pest, building and or strata reports on display. You are spending thousands of dollars on marketing, rented furniture, flowers etc so what is another $400 ? $500 for a couple of reports. I will still organize one for my clients anyway if we want to buy the home but it shows that you respect the potential purchaser?s time and money and most importantly you have nothing to hide.

Be flexible with inspections
Have structured open inspections at least twice a week and be very accommodating with private inspections after hours. We often recommend to our clients that they view the property at different times of the day. If you?re not flexible it can be very frustrating for busy people who can?t make the open inspection times. I have inspected properties as early as 6.00am and as late as 10.30pm. If our clients like 2 or 3 other properties as is often the case, the home owners that are more accommodating are more likely to sell their home. We will often make a decision on another home that is suitable rather than wait around and run the risk of missing out on both.

Do floor plans
I strongly suggest that you do them. You need to make it easy for buyers to remember your home as the average person will inspect dozens of properties a week. Photos on brochures and floor plans make it easy for buyers to remember your home and move walls with their pencil while sitting around thinking how the property could be adapted to suit there needs.

Don?t be greedy
Be clear on what you are prepared to take for your home before the first inspection. If a good offer comes in early don?t make the mistake of being greedy and saying to yourself, ?Wow if we are getting offers this high in the first week what will we get next week.? I have bought many properties at a price well below offers from other buyers in the first couple of weeks. If the offer is what you wanted to be able to move on, take it. You may not see an offer like that again.

Patrick Bright
Author of The Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate RRP $29.95 but only $26.96 if you buy from the SheSaid Bookshop

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