Wood & Co Real Estate sell a huge variety of properties including houses, units, farms of all sizes, lifestyle properties as well as commercial and industrial properties. Each property is unique and the advice we provide on achieving the best results for our sellers will depend upon the property’s features and special points of difference.
Listed below are some tips and ideas that we hope will help optimise the sale of a residential or lifestyle property.
1. Changing Hats
In order to gain an objective appreciation of your home, it’s a good idea to wear the hat of a buyer and try to imagine yourself looking at the property for the first time. Stand out the front (where most buyers will catch their first impressions) and ask yourself objectively: “If I was a buyer, would I want to arrange an inspection of this house?” or more critically: “Is there anything that would discourage me from inspecting?” It can often be helpful to take a photo or two and then sit down and imagine you’re looking at it on the internet or in the newspaper – how does it look? Perhaps the front fence needs a lick of paint or the trees and shrubs could do with some tasteful pruning? You can adopt this same approach as you walk through the house and out to the back yard.
2. Who’s on my side?
No matter how good your property looks and how impressive its features, prospective purchasers will always want to buy it for as little as possible. That’s why you need a professional property advisor who is on your side with the knowledge and skills to ensure you achieve the optimum price.
You may already know a good real estate professional or perhaps a friend or relative has recommended someone they know. Your selling agent is going to play an enormous role in the selling process and will be working closely with you so it’s vital that you find someone you trust and feel very comfortable with. This may not necessarily be the agent who suggests the highest asking price or offers the lowest selling fee, but more so the person who listens to your needs, has the skills to effectively match your property’s features to buyer’s desires and has a track-record of proven results.
Everyone involved in the selling decision should also be included in making the best choice of selling agent – it’s an important part of the process.
3. How much?
Once you’ve selected your property professional, you’ll want to work through the money questions:
• What will be the asking price for the property?
• What is an appropriate amount to be invested in marketing the property to attract the best buyers?
• What will be the professional fees when the property sells?
• Are there any other expenses you should consider such as legal/conveyancing fees and moving costs?
If you have selected your property professional using the criteria in item 2 (above) then you can draw on his or her expertise to assist you with these decisions and negotiate an amicable agreement. Given the number of properties we work with, Wood&Co’s property advisors are appraising, listing, marketing and selling properties everyday which keeps us in touch with current issues affecting the market and in-turn, the value of properties within that market.
Your property professional should provide you with evidence of recent comparable sales and other similar properties currently for sale that will justify the appraisal price range and recommended pricing strategy for your property. If you don’t receive this evidence, the appraisal could be more of a “guestimate” than an “estimate” and you should be wary.
4. Get it in writing
The agreement between you and your selected property professional should be in writing and signed by everyone involved. In this way, everyone knows their rights and responsibilities and there are no surprises. Most agency agreements are made exclusively – that is, the agency has the sole selling rights for a given period of time. In this way, your property professional can confidently invest substantial time and money in the project with the knowledge that should he or she be successful in finding a buyer and negotiating a sale, he or she will be rewarded. If a sale does not take place, the agreement will usually state that the property professional receives no fee.
This written agreement should include obvious things like the asking price, selling fee (including GST) and the period of the engagement as well as details of the marketing and an agreed “launch date” for the property to be “live” on the internet and ready for inspections.
Your property professional should also arrange for you to provide copies of relevant documents that will be required to be included in the contract of sale. These will include current rates and water notices, council permits for renovations or extensions and compliance certificates for things like swimming pools, sheds or solid fuel heaters that have been installed.
5. “A picture tells a thousand words”
With the internet being such a powerful marketing medium, this saying has never been more relevant. Having good, clear digital images of a well-presented property is paramount to effective marketing. Whether you’ve engaged a professional photographer or your property professional is taking the pictures, ask to see the photos and help select the images that you feel will portray the property in its best light. As you prepare the property for photographing, try to de-clutter as much as possible keeping fridges, benches and table tops clean and clear. You may also wish to replace personal family photos with more generic hangings if you don’t want them visible on the internet.
6. Its’ Showtime
OK – your property is now on the market, there’s a sign on the front lawn, it’s on the internet, the ad is in the newspaper and buyers will hopefully be walking through your house within days or even hours. In preparing for an Open-Home, it’s time to put on the finishing touches such as fresh towels in the bathroom, empty any smelly kitchen bins, put away pet food bowls make sure the stove and oven are clean (yes, buyers do look in the oven). Remember to keep the lawns mown and edges trimmed – you want buyers to imagine that this property is easy to maintain. It’s best to turn off the television and set the heating or cooling so visitors feel comfortable the moment they enter. Your property professional will also be able to take a fresh, objective look. It might be small things like relocating a piece of furniture or de-cluttering the kitchen window sill – but it’s the little things that can make a big difference and it’s the first impressions that become lasting impressions as prospective buyers view the property.