Selling a home can be a real slog at the best of times, but in the current market it’s particularly difficult. Agents need to pull out all the stops to make their properties stand out from the competition and ensure they don’t languish on the market interminably.
WORDS: SUPPLIED • IMAGES: SHUTTERSTOCK
“In an oversaturated market, sellers cannot afford to sit back and simply wait for that one buyer who might be able to recognise a rough diamond in a sea of worthy competition,” says Jill Lloyd, veteran agent and area specialist, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Claremont.
“There’s undoubtedly an element of luck to selling a home quickly, but if you’re doing everything right and working closely with your agent, it’s only a matter of time before the right buyer will come along.”
Lloyd shares some tried and true tips to ensure your property is visible in a tough market, and sells as quickly as possible for the highest possible price.
Research and prepare
Before you contact an agent, do your homework and research the market in your area. What are similar properties selling for, what features are popular, which listed properties stand out for you and why?
Play the agent field
Good agents are worth their weight in gold, but the wrong agent can just as easily scupper a deal. Interview at least two agents and don’t be won over by the highest valuation received, especially in a tough buyers’ market when the highest valuation is usually not the best valuation. Rather select an agent based on their skills set, local market and area knowledge.
Price your property right
You can’t afford to price yourself out of contention, especially in a strident buyers’ market. If you’ve appointed a strong agent, you should trust them to guide you. Remember that there’s a difference between market price and the bricks-and-mortar value – and there’s always a ceiling to what the market is willing to pay. Rather create a bidding war with competitive pricing than have your home sit on the market for ages with no offers.
Touch up – but don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes always pay off, but you’re unlikely to see a return on investment for major make-overs just before selling. Make sure all fixtures and fittings are working, replace broken door handles and fix leaky taps.
If possible, give the interior and exterior a fresh coat of paint, but stick to a neutral palette so the new homeowner can add their personal touch and splash of colour.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the kitchen
It literally is the heart of the home and it’s the one room where you can splurge a little more – and recoup most of the money. If you have a little extra cash, buy one quality stainless steel appliance because when people see one high-end appliance, they assume all the others are also good quality.
You only have one chance to make a good first impression
Before setting foot inside, a buyer will already have judged your home, so don’t neglect to spruce up the kerb appeal. Paint the fence, mow the lawn and plant some flowers or greenery if your garden is bare. Entryways are also important, so make sure your front door is presentable.
Keep it light and bright
Good natural light features are on most buyers’ wish lists, so maximise the light in your home by cleaning the windows, tying back curtains, opening blinds, increasing the wattage of light bulbs and trimming bushes and trees outside windows. A light, bright and airy home is much more sellable.
Plenty of professional photographs
With so many properties on the market, you need to grab a potential buyer’s attention and the best way to do this is with quality photographs online that show your home to its best advantage.
Compare your advert
Have a look at your property ads online and compare them to those of other similar properties in the area. Particularly examine the photos, what the lead image is, how big the rooms look and read the property description. If yours doesn’t stand out, ask your agent to amend the advert.
Make your home experiential
Potential buyers should be able to imagine themselves living in your home when they physically visit your house with an agent, so make it as inviting as possible. Try to stimulate all the senses with enticing aromas, brightly coloured flowers, setting the dinner table with good china.
De-personalise your home
The more personal items in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Pack away photographs and personal clutter, keep the fridge clear of kids’ drawings.
Clear the garage
Yes, it’s the perfect place to hide the clutter, but rather take the opportunity to clear it now to make a better impression and save yourself the hassle when you move.
Conceal the pets
Not everyone is a dog or cat lover and being welcomed by wet licks or stumbling over a smelly litter box could put off an otherwise keen buyer.