1. Choosing the right agent
Like any other profession, some agents are more highly skilled than others, and it’s important that you know how experienced your agent is. When interviewing your agent, some useful questions to ask might be:
- Do they have a track record of results? Agents should be able to demonstrate recent sales results. A good question to ask when considering this might be what the difference was between the price the property originally went on the market for and the actual sales price achieved.
- What is your sales strategy? Listing a property for sale involves a detailed strategy, you can’t just hope that buyers will turn up. Every property is different and it is important they have a unique selling strategy.
- How does the agent handle negotiations? Good negotiation skills are vital, and poor negotiation costs money! For example, ask the agent how they would handle a low-ball offer on your property. A skilled agent will have an immediate response!
- Question the commission. Within Queensland, Real Estate commissions are regulated to a maximum level of 2.5% + GST. The reality is, not all agents will offer the same level of service, and like anything else in life you only get what you pay for. A skilled agent, with good negotiation skills and a history of results will seldom discount their commission. If they are confident of delivering the best results, why would they?
2. Method of Sale
Ensure you understand the different sale methods and the rules and protocols of each. Write a list of the pros and cons of each method for selling your home. Ask your agent how most homes in your area are sold. If you follow the successful crowd, you will give buyers the sale method most common for their market. Auctions are a good option if most homes in your area are sold in this manner or if you need a sale within a desired period of time. Many people believe that if a home put to auction does not sell on the day, it is a disaster. But research shows most homes that fail to sell on the day do sell quickly afterwards. The benefit of the auction process is that it gives you an intense period of market feedback without damaging your home with an inflated price.
Make sure you finish any jobs and fix any maintenance issues around the house. Buyers automatically discount the price when they see damage and work to be done. A pre-sale revamp, no matter how small, can often attract multiple buyers to your property.
4. Street Appeal
The first thing a buyer will see is the outside of the house. Make sure the garden is tidy, exude street appeal!
5. Make a great first impression
You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. You want buyer’s to fall in love with your home and become emotionally attached. De-clutter and de-personalise, messy cupboards and clutter give the appearance that there is not enough storage. Professional styling is also an important element in marketing your home for sale, you want to entice and impress potential buyers and styling highlights the major selling points showcasing your property in the best possible light.
6. You can’t sell a secret
Now that your home is looking great, you want to put it on the top of the buyers shopping list. This is where your Agent’s strategy comes heavily into play. You need to make sure that your property is seen by all potential buyers, using different mediums. Most buyers are now conducting their research online making real estate portals very important. Like when choosing your agent remember, cheaper is not always best. Marketing is an investment but your Agent should pass on all discounts they may receive.
7. Open Homes
Open homes are paramount in achieving a great result. Don’t be worried about sticky beaks—embrace them! No one else knows if a buyer is really serious or not, the more people at an open home breeds competition and creates a sense of urgency.
8. Setting the Price Right
Don’t set your price on your needs and emotions rather than the actual selling value. Many sellers decide on ‘subjective’ rather than ‘objective’ value for their home. And some agents know all too well how to play that game to win a listing. If you are really confused, get a valuation done. It costs just a few hundred dollars but can buy you peace of mind and give you an independent benchmark.
Know your motivation for selling. Often sellers who stand in the way of a sale, not the property. If you are not adequately motivated, you won’t put effort into the presentation, will skimp on the marketing and your price expectations will lead to either no sale or a long time on the market. Motivated sellers get the job done. They look at what is going on around them. Ask yourself if there are any negative personal or financial repercussions if you don’t sell soon?
10. Building and pest
Our final top tip is to get a building and pest inspection done before selling, especially if your home is a bit older. You don’t want any nasty surprises arising or contracts crashing due to issues that you could have fixed prior to going on the market. It is also handy to supply to buyers and put their mind at ease, making a smoother transaction.