n the post GFC boom times, through to late 2016, very buoyant market conditions made it relatively easy for home owners to sell, often for prices that exceeded their expectations.
Over the past 18 – 20 months, there has been a considerable shift in demand and market activity has eased, leaving some sellers wondering why their home hasn’t sold.
In the current ‘less urgent’ real estate market, following these 7 simple tips for sellers will help you to achieve a sale, and give you the best chance of still achieving a strong price for your home:
1. Gain a good understanding of the current market conditions, and be realistic with your price expectation from the outset
The reason I have placed this first on my list is because it is so important, and needs to be researched properly before you even make the decision to bring your home to the market. This is where it is critical that you seek the advice of a real estate agent you trust. A quality agent will be able to show you how he/she arrived at the appraisal price for your home and explain how they intend to achieve the best price for you. If you are assessing several potential agents, be very wary of the high appraisal figure that seems too good to be true, because it probably is and may lead to heartache during your campaign. Your market appraisal should be realistic, achievable, and supported by data which is reflective of the current market environment. Even if you have had an appraisal prepared for your property over the previous twelve months, a refreshed report is essential to ensure you have the latest sales results to consider.
2. Property presentation becomes even more critical as buyer urgency declines
Preparing your home well for a marketing campaign is always important. During cooler market conditions, the presentation factor becomes critical. You want to entice every potential buyer to your property, and put it ahead of other homes they may be considering.
3. Invest in a strong marketing campaign (don’t risk under-marketing your home)
As the competition for the attention of buyers increases, properties with higher quality marketing campaigns will always attract more interest. From day one, launch your campaign with a well-conceived and designed plan, and beat your competitors (other sellers) on quality and exposure. Remember – try to think of your marketing funds as an investment rather than a cost. The dollars that you put in, can be returned to you many times over in the form of increased competition for your home, and a premium sale result.
4. Create urgency in your marketing campaign
As sales figures flatten out and auction clearance rates ease back, the temptation for many is to assume that “auctions aren’t working at the moment, so let’s put a price on our home instead.” In my opinion, this may be a big mistake given that this strategy takes away the urgency factor created by a set date of sale, and runs the risk of you potentially underselling your home. As purchasers feel less pressure to commit, creating a competitive buying situation (bidding at auction) is more likely to draw the premium offer from them.
5. Make your property as available for viewing as possible
Sometimes a buyer may only have a small window available to view properties. Don’t risk losing this potential buyer by denying them viewing access to your home. As inconvenient as it may be, giving as much access as possible during the few weeks of your marketing campaign may just give you that extra buyer you need to create increased competition, and achieve a great result. Admittedly this can be particularly difficult if you are selling a tenanted property. I have a strategy around selling investment properties which has reaped significant gains for previous clients of mine. Please feel free to contact me for more detail in this specific area.
6. Where possible, provide for flexibility of your terms & conditions of sale
Unless there are compelling reasons for a particular settlement date, deposit, or other condition of sale, providing flexibility to your potential purchasers may allow them to stay engaged with your property rather than looking elsewhere.
7. Engage a real estate professional you feel confident has the commitment to deliver a result for you
To be absolutely honest, when the market is performing like a runaway train (as it was pre-October 2016), even average agents may have been capable of achieving an ok result for a seller. As demand has eased up considerably (as it undeniably has over the past 18 months) the quality of the agent you select becomes an even more critical decision than ever. Modern, innovative marketing strategies, plus a commitment to you and your property over a potentially longer campaign, should be qualities at the top of your list of ‘must haves’ when assessing your agent options.
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