Selling Tips

How far should home owners go in preparing their home for sale? If you're about to put your property on the market read on for some ideas that will help you maximise your investment.

First Impressions
Other people's mess always looks worse than your own. From the moment prospects arrive they are making an internal commentary on everything they see. For houses: gardens and lawns should be well presented; rubbish should be disposed of, paths kept clean, toys and garden tools stored away. For apartments: balconies washed down, replant pots with instant colour.

Illusion of Space
Remove unnecessary clutter and watch your home expand in size. Neat, well ordered cupboards, robes and pantry show that space is ample. Also, look at the amount of furniture in living rooms and bedrooms. We can help with this. Our property consultants are experienced with de-cluttering.

Don't Spend Big Money
If you spend a lot of money painting, carpeting or say a new kitchen, you will want to add this to the price. Buyers may not share your taste, even though what they are getting is almost new.

Little Things Count
On the other hand, make sure all minor repairs are completed. Sticking doors and windows, loose doorknobs, faulty plumbing or peeling paint may affect your sale.

Highlight Your Home
Nothing improves the atmosphere of a home more than brightness. Open all the curtains and switch on strategic lights to brighten up gloomy spots prior to the arrival of prospective buyers.

Turn on the Heat
A warm, comfortably heated home on cold days adds a feeling of cosiness and welcome. On a hot day make sure your home is well ventilated, with fans and or air conditioning turned on.

The Scent of Success
Smokers and dog owners beware: nothing makes a buyer want to get out of a property quicker than stale air. Room deodorisers, a bowl of potpourri, or incense and open windows will all help. It sounds a bit corny but the fact remains any home will be enhanced by the smell of a cake baking, or freshly brewed coffee. Often the effect is subliminal; days later buyers don't always realise exactly why they got such good vibes from your home.

Pets Underfoot
Keep your pets out of the way, preferably out of the home. Let the property consultant and buyer talk undisturbed.

Take A Back Seat
Avoid having too many people present during inspections. Your property consultant knows the buyer's requirements and can better emphasise the features of your home to prospective purchasers.

Never apologise for the condition or appearance of your home. This only emphasises the faults.

Don't discuss the details of the transaction such as price or terms. Leave this to your property consultant - remember, his/her experience and training enables him/her to qualify purchasers and negotiate the best price. Furthermore, negotiations are more easily kept on a businesslike level when emotions are not involved.

It is often a mistake to list your home with the agent who suggests the highest price just because he / she is the highest bidder. While it is true that you can always "come down" there are many factors to consider. Firstly, the market is always looking for new listings. This means that the first few weeks your home is on the market will bring more inspections than any other time. All the buyers in the price range will rush to see your home. Those that have been looking for some time are the ones who have done their homework and are ready to buy. But they will also be the most aware of the market value of your property.

If your home is correctly priced it will make buyers feel they need to snap it up before someone else does. If the price is too high, they feel no such sense of urgency. Just as sellers take the attitude "we can always come down", buyers think they will wait until the price drops. It is often the case that a property that would have achieved $500,000 when first placed on the market may achieve only $480,000 after being on the market three or more months and becoming "stale". The longer your property stays on the market, the more buyers feel they have negotiating power.

In a rapidly rising market, of course, sellers who hold out often achieve higher prices. But before those selling in a sellers' market get too excited, they should consider that if they are trading up to a more expensive property, they stand to lose more than they gain as the equivalent percentage increase on the more expensive property translates into more in actual dollar terms.