Don’t panic, take your time

Herald Sun - Property - - OPINION -

HAV­ING made a ca­reer from help­ing ven­dors sell “the un­sellable”, my first ques­tion to any ven­dor cen­tres on the length of the sale process to date.

It’s not just about where the prop­erty is, or what it is, or even if the said seller pos­sesses good taste in cush­ions.

Once the ques­tion is an­swered I then try to find out the typ­i­cal days quoted to sell a home in a par­tic­u­lar lo­ca­tion and price band. This es­tab­lishes the all-im­por­tant sell­ing time bench­mark, which should be re­ferred to be­fore “sell­ing panic” sets in.

Say you live in any of the 10 quick­est sell­ing sub­urbs listed by REA and you’ve been try­ing to sell for a month, there could ac­tu­ally be some cause to panic.

This data is great news for would-be ven­dors in these sub­urbs, led by Kalo­rama, 35km east of Mel­bourne, where the me­dian days on mar­ket was a tiny 13 for the 28 prop­er­ties sold in the 12 months to March 31.

There is noth­ing more frus­trat­ing than to be se­ri­ous about sell­ing your home, only to see the list­ing lan­guish­ing on the mar­ket for what­ever rea­son so here are my top sur­vival tips to min­imise the pain.

Un­for­tu­nately, my first tip is price re­lated and in­volves be­ing re­al­is­tic with your ex­pec­ta­tions. Whether you are dis­clos­ing a fig­ure for mar­ket­ing, go­ing to auc­tion, or pri­vate sale, if that fig­ure is not in line with mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions it can pro­long a trans­ac­tion

My sec­ond tip is to be mar­ket ready. Pre­pare the home for sale, com­plete all un­fin­ished tasks, clean, de-clut­ter and en­sure all your pa­per­work is in place (such as ap­provals, war­ranties, etc).

Never start this process with­out know­ing the lo­cal mar­ket and be­ing fully aware of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Re­search on­line, in news­pa­pers and prop­erty mag­a­zines, to find out what homes like yours are of­fer­ing buy­ers in terms of value, pre­sen­ta­tion and spec­i­fi­ca­tion. It is not nec­es­sary to up­grade kitchens and bath­rooms if you don’t have to. If you do need to un­der­take im­prove­ments, this process should in­di­cate how dras­tic they need be.

The third tip is that sell­ing a house is all about at­tract­ing buyer in­ter­est. You may only need one buyer, but the most suc­cess­ful sales al­ways have more. Com­pe­ti­tion for the home places the ven­dor in a strong po­si­tion. Your prop­erty needs to be de­sir­able to your lo­cal mar­ket.

Fi­nally, one sell­ing strat­egy does not fit all. Agents with a stan­dard cam­paign may be suc­cess­ful, but what if your home is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent? You need cre­ative cam­paigns, along with al­ter­na­tive strate­gies if the first at­tempt does not lead to suc­cess. Vary­ing im­ages/text, mar­ket­ing medi­ums are vi­tal, as is keep­ing a cam­paign fresh if sell­ing in a slower mar­ket.

To re­cap: get to know the typ­i­cal time it takes to sell a home like yours; ac­knowl­edge mar­ket value; pre­pare the home for sale to meet lo­cal mar­ket pref­er­ences and ex­pect a gen­uine mar­ket­ing strat­egy with a plan B in place from day one.

An­drew Win­ter is host of on Life­style

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