Don’t panic, take your time
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