Quick guide to a en­sur­ing a speedy sale at the right price

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

IN TO­DAY’S fiercely com­pet­i­tive real es­tate mar­ket with per­pet­u­ally evolv­ing mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing medi­ums, it’s no longer enough to sim­ply stick a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn.

The way in which your home is mar­keted can af­fect the sale price as well as the time it spends on the mar­ket.

Lew Gef­fen, chair­man of Lew Gef­fen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty, says the goal is to reach the great­est num­ber of po­ten­tial buy­ers pos­si­ble by gain­ing max­i­mum ex­po­sure. In do­ing so, you in­crease the like­li­hood of field­ing mul­ti­ple of­fers, thereby achiev­ing the best pos­si­ble price.

But what are the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­volved to achieve a speedy sale at a good price? What should home own­ers do and what should they know to ask be­fore com­mit­ting to a par­tic­u­lar sales chan­nel?

Gef­fen says a home owner’s first de­ci­sion is whether to go it alone or use a real­tor.

“With the pro­lif­er­a­tion of print out­lets, on­line plat­forms, apps and the reach that in­di­vid­u­als have across the globe with the in­ter­net nowa­days it is tempt­ing to want to sell homes pri­vately and avoid pay­ing for the ser­vices of a pro­fes­sional es­tate agent.

“The­o­ret­i­cally you should be able to cre­ate an ad­ver­tise­ment for your home in a prop­erty pub­li­ca­tion or on a web­site then sim­ply sit back and wait for the buy­ers to roll in.

“In re­al­ity, though, that often doesn’t work for sev­eral rea­sons, not least of which is that on­line, at least, weighted post sys­tems gen­er­ally make it dif­fi­cult for some­one with a sin­gle list­ing to be seen among the clut­ter be­cause agen­cies with bulk list­ings are likely to get SEO rank­ing pref­er­ence.

“So in an ideal world even if you knew all the le­gal hoops to jump through to con­clude a sale that wouldn’t re­sult in lit­i­ga­tion down the line and you had the time to do ev­ery­thing a pro­fes­sional real­tor does, should you try to mar­ket your prop­erty your­self ?”

Gef­fen says step two in the process is to re­search sim­i­lar prop­er­ties for sale in your area to get an idea of where your lo­cal mar­ket pric­ing is pegged, then re­quest val­u­a­tions from three rep­utable es­tate agen­cies with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of your dis­trict. Gef­fen says es­sen­tial ques­tions sell­ers should ask about mar­ket­ing be­fore they se­lect an agent in­clude:

● The pro­duc­tion of a price break­down of prop­erty sales in the area for the past two years. Rep­utable real­tors will have no prob­lem pro­vid­ing this in­for­ma­tion for sell­ers to as­sess the mar­ket be­cause their prop­erty val­u­a­tions will be re­al­is­tic.

● Whether a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher will be en­gaged to show­case the prop­erty in the most at­trac­tive man­ner so that it will stand out in ad­ver­tis­ing ma­te­rial.

● The spe­cific chan­nels that will the utilised to mar­ket and ad­ver­tise the prop­erty.

● The mar­ket­ing reach of the agency, and for prop­er­ties that fall in the higher price bands, whether the com­pany has in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing chan­nels and clients.

● The size and reach of the com­pany’s po­ten­tial buyer data­base.

● Whether a vir­tual tour will be part of the ad­ver­tis­ing ma­te­rial cre­ated by the real­tor.

● Whether the prop­erty will be put on show and how this will be ad­ver­tised.

“Sell­ers need to look at the over­all pack­age that prospec­tive agents will of­fer and how much time and en­ergy they’re pre­pared to put into the sale, as well as their ex­pe­ri­ence, pro­fes­sion­al­ism and the sup­port struc­tures and part­ner­ships that their com­pa­nies have in place with lend­ing in­sti­tu­tions and le­gal ser­vices to en­sure a swift and seam­less sale, rather than just the com­mis­sion rate.

“Time and time again sell­ers go back to the agents through whom they bought their homes orig­i­nally. This is be­cause while they may not be the cheap­est, they have proved their met­tle and gained their clients’ trust.”

Gef­fen says sell­ers also have some work to do be­fore they should start think­ing about putting up the “For Sale” sign.

“The first thing is to look at your prop­erty with a crit­i­cal eye – the way an out­sider would – and if nec­es­sary make some cos­metic changes. If gut­ters are sag­ging, get them fixed, and if the paint is look­ing weather-worn, in­vest a lit­tle bit of money in get­ting that done too. A newly painted house looks fresh, even if the prop­erty is older.”

Gef­fen says other things sell­ers can do to make their homes more ap­peal­ing in­clude:

● De­clut­ter­ing the house, in­clud­ing the kitchen counter spa­ces. Ev­ery fam­ily ac­cu­mu­lates clut­ter over time and this might put off some buy­ers.

● Fix­ing any leak­ing taps, bro­ken tiles, holes in walls or other small DIY jobs that have been ne­glected in­side the home.

● Tidy­ing the gar­den and if nec­es­sary, in­vest­ing in a few at­trac­tive and colour­ful plants.

● Keep­ing the home freshsmelling, clean and tidy when buy­ers come to view.

● En­sur­ing the bath­rooms are sparkling clean with fluffy fresh tow­els and at­trac­tive stor­age space.

● Cov­er­ing up worn fur­ni­ture with at­trac­tive throws.

● Re­mov­ing pet beds that might cause an odour.

Gef­fen says that mar­ket­ing a prop­erty most ef­fec­tively is a joint ef­fort be­tween seller and agent.

“Both par­ties have to do their bit if a prop­erty is to sell quickly and at the right price. Agents must put their all into mar­ket­ing the prop­erty ef­fec­tively through their data­bases and ad­ver­tis­ing chan­nels to en­sure a speedy sale.

“Sell­ers, in turn, have to make their homes as ap­peal­ing as pos­si­ble and agree to a rea­son­able view­ing sched­ule to al­low agents to take prospec­tive buy­ers through prop­er­ties. Sell­ers also need to know what to ask to en­sure they choose the right agent for the job. Ul­ti­mately the more they know, the bet­ter the chances are of their homes selling quickly and at a fair mar­ket price,” says Gef­fen.

High qual­ity pho­tographs that show a prop­erty to its best ad­van­tage are es­sen­tial to catch the eye of prospec­tive buy­ers in a very clut­tered mar­ket­ing arena and whether a home will be pro­fes­sion­ally pho­tographed is one of the ques­tions sell­ers should be ask­ing be­fore they de­cide to ap­point a real­tor.

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