On average, people sell up and buy a home just 4 times in their life time. Over 80 years that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to become an expert in either of these things. How many horror stories have you heard about the house down the road that stayed on the market for 6 months or more before selling for a horrendous price that everyone considers “giving it away”.
Or what about the success stories where the couple up the road sold their home for a record price only a week after going on the market? What is the difference between these two scenarios, and what can you do, or not do to make sure that you are in the latter category.
Here are 5 Don’ts that will put you on the right path to getting that dream price.
Don’t choose your agent based on their fee
Most people are wise enough to get multiple agents in to appraise their house. This will go a long way to ensure you choose the right guy/girl to represent you. A common mistake is asking the question, “How much will you be charging me?” This is common in real estate and ALL sub-par agents who are desperate for your signature will try and be the cheapest agent. The correct question to ask is, “What do you do that will get me a higher price for my property?” The right agent will extract 5%-10% more for your property than a run of the mill agent who is going to persuade you to accept the first offer they bring to you.
Don’t wait until you’ve found your dream home before you put your home on the market
So often people want their dream home to appear in front of them before they even consider putting their own home on the market, which will in turn allow them to buy their new home. When you sell you have options, a good real estate agent will not leave you homeless, which is everyone’s fear. What people don’t realise is buying before you sell takes away a lot of your options. It takes away your ability to wait for the right offer to come along, it takes away your ability to choose the length of your settlement, it takes away your negotiation strength with your buyer. When the buyer is told the property needs to settle on the same day that your new home settles a smart buyer will offer significantly less as they know you have no choice.
At the same time if your home doesn’t sell, and your dream home is truly too good to be true, chances are someone else is going to love it as much as you do, and an offer subject to another sale is never as attractive as an offer with no conditions.
Don’t skimp on the marketing
There’s an old saying in real estate, “You can’t sell a secret.” People often forget that their home is not the only home on the market, and a cheap marketing plan will be enough for that 1 dream buyer to see your home. Agents know where 100% of the buyers come from, they do not know where the best one will come from. To get the price you are dreaming of you need to market your home like its a better house that the rest of the other competing homes on the market, yours is the only home they should be looking at. Be prepared to spend 1% of what your home is worth to ensure that 100% of the buyers on the market see, and view your property.
Don’t believe an agents appraisal price
Agents can only give you a rough idea of what your house is worth. Truth be told exactly none of the agents you interview own a crystal ball that will tell you your homes selling price, and all of them think that they can get you an extra 10-15% to what the house next door sold for. Truth is its easy for agents to stretch the truth, or get over ambitious about your homes worth. The right answer to the question “How much do you think it’s worth?” Is “I don’t know, and I’m not willing to buy it if I’m wrong. The only indication I have is the homes that have sold around you.”
I like to think that an agent will give you an honest opinion and not deliberately tell you your home is worth more than it is, just to beat another agent. But agents work in a highly competitive industry, some of them unaware when their next pay cheque will come along.
Don’t allow a podiatrist to give you a haircut
Selling your home is a highly emotional time, friends, family, neighbours, and complete strangers generally have your best interest at heart when giving you advice on selling your home. But you wouldn’t go to a podiatrist when you need a haircut you’d go to a hairdresser, so it’s wise to take advice from people who don’t work in the property industry with a grain of salt.
It’s easy for Uncle John to tell you you aren’t asking enough for your home, or Barry from number 16b to tell you that you don’t need an agent to sell your home, but this advice can do you more harm than good. The best advice will come from an experienced local agent who has sold homes just likes your before.