Selling your own home is easier than it has ever been as there is an abundance of information available and numerous independent service providers who will assist you to prepare your home for sale. The process of selling your home can be broken down into 5 essential steps, if you follow these steps you will find that the sales process is rewarding and fun. Yes fun!! Real Estate Agents have been spinning the ‘Only a real estate agent can sell your home’ story for decades. It simply is not true, the only reason that they perpetuate this myth is to preserve the ridiculous commission system which assists ‘them’ in having a great lifestyle.
I saw a sign the other day which read; Sell your own home and buy your own BMW! Sounds like a great idea to me, you could also save enough for a great holiday with your family or buy a motorbike, think about the possibilities.
Step 1 PREPARE
If you have decided to sell your own home you need to start with the preparation stage which is best considered divided into 3 parts.
Part #1 is ‘Prepare your property’ They say first impressions count and in real estate they sure do. To ensure a successful sale, there is one word that is at the top of the list Clean! Clean! Clean! Make sure that your home sparkles, smells great and looks very inviting. Get rid of the clutter, replace all light bulbs and fittings that don’t work, hide your photos from the great Xmas of whenever and start to think like a buyer. Ask yourself buyer questions.
Could I live here?
Is this home in good condition?
Have the owners looked after this home?
Is it in need of maintenance?
Are there hidden problems?
If you go about your preparation by asking yourself these questions and looking at your home from a buyer’s perspective you will find the areas that need attention. The small maintenance jobs that you have been putting off, squeaky doors, leaking taps, scuffed skirting boards, these jobs need attention if you want to find a buyer and get a good price for your home.
Part #2 of the Prepare process is ‘Prepare Yourself’ You are about to sell your home to a total stranger; the objective is to sell to the person who offers the best price and terms, not to find a new best friend. The best way to approach this part of the process is to start to mentally detach yourself from your home, removing your personal effects during Part #1 is the first step, then start to think about no longer living in this home, focus on thinking about your next home, where you are moving to and how great it will be to start a new chapter in your life and your family’s life.
Buyers come in all shapes and sizes, they have many different reasons for buying a new property and their objectives and goals may be far from yours so your detachment from your home is a very necessary key to a successful sale. You may overhear a potential buyer discussing pulling out your favourite rose garden to put in a dog run, remember it will be their home and you will be in a great new place yourself, planting a beautiful new rose garden so it is their business as to what they want to do to make your home, their home.
Part #3 is ‘Pricing’ your property. To arrive at a market price that will ensure your best return and get your property sold so that you can move on with the next phase of your life is quite easy. There are great tools to find the right price, recent sales and current on market data are the most accurate indicators. Much time is lost in selling real estate by pricing the property on an emotional needs basis, many people simply come up with a price based on how much they require buying their next property, this is not logical.
If a 4-bedroom home in excellent condition with a pool in the local area just sold for $X and you have a 3-bedroom home without a pool you cannot achieve the same price that property sold for. Buyers have a wealth of data available to them, they are savvier than they have ever been so for you to sell and achieve a good price, do your homework and price your property to market.
Prepare is the most important step to a successful sale.
Step 2 PRESENT
Once you and your home are prepared then the selling journey can begin. You will need great professional photos of your home, a floor plan and a very short written overview of the property including mention of significant local area amenities.
During the sales phase your home will need to be kept in the pristine presentation state that you worked so hard for in Part #1 Don’t allow the standard to drop, keep everything clean and tidy so that each time you have an inspection, whether it be a private inspection for a couple or an open inspection for numerous potential buyers your home is presented to the same standard. Some simple tips are:
If you have a big dog that loves jumping up and licking everyone, get a pet sitter at inspection time.
Air your home, bad smells don’t go with big sales, light some scented candles each time you have an inspection.
Dress up as if you are entertaining VIP guests, put some fresh flowers around and make sure that the dishes are done and the bathrooms are spotless.
If a potential buyer asks to come for a return inspection do not take this for granted, prepare your home so that it looks exactly like it did on their first inspection.
Step 3 PROMOTE
Over 90% of potential buyers are looking on the net, don’t believe the rhetoric about print advertising, real estate.com.au have large billboards about town that read ‘If you are not on realestate.com.au you are not on the market’ believe it as this is the only way you can get to multiple buyers from any location. There are lots of real estate websites, Domain is also a great site but most others are simply replicating the majors and will not find you a buyer that has not looked at the leading sites.
An outstanding signboard that attracts attention will pick up potential buyers who are physically looking in your area, it also helps locals who may know someone who they know wants to move into your area.
When writing the text about your property, don’t be tempted to turn it into a life story, keep the message clear, it is about living in your home, the benefits, the ambience, remember, less is more. The wording that you settle on has only one objective and that is to create enough interest for a potential buyer to decide that your property is worth visiting. You need them inspecting your property, not reading about it.
There are many ways to promote your sale, statistics strongly support interest in property often comes from the area directly around the property that is on the market as often, local residents are on the lookout for relatives or friends who have expressed an interest in moving to the area. Host a few neighbours for an afternoon tea, tell them that you would like their opinion on how your house is presented. Drop flyers in letterboxes within a 1 kilometre radius and ask your local coffee shop if you can leave some flyers on their counter.
Step 4 SELL
Once you are in a prepared state of mind, your property is well presented, clean and smelling and looking great you are ready to sell it. Many vendors think that Open Inspections are the best way to sell however this is not always the best way to find a buyer. If after starting your promotional campaign you are inundated with calls then an Open Inspection is a practical way to attract buyer attention, however if there is only a slow trickle of calls, then Private Inspections are the best option.
When conducting Open Inspections think of it as hosting parents from the local school or a sporting group, be warm and friendly but don’t go over the top. The objective is to allow potential buyers to explore your home, find out what they like and what they may not like, don’t invade their space allow them to feel welcome and not be pressured.
Answer questions, don’t rave on about your home or follow them around, position yourself somewhere very accessible and tell them once they have had a good look around that you are available to answer any questions they may have. It is also essential that towards the end of their inspection and before they leave that you ask, do you feel that this property is of interest to you, can I answer any questions that you may have?
If you decide on private inspections it is quite ok to invite more than one group at a time, stagger the inspection times and allow them to overlap so that buyers realise that there is interest in your property, but remember that your interaction with a potential buyer is very important. You are a host and the impression that you make can be as important as the presentation of your house.
Dress up for all inspections and ensure that your home is always presented to the same standard including when a buyer returns for a second or third inspection. Don’t take it for granted if buyer’s return, put exactly the same effort and attention to detail into presenting the property on the return visit as they are buying what they first saw so if they find an untidy, smelly, dimly lit home on their return visit, this may kill the sale.
When a buyer says that they wish to make an offer always ask for it in writing setting out the price, terms, settlement period, deposit and any other requirements such as a valuation from their financier.
Step 5 SETTLE
Once you have a buyer then it is essential to move quickly with the settlement process. By now you will have appointed a Conveyancer to handle the legal documentation including the contract, offer document and related paperwork. The buyer will also require the services of a conveyancer and you will need to facilitate and drive the process, do not leave it to the buyer hoping all will be well as often this is where sales fall over.
It is also very important to maintain your property to the same high standard you did when presenting it to the buyer, the sales process does not end until you have the money in the bank.
Hello Real Estate can assist you through the process of selling your home, we charge a fixed fee and we provide one on one support through our Hello Mentoring system.
Call us today for an obligation free chat about selling your property the Hello way and let us show you how to save thousands that you can put towards your next property or use to take your family on a great holiday!
So what are you waiting for? Get started today on selling and reap the rewards.