To get the best price for your home, you need to do a few key things right.
Equally as important, you need to also avoid doing a few key things wrong. With that in mind, we thought it was time to look at the most common mistakes we see sellers make in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.
1. Not putting the buyer first
Getting the best price for a property means always going into a marketing campaign knowing the type of buyer likely to be interested in your property. It also means doing what you can to highlight the features of your property that are likely to attract them.
This starts with the way your property is presented in any advertising campaign, and the means you use to reach potential buyers. For instance, if your property will attract prestige buyers or downsizers, print is almost always a good idea; if you’re trying to attract young families or young professionals, why not consider a Facebook campaign?
Some personal effects are fine, but putting your buyer first also includes decluttering or staging the property so that your target buyers can imagine themselves living there. Too often, when a property sells for too little, it’s because the seller isn’t thinking of the buyer first.
2. Spending too much – or too little – on a renovation
One great fear of many sellers is spending too much on a renovation and overcapitalizing, so that they never manage to recoup the investment they make. It’s true that we often see properties where the sellers have spent too much money on unimportant aspects of their home which are unlikely to affect their value. However, just as frequently we see instances where people haven’t spent enough. In the eastern suburbs, people will often pay more for excellence. That means the most successful renovations are usually those that emphasize good design, as well as quality fixtures and fittings. Spending money on these aspects of a renovation are likely to reap rewards when it comes to sale time.
3. Being unrealistic
Setting a price is more than just putting a nice-looking number down and hoping for the best. More often than not, sellers are on the side of profit – that is, they tend to want to start high (by which we mean “higher than they should”). Doing this can cause a number of problems, the biggest being discouraged buyers. This can lead to a home sitting on the market for longer than it should, which inevitably leads to “there-must-be-something-wrong-with-it syndrome”. On the other side of the coin, setting the price too low can stimulate too many enquiries, which can end up with the seller getting frustrated and accepting a low-ball offer.
Some sellers go into a sales campaign with overly ambitious ideas of what their home is worth. It’s only natural to be proud of our homes, and keeping a property in good shape is likely to affect its value. But there are other market factors that will impact its price too, and you always need to be realistic about what buyers will pay for.
For instance, a 1970’s renovation is unlikely to attract extra money from any potential buyer, even if you have kept it in top working order. A good agent will be able to tell you what your property is worth, based on comparable sales and their own local knowledge.
4. Not listening to the market
The real estate market is based on the laws of supply and demand. If a property fails to sell, it’s sometimes because a seller hasn’t noticed – or refuses to believe – what the market has been telling them. That doesn’t necessarily always mean that the property is overvalued. It could mean that it’s pitched at the wrong market, presented badly or even being sold through the wrong means.
If you get an offer that’s lower than you’d like, don’t just shoot it down. Sure, it might be an opportunistic buyer trying to low-ball you, but it could also be a perfectly reasonable human being trying to negotiate. You don’t have to only negotiate with price either. There could be additional value you could add or remove according to the home’s features (e.g. appliances, furnishings, etc.) that could make the difference between a low offer and a palatable one. Time is also a valuable negotiating chip. Having a contract settle at a time that suits your buyers can be worth a little extra dollars.
When you sell your home, your agent should be speaking to prospective buyers to find out what they have to say. And, if it’s not what you want to hear, they should be looking at ways to meet the market – whether that’s by remarketing it, repricing it or taking another course of action altogether.
6. Not trusting their real estate agent
We’re not trying to toot our own horn, but it’s fairly common knowledge that using an agent can make the whole selling process easier and quicker, while also netting you a bigger sale price. Choosing a real estate agent in the first place is down to their professional advice and experience (at least it should be). So, when a seller doesn’t trust their agent and acts against their advice, they’re not really paying for anything at all. That’s why, if you’re selling a home, it’s vital you choose an agent who you trust.
Do your homework, interview a couple of different agents, ask them some incisive questions, and make sure that you’re comfortable with the person selling your home. Ensure that they know what they’re doing. We’ve heard more than a few horror stories that resulted from people signing with the first agent that came along. After all, the relationship between seller and agent is as important in achieving the best price for a property as anything else is.
The team at Madeleine Hicks Real Estate have been selling North Brisbane homes for almost 20 years now. Start by giving us a call and learning how we can assist you to get your house sold for the best price.