Achieving top dollar for your property could be easier than you think if you are prepared to do some research and put in a little extra effort.
Gone are the days when a simple photo of your house in the newspaper was enough to clinch a winning deal. Digital-savvy potential buyers are now far more discerning, and it’s important not to cut corners when getting your property ready for sale.
Preparation is key, and this includes everything from finding the right real estate agent for your home to making sure your front gate opens properly. But exactly how to get your home ready to sell? We’ve come up with a checklist to help ensure your home is snapped up quickly, and even more importantly, for the best price.
Research the local market
If you are thinking about selling, then it’s likely you’ve already started looking at recent sales results. This is a great starting point as it can help you to get a feel for the market. To get into more details, talk to your reals estate agent.
Of course, there’s no point comparing apples and oranges. If you live in a single-level 3-bedroom home on a busy road, then the big-money sale of a nearby double-storey mansion with a pool and tennis court may give you unrealistic expectations. Instead, look for similar-sized properties, and importantly, within the same school zone. This way, you can understand how much your home will likely fetch and how to make it appeal to the local buyer demographic.
Try to understand the trends in the market too, such as property price growth and auction clearance rates. These will give you an idea of where the market is going and which method of sale might work best for your property.
Furthermore, keep an eye out for macroeconomic influences in Australia such as interest rate changes or a variation in immigration policies. This can have a delayed impact on the property market, but an impact nonetheless.
Get appraisals and set a goal
After you have researched your marketplace, it is time to check out the agents in your area. Of course, asking around in friend groups and looking online is a great starting point. Still, the only way to know if an agent will be the perfect match for you and your property is to meet them in person.
Pick the agents that look best on paper and are held in high esteem by other locals, and get an appraisal from all of them – if you have the time. Not only will this help you find the most suitable representative for your sale, but it will also assist in helping you ensure that your expected price point for your home is achievable.
It shouldn’t be about looking for the cheapest commission or the agent who promises the best price. It is about finding the right expertise and someone who can support you through every step of the process. If you are selling an apartment, look for an agent who has experience in unit sales. Likewise, if you are listing an acreage, you will benefit from someone knowledgeable in this market.
After getting multiple appraisals, set a realistic goal price. This should be around the estimate that various agents have given you and can be proven by looking at other similar properties in the area.
Attending an inspection to watch an agent in action is a good way to narrow your shortlist too. If you like what you see, make a quick introduction and grab their contact details. It’s essential that you feel comfortable; after all, this is your most valuable asset.
Your local LJ Hooker agent will be able to advise whether your goal price is achievable in the current market. In addition, they can provide you with a free expert appraisal – both virtually and in person.
Work with your agent to achieve your goal
Now you have selected the right agent; you are a step closer to getting your home ready to sell.
Work with your agent to ensure you set a SMART goal. This means the goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. An example of a SMART property goal might be to sell your property for over $1,000,000 in six weeks. This is a great goal, considering this is a reasonable price point, proved by comparable sales in the area.
Make sure your agent is on board with this goal, and then you can both chip away at achieving it before the deadline.
Prepare your home for sale
This is when the fun really begins, although you can expect a little bit of hard work along the way. The end goal is to make someone else fall in love with your home, just as you once did.
A great place to start is decluttering, allowing buyers to envision themselves in your property more easily. If that sounds too exhausting, you can even hire someone to do this for you.
Ensure any damage – no matter how small – is properly fixed. Unless your home is a knock-down, this is incredibly important as buyers will cast a critical eye over the entire property.
Remember, first impressions count, and this includes your kerb-side appeal. So get the mower and hedge trimmer into overdrive and also look out for stained pathways and brickwork. A quick blast with a high-pressure hose, and you’ll be amazed by the transformation. And remove the leaves from your gutters!
Steam-cleaning the carpet and fixing cracked tiles or chipped paint is also a must. You may have learned to live with these blemishes over the years, but it’s a huge turn-off to a buyer.
If the budget can afford it, replace daggy old doorknobs and kitchen fittings, such as tapware. Adding cushions, indoor plants or just simply rearranging the furniture, will ensure your house has its best foot forward – and appeal to the widest range of buyers possible.
Professional styling can pay dividends when selling your home. While you may favour bright and bold colours, you don’t want a potential buyer to be distracted by your colour scheme. The goal of styling is to increase the appeal, so opt for neutrals.
Your agent is a great source of information and can also tell you what needs to be done before selling a house. So, reach out to them to tap into any suggestions, as well as contacts for tradespeople and handymen who could assist.
Trust your real estate agent and do not be afraid to spend on marketing to sell your home. A great marketing campaign often means a higher selling price.
When preparing your property for photography – think of it as dressing up for a family portrait. A bowl of oranges in the kitchen or perhaps a vase of flowers on the dining room table may add a little style.
Work with your photographer to capture the right mood. After all, your photos will appear on your signboard, brochures, and online and are crucial in attracting people to inspection.
Pay particular attention to any big selling features that your agent may recommend highlighting, such as outdoor entertaining areas. Kitchens are considered the ‘heart of the home’. They are a must for your marketing as well as the lounge room and master bedroom.
Be sure to talk through your campaign strategy with your agent to ensure the best coverage.
Be ready for open homes
You are almost ready for your first open inspection. Make sure beds are beautifully made, windows are gleaming and not a bread crumb or cobweb in sight. All personal items need to be tucked away, including any evidence of a pet.
Be confident, knowing you have done everything possible to prepare your home for sale. The hard work is done, and you will soon be moving onto your next exciting chapter.
To find out more about how to get your home ready to sell, download our eBooks:
– The Complete Guide To Successfully Selling Your Property
– An Expert Guide To Styling Your Home To Sell
Our team at LJ Hooker is also waiting to assist you. We offer you experience alongside excellent market knowledge that helps make the selling process as smooth and as efficient as possible. So contact us today for a free property appraisal.
By Katrina Creer