In my experience many sellers who become excited about the prospect of moving completely forget to pay attention to basic details or to even consider the transaction from a buyers’ perspective.
Probably the most common, and I would say the most important, mistake made by sellers is poor presentation. Always remember when you are putting your property on the market you are actually selling your home, the associated story, and the life experience.
Of course, when potential buyers come to look at your home they want to see the condition of the home, check out how many bathrooms and bedrooms it has, and how large the yard is. However, they also want to picture themselves in the home, imagine where their furniture would go and how it would look, and envision their children playing in that yard. And naturally it is easier for buyers to have a clear picture of themselves owning and living in your home if the property presents itself well.
To my mind poor presentation of a home would include showing a home that is unclean, cluttered, and empty. It’s much more than just sweeping and mopping floors and tidying up rooms, a good presentation means paying attention to the details and doing those chores you’ve been putting off.
Things like cleaning leaves and debris from the gutters and removing cobwebs out of corners shows buyers that the home is well taken care of. Cluttered rooms distract; remove unnecessary items and allow sellers to appreciate every room for its space and functionality.
Every room has a purpose, help buyers to envision what they could do with the space. Lastly, if the property you’ve placed on the market has been sitting unoccupied and is vacant, make arrangements to have the home staged.
Staging a home can be as simple as hiring a staging company to furnish the home with rented furniture, or simply placing some key items around the home on your own.
Even simple touches such as a hanging some nice canvas paintings, adding a vase with flowers, or updating out-of-date wall colours can sometimes have a critical impact and turn a wavering prospect into an interested buyer.
Another common mistake I have observed is when sellers make uninformed assumptions about the commission structure and the components that go into an agent’s selling fee.
Of course, every owner wants the best deal and there’s a certain level that most agents will charge but sellers should always consider the marketing and advertising components involved.
It stands to reason that sellers would want to save money, but pinching pennies and not running an effective marketing campaign or simply seeking an agent with the lowest fees is not the area you should knowingly choose to skimp on.
Reducing the marketing budget really ties the hand of the agent, especially if they want to create a marketing campaign that is going to optimally position your home to secure a great price. Marketing should never be considered as just money down the drain; it is better to think of marketing as an insurance policy.
Choosing an agent who charges less upfront may not only mean a less effective marketing campaign for your home but it may also mean you end up with an agent who does not negotiate selling prices particularly well.
Remember, agents who are strong negotiators mean you have an advocate who won’t back down or panic. You want someone who is going to fight for every dollar, defend your target price well, and get the most for you as an owner.
For an average Wollongong property an agent with poor negotiation skills could ultimately cost your family anywhere from five to twenty thousand tax-free dollars on the eventual sale price of your home.
That’s two common traps you should avoid when selling your property; next issue we will examine some more techniques on how to ensure you always get the best possible price.
Contributor Adrian D’Amico: Business Owner Sales & Marketing Consultant – Harcourts Wollongong. Adrian is an enthusiastic Real Estate professional who has the ability to recognize and understand the necessities of his clientele. He has survived the test of time in the real estate industry, remaining devoted and passionate about his profession.
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