9 Min read. Updated 7th of June 2021.
Selling a home can seem like a daunting task with a million different things to consider. Everyone wants the sell their property at the top end of the market, but don’t know what steps to take to give themselves the best possible chance. Generally speaking, there are four pillars to an effective selling campaign that if you get right, will get your property the best possible price.
1. Staging the property
Staging involves cleaning up your property and making it look more presentable. The way your property looks for staging is what people will see in the photos used for advertising. Staging is done to paint your home in the best light. This includes cleaning, fixing any maintenance issues, cleaning up the garden, paint touch-ups, and everything in between.
First impressions are everything in the property market. If your house doesn’t look good, potential buyers won’t even click on your listing when they see it online. For staging, it’s best to set up all your furniture nicely. If your property is already empty, you can use a professional home staging service. They can provide furniture and style it in the house for you.
Statistics show that buyers are naturally more attracted to properties that have furniture and decorations in the listing photos. This gives the buyer an idea of what they could do with the property and what the place looks like as a home rather than just walls and carpet. It makes the property more relatable and gives off a more “homely vibe.”
So think about what you would look for if you were buying a property. Little things matter, and neglecting this basic stage can reduce the number of buyers interested in your property drastically.
So you’ve spruced up your property and it’s ready to be listed. Now you need it to be seen. If you don’t have a good marketing campaign, no one will see your property and all the effort you put into presenting it will be wasted. Where you list your property and what platforms you use are two very important things.
For the listing itself, you should consider bumping your property to the top of real estate websites for a few weeks. This will give your property exposure to the market that it needs. Your real estate agent should also be focused on including your property in email campaigns and print media. These are just some of the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to draw as many eyes as possible to your listing.
But a top spot on realestate.com.au is not enough. How you price your property should also be considered carefully because if you set it too high, no one will be interested and your property will sit on the market for months. Having a trusted advisor to give you a proper appraisal is a must. Vendor Advocates are useful here as real estate agents can give you unrealistic expectations of what your property is worth. Conversely, they can price your property too low in order to get rid of it quickly so they can move on to the next one.
Vendor advocates can act as your impartial advisor who will ensure that the real estate agent is working in your best interests. They can also tell you whether it is best to sell via private treaty or at auction, depending on recent market conditions. Selling at auction in a weak market can result in an unfavourable outcome if there isn’t enough competition to drive the price upward. Sometimes it is better to take longer and wait for the right buyer instead of rushing to auction, and a Vendor advocate can help you decide what is the best option.
3. Using a database of contacts
Any real estate agent can list a property online and pay for a top advertising spot. The thing that separates good real estate agents from great real estate agents is their industry contacts with buyer’s agents. If your real estate agent is experienced and a “local area expert”, they should have no issues coming up with a long list of buyer’s agents to contact.
Buyer’s agents represent the buyer just like a real estate agent or vendor advocate represents the vendor. Real estate agents often negotiate with buyer’s agents and build contacts on which they can pass their properties onto. Whenever a real estate agent lists a property, they should have an idea of which buyer’s agents in the area might have clients who are looking for that sort of property. This can give you exposure to a whole new set of buyers who might have otherwise not seen your property.
Naturally, this will put your property in front of more eyes which is what you want. If you’re looking to sell quickly, having buyer’s agents as contacts can also help because you might be able to strike a deal before the property is even listed, saving you significant costs on advertising.
When you get to the pointy end of a property transaction, you need to keep your nerve and evaluate, without emotion, whether an offer is worth taking or whether you can do better. Make no mistake, there is an art to negotiation, and doing it badly can take tens of thousands of dollars out of your pocket.
For many people who only sell 2-3 properties in their lifetime, this can be a daunting experience and they might take a low offer because they don’t know any better. This is where an experienced Vendor advocate will come in handy. They know when to consider offers and when to play hardball. They can call the bluff of an opportunistic buyer because they have experience in the industry and negotiate property deals on a daily basis.
Sometimes you might receive an offer that is at the bottom of your asking range and a lazy agent will pressure you to take it, knowing that they could get more but that their commission wouldn’t increase by much. This is where you need a trusted advisor like a Vendor advocate who can tell you to be patient and wait for a better offer. A bad real estate agent in this crucial part of the transaction can ruin your whole campaign and leave you thousands of dollars poorer.
5. Choosing the right agent
Choosing the right real estate agent for your property isn’t as easy as you might think. We certainly don’t recommend picking the first one you find. It’s important to dedicate a significant amount of time to researching the agents available in your property’s area. Consider looking up reviews and testimonials of the agent. If you want an honest review then why not go straight to the source? Speak to a recent customer of one of these agents.
One of the best ways to see how a real estate agent operates is to see them on the job. Visit a few open for inspections and see how they conduct themselves. Ask yourself the following questions. Do they arrive on time? Do they greet you in a friendly manner and offer to answer any questions you might have? Do they make the effort to take down your details? Have they offered all the relevant paperwork such as a statement of information along with pamphlets?
What you’re really looking for is a high level of care and attention to detail. You should feel comfortable dealing with the real estate agent and be able to ask them any questions about the property sale. Another clear indicator of a real estate agent’s ability is their results. See how their recent house property sales compared to other agents in the local area.
Remember, if you don’t have the time or patience to find the right real estate agent, your vendor advocate can do this process for you. They will already have a list of reliable contacts in your area.
6. Deciding on a selling method
Picking the right sale method for your property is paramount. After more research, you’ll soon come to realise that there isn’t always a clear advantage when you compare methods. It’s best to choose the right one based on your property, the time period you choose to sell, and how recent sales similar to your property have performed. At the end of the day, you need to choose the method which will achieve the highest sale price in a relatively short time.
A sale by private treaty is one method that’s been highly successful around Australia. This method involves publicly advertising and listing a property at a set price. This listing price is usually adjusted to reflect the current market value. Prospective buyers will be able to put offers on the property. You will then have the choice of accepting, negotiating or declining the offers you think are the best.
Another sales method that’s becoming popular is selling by tender. During this process, you receive anonymous offers from prospective buyers. During this process, other prospective buyers will not know how high the other bids are. They also won’t have access to a publicly listed price. You will get the option to choose an end date for accepting offers. From there you can then choose the best offer. This method can result in buyers making higher than expected offers. There is also no obligation for you to accept any of the offers.
The last sale option is selling by auction. This is still one of the most popular options for vendors. A sale by auction involves interested buyers bidding on your house at a public auction. This is usually done in front of the property itself unless weather conditions force bidders to move inside. When a public auction is carried out smoothly and the conditions are right, you can end up getting some serious bidding competition for your property. It’s this competitive nature of bidding that makes selling by auction very effective at jacking up the sale prices of properties.
7. Open for inspections
An open for inspection is still one of the most important marketing tools for selling a house. It’s very rare that someone will purchase a house without first seeing it in person. Prospective buyers really need to inspect your property in order to get a feel for it. They need to get a sense of the house and the surrounding suburb. Buyers need to be confident the house and the suburb will suit their lifestyle or investment interests if they choose to make the house a rental property instead.
There are two types of property inspections you can choose to do. Private inspections involve a prospective buyer booking private sessions where they can inspect the house and get the real estate agent to show them around. The advantage of a private inspections is the agent will already have a good idea of what the buyer is after. They will be able to manage their expectations and provide detailed information.
The alternative to private inspections is an open inspection. There are many great advantages to doing an inspection this way. It’s organised by setting a specific time and date for prospective buyers to visit your property. This is a public event that opens up your house to all sorts of interested buyers. There’s no limit to who can come in. These inspection events are usually hosted on the weekend where more people are available to see your property. An open inspection can also be used as a gateway to a private inspection. If a prospective buyer is genuinely interested, they will often book a private inspection afterwards and bring other family members along with them to get a second opinion.
Although there are many facets to the process of selling property, if you focus on and get these parts right, the rest should fall into place. Be patient and take the time to set things up properly. There’s a good chance you will come out the other side with a nice profit and a positive experience.
To help you through this entire property sale process, it’s best to call in the experts. Here at Vendor Advocate Melb, our professionals can oversee and coordinate the entire process for you. They act as the middleman between you and the real estate agent. They can help take the stress out of the selling process for you. Find out more about how we can help you by visiting our Process Page or calling us on 8323 0236 for any questions.