Yet many people are willing to hand over the responsibility for their property sale to an agent they have never met before, without making any preparations of their own. And when their property sale takes longer than they expect or yields a lower sale price than they hoped, they put the blame squarely on the agent without considering that they might have improved the outcome if they had done their homework in advance.
In this profile, we look at some of the issues you need to consider when preparing to sell your property.
SELLING NOW OR LATER
The first thing you will need to consider is how quickly you need to sell. If you are selling because you are moving for work or going overseas, your departure dates will determine the time-frame and you will need to ensure that your sales campaign fits your schedule. If you have no fixed deadlines, you will be able to take more time to prepare your property for sale and to find the right buyer.
CHOOSING AN AGENT
Appointing a professional sales agent to run your sales campaign is essential. Choosing the right agent can ensure the best sales method (auction vs private treaty) is used in the sales process to get you the best result. Choosing the right agent takes time and some research. Talk to your friends and neighbours to find out their experiences with agents in your area but don’t just take their word for it.
When you contact an agent, you need to find out what services they provide, how much they charge, whether they are licensed, and what their sales record is like. Once you have narrowed the field, it is advisable to visit the contenders personally so that you can gauge their appearance, personal communication skills, ethical standards, their experience in real estate and most importantly, whether they put you at ease and are easy for you to deal with.
DECIDING THE PRICE
When you have settled on an agent who you feel confident will act in your best interests and has a good knowledge of market conditions in your area, you will need to consider setting the selling price for your property. Your agent will tell you what they believe the property is worth and they should be able to back that up with hard facts about recent sales of similar properties in your area. Correct pricing is crucial to a successful sale as buyers today are well informed about market values and will not over-pay for your property.
PREPARING THE PROPERTY
Once you have set the price, you should make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork required by the agents and your solicitor to complete the sale.
Then you need to check the property to get it ready for inspection. First impressions are very important and your property should be clean, free of clutter and in good repair. Take the time to have minor blemishes, such as torn screens or chipped paint, repaired and spend some time tidying the garden and pathways. You only get one chance to impress a potential buyer and create a desire to own your property, so make sure that you prepare well. If you have done your homework and the necessary groundwork, you are giving your property a better chance, however, your work is not over yet.
The trick with selling is to look at your property through the eyes of the buyer. The better prepared it is, the easier it will be for your chosen agent to ensure the success of the sale.