06 Oct 12
Once the decision has been made to sell a home, most people want to move quickly so they can get on with the next phase of their lives. To get the best outcome from the sale, however, they need to consider a few basic actions that will make the process smoother, and hopefully result in a quick sale for a fair price. Before actually placing the property in the hands of an agent, it should be objectively assessed for its overall condition. If there are any repairs needed, these should be done quickly so that any cleaning or painting required can then follow.
At the same time as this is happening, it's a good idea to be looking around for an agent to sell the property on your behalf. Apart from the actual decision to sell, this is the next most important step. Choosing the right agent will mean the difference between a smooth and stress-free process and a roller-coaster ride of poor communication, unannounced inspections and disinterested purchasers.
Getting the Property Ready for the Market
A professional real estate agency will have a logical, structured process for the management of the sale right from the first point of contact. A typical starting point is an inspection of the home, which by now should be in perfect condition and ready for sale. If the owner hasn't tidied up the lawns and gardens, completed obvious repairs, cleaned and generally presented the property at its best, the agent has two problems right from the start.
The first problem will be in setting the selling price. A poorly prepared property won't attract the best price for its type in the local market. This will cause difficulties between the vendor and the agent, as it is likely that the seller will still expect it to be priced at the same level as a similar property in top condition. Many agents can tell horror stories about sellers who missed the market, simply because they ignored this advice. The second problem will be attracting willing purchasers who are ready to buy, but want to move into a home that doesn't require any work beforehand
Attracting the Right Purchasers
With the property in tip-top condition, and the seller taking the agent's advice on pricing, there should be documentation signed to make the listing official and to set out the marketing plan. Professional agencies customise their marketing to suit the property. For example, they don't waste money on expensive interstate newspaper advertising if the property is a low budget home likely to be snapped up by someone locally. They also use a range of media and don't rely on just one marketing stream.
The combination of correct pricing and targeted marketing done by an experienced agency will draw out genuine purchasers in numbers. This is an excellent outcome for the seller because competition creates momentum. An ethical agent, mindful of acting for the seller and not the purchaser, uses their practiced negotiating skills to close the sale, rather than badgering the seller to reduce the price of the property
With the right agent handling the sale, the role of the seller is to keep the home in spotless condition for every inspection. This can be difficult, especially if there are several people living in the house, including children. However, the sellers must work with the agent to get the best results, and this means doing their part. A good agent will make the process trouble free with the help of the seller, who will then be able to look forward to another housing investment.