What you don't know could be costing you $1,000's. This guide tells you what every home seller MUST know and what Real Estate Agents NEVER tell you. Written for the Australian marketplace, it is also easy to adapt to your home town.
Let's face it Real Estate Agents are not teachers - they're not going to explain to you all their hints and tips. But this guide will! You’re about to find out faster, smarter and easier ways to squeeze out every last dollar of profit when it comes to selling your home. And the learning curve is instant, so it costs virtually nothing in your most precious resource - time.
Every day your house is not selling is costing you. It may be costing you interest on your mortgage, or it may just be the pressure and stress of not being able to move on with your life. In a fast moving market, it may be costing you the opportunity of securing your new dream home, or moving to a new job or business opportunity. It may even be keeping you from caring for your loved ones properly, because you simply can’t afford to move there, or can’t get there quickly enough. But one way or the other, it is costing you.
The primary cause of the worst kind of stress for home sellers is when they have bought a home before they sell their current one. Firstly, a deposit (usually 10% of the sale price) could be at risk. You may even get yourself in a situation where you end up struggling to pay for two mortgages. But even if there is no risk of losing your cold hard cash, the risk of losing a home that you are emotionally invested in could put unbelievable pressure on you and your family. You may be plagued, day and night, with relentless thoughts of . Even if you manage to get your own thoughts under control, well-meaning friends and family will be constantly asking “have you sold yet?”. These remorseless reminders will soon send you quite batty!
The good news is that this stress is simple to avoid. You can eliminate it forever. NEVER purchase another home before you have sold your current one. By all means search the market for possible purchases. By all means talk to vendors and let them know your situation. But don’t let yourself “fall in love” with another house, and certainly don’t sign anything, no matter how great the pressure and fear you feel is. Believe me, the pressure to sign, and the fear of losing out, are nothing compared to the stress of buying before you’ve sold.
If you have already bought elsewhere, you might want to think twice about telling your agent. Why? Because they will usually use this information to put even more pressure on you – to reduce your asking price. And this alone could cost you thousands of dollars in profit that you'll never get in your pocket! If you do decide to tell them, make it clear to them that the pressure is on them to sell your house, not on you to reduce your price.
Get the best possible price for your property by avoiding common mistakes of home sellers. The biggest mistake most sellers make is that they think the agent is selling the home. Agents want you to think that. They even advertise in the papers “these are all the properties I sold last month”. Remember the agent is not the seller - you are. Don't give up responsibility. YOU have to manage the sale. Stay in contact. Ask your agent why it's not selling. Be firm. Make sure they realise you want the truth, that it is costing you and you are committed to fix any problems. Ask them to advise you on improvements you can make to increase the likelihood of a profitable and successful sale.
If you want to sell your home for the biggest profit you need to understand what buyers are willing to pay money for. Buyers today aren’t interested in just buying a home. This is one of the secrets that real estate agents know, that you probably don't. They are looking to buy a lifestyle. Lifestyle is what they really value. Therefore anything you can do to improve their lifestyle will dramatically increase the selling price of your home.
For example, most buyers today want some kind of garden – but they don’t want to have to sacrifice their weekends to look after their garden. Sacrifice is the opposite of lifestyle. So whilst you may enjoy pruning roses and fertilising gardenias, your buyers may actually devalue your home because of it. A low maintenance garden is valued by more buyers in the marketplace. So things like having automatic reticulation and slow-growing plant varieties will help convey a feeling of lifestyle to your potential buyers.
A big part of lifestyle is being able to relax during leisure time. Whilst for kids this might mean relaxing in a pool – adults might see pool cleaning and water safety supervision as robbing them of leisure time. Do everything you can to your home to maximise the "easy" and "simple" and "relaxing" parts of it - and you will add instant value and attract more buyers - both of which will boost your profits.
Studies have shown that for every $1 you invest in wisely renovating your home, the effect is similar to dropping the price by $10. In other words, buyers will find your home ten times as valuable if you do a few simple things like making sure it is freshly painted, clean, odour-free and light and spacious. The key to success here is to spend money on what the buyer sees, not what they don't. For example, landscape the front yard, not the back, or spend money on furnishings not on plumbing.
Adding another room to your house can add an average of 10% to the selling price. But you don't have to build an extension to do that. Are you using any rooms as studies that could be bedrooms? Put a bed in there and you will help the buyer to realise that yours is a 4 bedroom home, not merely a 3 bedroom home plus study. Utilise small areas that can become a "study nook" under the stairs, or in narrower rooms, by adding a small desk, a wireless laptop and a lamp. Buyers will now compare your home favourably to other homes on the market because it has "that extra study area".
Timing is crucial to making the most profit on your home. Always aim to sell when the market is "hot". Even if there is a subdued market in your area, some times of the year are better than others eg. spring is usually a good time of year to sell (unless your home is in a winter ski resort), and before the start of the school year usually sees a flurry of families changing home so they minimise the schooling disruptions to their children. In Australia, there is also a lot of activity towards the end of the year as buyers are trying to "get in before Christmas".
There you go - just a few simple changes that only take a moment to learn and probably less than a weekend to implement. But they could add quite a few zeros to your bank account! Good luck!