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Time to stand out

By David Gordon

Time to stand out in a buyer’s market

It’s a buyers’ market at the moment, so if you’re a seller what can you do to make your property stand out from the crowd and sell for a higher price?   Here, we offer nine clever strategies.

Setting the Price
One of the first and most important steps you’ll need to take is to set the asking price, or, if you’re selling at auction, the reserve price. If you’re selling privately your asking price will usually be considered a starting point for negotiations and in a slow market you can expect to end up accepting an offer that’s lower. The key is to remember that your property is only worth what the market is willing to pay for it and there’s always a buyer if it’s priced right, so set emotions aside and price to sell!

Method of Sale
When it comes to selling your property, there are two popular methods to choose from: private treaty or public auction. A third method is public tender, but this is less commonly used for residential properties.
“Each has its own advantages and it’s advisable to speak to your agent about the benefits of each method,” says John McGrath, chief executive of McGrath Estate Agents, however he favours auctions for properties located in the ‘top suburbs’ and also for properties that are difficult to determine the value of.

This is an obvious one, but we have to mention it because how you present your property directly contributes to how buyers feel about it.   Some of the turn-offs for buyers as:
• animal odours in the house
• evidence of damp or moisture in the walls
• cigarette or strong food smells
• doors, windows or gates that stick
• too much furniture or personal belongings cluttering the space
• cracked glass
• stained carpet

Home Staging
Still on the topic of presentation… a property stylist can improve the appeal of your property by enhancing its appearance through ‘home staging’.   Home staging involves decorating and cleaning, but more importantly it’s about creating the right mood to make buyers want to purchase your property. The idea is that it helps you achieve a higher sale price.

Buyers for good quality property can be found all year round, however there are some important points to consider.  If your property is located in one of Sydney’s beachside suburbs, research indicates that the spring and summer months produce superior results, particularly October and February.  In major centres avoid the Christmas holiday period between December 20 and January 10. In tourist destinations, however, this same period can be the best time for the sale of property.

Supporting Documentation
There’s always a long paperwork trail when you try to sell a property, but did you know that some of it can actually improve your chances of a successful sale?  Some suggest that sellers display a building and pest report – and a strata search for units – at the open inspection.  It shows you have nothing to hide and removes barriers to receiving of  fers, and it can speed up the transaction process.  It’s really beneficial if it’s for sale by auction.

Under Promise and Over Deliver
It’s important to be factual in the advertising you use to promote your property and, where possible, you should under promise and over deliver in some way.  In an industry that over promises all day long and seems to constantly under deliver, to make your property stand out, do the opposite.

Offer Something Extra
Including a piece of furniture with the property could be enough to cinch the deal if a buyer has to choose between two properties.  For example, if you had a really nice water feature or 42-inch TV mounted on the wall, just include that in the contract of sale to go with the house or apartment.

Vendor Advocates
We’re all familiar with buyer advocates (or ‘buyers agents’) but what about advocates who work on behalf of sellers?
Vendor advocates come at no additional cost to sellers, as their fee is taken out of the agent’s normal commission. Vendor advocates can interview potential agents, establish sales objectives, oversee the entire sales campaign and act as the day-to-day contact between the agent and the vendor.

extracted from an article by Eynas Brodie | Australian Property Investor Magazine

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