It’s the questions every seller wants answered: How do I sell for the most the market will pay?
In answering the question there are a number of issues to consider. For the purpose of this article we will focus on some of them, and future articles will deal with other important influencing factors.
The first truth to appreciate is the your property will sell for the most money if it sells early on in the listing process.
The longer a property stays on the market the less it will sell for. Why? Because at any point in time there is a pool of buyers in the marketplace. When your property is listed these buyers will respond to the marketing and view it. If your property is overpriced they will vote with their feet and move on. Even if you drop your price later it’s very difficult to get these buyers back.
A property that is listed for an extended period of time becomes known as a stale listing. Buyers will think there is something wrong with the listing and will almost never offer full price – making very low offers, if any.
Contrast that scenario with the seller who lists his property at the correct market value right at the very start of the marketing process. Buyers will see the property and show interest as it represents fair market value. They will compete for the property and put their very best offer in – and you will sell quickly for the maximum the market will pay.
So, in order to achieve the highest price possible, it’s critical to list at the correct price right at the beginning. Overpricing will cost you in the long run. And don’t be tricked into listing with the agent who overvalues your listing just to get the mandate. An agent has no control over market value –so base your decision solely on an accurate comparative market analysis.
What else will assist you in getting the most the market will pay?
Make sure your property stands out in the crowd. When you list your property for sale you are marketing your property “in competition” to other properties – not “in isolation”. Make sure your property is easily visible to buyers. Take your property to the buyers, rather than wait for them to stumble across you.
How can you do this? Massive marketing. Period. Yes, website marketing is very important, and it’s not something you can do without. But print marketing really makes your listing stand out. You are visible to passive buyers as well as active buyers when you have print marketing – and you need massive buyer activity to achieve the best price. So ensure you get the best print marketing possible.
Next you will need to consider how your property presents itself. Try and view it through the eyes of a potential buyer. Is there anything you can do to show off the most desirable attributes of your property? Are there any maintenance issues that would detract from the value?
In future articles we will explore this aspect in more detail – but presentation is a critical aspect that needs to be addressed if you want to sell for the money you deserve.
Principal of Harcourts Platinum, and Director of Harcourts South Africa
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