So you’re thinking of selling. At what point do you call in an estate agent to assist you? Most sellers only call an estate agent when they are ready to take their property to the market and commence the marketing.
But is this the best way to ensure that your property sells for what it’s worth?
The property market, like any other market, works on supply and demand. Whilst the general stock levels play a major part in this, there is much a seller can do to increase the demand for their specific property.
What we know is that buyers buy by comparison. That means they will look at a number of properties in the same price range that offer similar value. However they will only make an offer on one property at a time. It’s their demand for your specific property that will determine whether or not they will make an offer, and how good the offer will be.
To illustrate: If there are 3 properties on the market in the same area, all offering similar accommodation, and all priced in the same price range, which property will receive the offer first?
It will always be the one that offers the best value. The best value does not always mean the one at the lowest price. It means the property that is correctly priced, that is usually in the best condition, and that appeals most emotionally to a purchaser.
So just how can you ensure that your property offers the best value in your market and therefor will attract better offers than your competition. Quite simply: you need to prepare your property for the market before you list.
So long before you want to sell your property it is advisable to call in an estate agent you trust and ask them to advise you on how to improve the saleability of your home. Look at your property through the eyes of a buyer.
An experienced agent will guide you on what you need to do. It is usually well worth the effort and cost to address small matters that make a big difference. These include: The entrance, kitchen and bathroom areas, condition of the flooring, leaking taps, missing light bulbs, addressing unpleasant odors (including pet odors), condition of the garden and the pool, driveway, gutters and fascia’s, and the like.
It may well be worth repainting certain areas as well – and it doesn’t always cost as much as one might think. What’s important to realize is that there is much you can do before you list to ensure you appeal emotionally to buyers. This will create demand for your specific property. The buyers will see the value once they have made the emotional connection and make you their best offer. And isn’t that what you deserve?
Principal of Harcourts Platinum, and Director of Harcourts South Africa
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