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7 Rookie errors to avoid when selling your home

By George Hadgelias

Selling a property isn’t easy.

Unless you’re a real estate agent, it’s probably not something you do very often which makes it difficult to hone your skills and get good at the real estate game.

The industry is constantly changing, which can make the whole process even more overwhelming. Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell shares what the most common mistakes vendors make are and how to avoid them.

1. Not letting enough people know your property is for sale

Bell says one of the biggest mistakes home sellers make is not shouting it from the rooftops.

“In order to achieve maximum sale price it is essential to attract as many buyers as possible. This requires a multi-pronged marketing strategy.

“So many properties have been under-sold from a figure they could have achieved by the property not being presented to all areas of buyer enquiry.”

2. Not allowing the agent to weed out time wasters

“For most buyers the purchase of real estate is the largest financial transaction they do in their lifetime.

“They only do it two to four times in that lifetime, so they are often are extremely nervous and cautious.

“The harder a seller comes across the more difficult it becomes to negotiate better outcomes for the seller.”

Andrew recommends trusting your agent and letting them do the work for you – that is their job after all.

3. Being in a rush

Selling your home takes time and it’s unrealistic to go into the market expecting a full-price offer on the first weekend it’s for sale. It’s important to remember that some properties take a long time to sell and that, ultimately, you can’t sell a house that no one wants to buy.

“Much preparation needs to be initiated waiting for the right weather conditions to engage photography and video,” Bell says.

“Advertisements need to be well written and there is a sequence of events that should occur in order to have a marketing campaign unfold in the most effective way.”

4. Asking for too much money

When people are in the market for buyer a house they become experts and they will know immediately if you’ve over-priced your house, Bell says.

“For the two or three months that buyers may be in the marketplace they become the best valuers there are for that period of time.

“Generally speaking they know every property that is on the market for sale, they inspect a great number of properties, they know what every property has sold for and know when a property is overpriced or fairly priced. Asking beyond a reasonable price will cause many potential buyers to not even call to inspect a property and so potential buyers are lost because the asking price is a turn off.”

5. Not tidying up

Not only do you need to give your house a thorough clean, you should also remove any personal items that make the house look like it belongs to someone else.

This means family photos should be removed from the walls, shopping lists should be taken down from the fridge and any personal items should be stored away neatly in the cupboards.

It’s obviously not practical to totally empty your home but a potential buyer needs to be able to imagine your home as their home and they won’t be able to do that if the walls are covered with pictures of people they don’t know. It’s a very powerful psychological trick that’s definitely worth the trouble.

6. Spending too much money on pre-sale renovations

Bell says another major rookie error is spending far too much money on sale specific renovations. While it is certainly good practice to patch any holes in the walls and make minor fixes to the property, it’s not always a good idea to spend thousands of dollars on a major renovation that you may never get a return on.

“There is usually practical and somewhat inexpensive work that can be done to add to the overall presentation of a home when presenting it to a market. A coat of paint or re-carpeting can make a big difference but be wary of extensive upgrades,” he says.

7. Not thinking outside the box with marketing

Traditional marketing is still essential but Bell suggests digital marketing including social media sharing, submitting your home to any relevant websites and even creating a digital tour of your home for potential interstate and international buyers.

“There are active buyers who are constantly looking in the market for properties to buy and a normal marketing campaign can easily find these buyers,” Bell says.

“However these buyers are often the most informed and knowledgeable buyers and can be the most difficult to negotiate with.

“There is however another type of buyer and that is the passive buyer or the inactive buyer. They’re not even looking to buy and therefore it is the job of a good marketing agent to know where to go to find these buyers.”

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