Thinking Of Selling Your Own Home? Read This 3 Minute Guide First

For many people the thought of selling their home without the use of an agent is daunting.

They have concerns that only agents can get buyers, that selling a home is somehow illegal or that they’ll be unable to command the right price.

Follow this three-minute guide and learn the tips and tricks used by thousands of others to sell their homes and avoid paying hefty commission fees.

Can you sell your own home?

Despite what they might like you to believe, traditional Agents DO NOT have exclusive access to buyers.

Buyers follow properties NOT agents which means you have as much chance of selling your home as they do.

And, because you’re legally entitled to sell your home, all you need do is prepare your home and retain a lawyer/conveyancer to handle the legal/contractual side of things.

Finding the right price for your home

DIY sellers also worry that they will under-price their home (in fact, 80% of sellers using an agent overprice their home which hinders the sale).

To find the right price for your home, ignore advice from those well-meaning folks who have watched The Block and think they’re a property expert and instead, look to online platforms and research recent and local (within a 3-5km radius) sales.

When it comes to pricing, avoid underquoting or employing clickbait techniques. Price your home using research and tell buyers what you are expecting to obtain.

Do you know your property inside and out?

Don’t leave any information you ‘think’ you know about your property to chance (I know of one seller who mistakenly advertised her land as being three acres larger than it was).

Know your block sizes, know if any easements exist, know the approximate size of dwellings/houses on the block, know the approximate age and be upfront about any improvements.

And lastly, it’s sometimes what you don’t say that can get a buyer offside. For example; you have extensive shelving in your garage that you plan to take with you, but you don’t tell the buyer until they are just about to move in.

Providing transparent, accurate and verifiable knowledge about your property will satisfy even the most suspicious buyer and avoid any nasty repercussions.

How much money will you save and what work will you need to do to sell your home?

Despite the commission charged by agents (on average 2.6% of the sale price) and additionally whatever advertising costs the agent recommends, a staggering 97% of sellers still hire an agent to market their property and help negotiate a sale.

If you use a service like Agent in a Box, selling your home can save 90% on traditional commission rates. It’s a no-brainer.

Really, the only consideration is whether you’re prepared to do the preparation to ensure your ‘home is in order’.

Ask yourself if you’re willing…


Agent in a Box’s top tips for a quick sale at the right price

If you’ve looked through the list above and are willing to do all the tasks you’re already well on your way. Use the tips below to ensure a smooth and successful sale:

  • Present your home or property like the Queen is about to visit. Complete all your repairs and tidy: poor presentation will affect both price and potential sales. Pop a sign out the front to advertise and create a ‘buzz’.
  • List your property on the internet by using big websites such as REA and Domain. Why? They receive around 15 million unique views per month.
  • With 90%+ of property buyers searching for their next place online, high-quality photos generate interest in your property. Ask a pro to take 12-15 great shots in landscape format, showing off the best features…and don’t forget a floor plan.
  • Use a benefit-centric headline and a captivating description. Write an intro with the benefits of owning the property, list the property’s main features, then finish with a location snapshot and a call to action.
    When potential buyers visit, remember to listen (it’s twice as important than it is to talk).
  • Don’t follow buyers around your home like an eager puppy. Let them know you’re available if they need you and then leave them alone.
  • If a potential buyer asks you, ‘How much will you take for it?’ Never answer with a price. Instead, respond with, “Make me an offer and I’ll let you know.”
  • If the nibbles are non-existent or few and far between, act within the first four weeks and make a noticeable, yet smart price adjustment.

Although only 3% of Australian Home Owners are currently taking the calculated plunge into private sales, the number of money-savvy sellers is expected to increase as online marketing, sales, knowledge and support services such as Agent in a Box grow in popularity and strength.

3 Ridiculously Simple Tips To Presenting Your Home For Sale

If you’re going to sell your home, you need to be savvy. While it’s one thing to make sure your house looks immaculate and attractive to would-be buyers, you’ve got to make them want to look in the first place.

So, how do you get buyers through the doors? And, once they’re through, how do you ensure that they’ll be impressed? It’s all in the presentation.

Presenting your home

Here are my top three tips for presentation that sells.

    1. Show them you’re serious

      This sounds silly because if you’ve put your home on the market, you want to sell it.

      However, I do find that some house sellers are a little bit half-hearted in their efforts. For example, they take photos, but the quality is terrible and, many of them don’t bother with essential yet straightforward features such as floorplans and videos.

      Images are so important when selling a home.

      You may have written a beautiful description of your home, but by nature, humans like to ‘see’ what’s on offer. This is why I am a little shocked when I see some of the poor-quality images that people use when they’re selling their home. I mean, some are so terrible you wouldn’t post them on your own social media page, let alone use them for marketing a property that could cost hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars.

      Typically, I see images that are poorly lit, that fail to capture selling points of a home, that only show a few rooms (which leaves the viewer to wonder what isn’t being shown). I suggest you photograph the house from front to back and put them in order of how the property flows. Finally, remove images that show the reflection of the owner in mirrors or windows.

      Now, I’m not expecting home sellers to be professional photographers, but some basic photography skills aren’t that difficult to acquire. Use a wide-angle and set the images to landscape to capture the full size of a room, do yourself a favour and open curtains and allow as much natural light into the room as possible.
      However, with that said, hiring a professional property photographer is one of the best investments you can make in maximizing the return (price) on your home.

      I know it sounds obvious (but really, I’ve seen it all) make the beds, put clothes away and pick shoes, toys and general chaos off the floor. Show the house off to its best so that it is inviting and encourages the viewer to want to see more.

      Floorplans are also a vital visual tool when it comes to a buyer imagining themselves living in your home. I know that many would-be-buyers skip straight to the floorplan as they have definite ideas about what layouts work for them. For instance, a family with young children might not like a house that has the main bedroom upstairs and the kids’ rooms downstairs (others might love that idea). A floorplan lets them see the layout, and they can then make an informed decision on whether it’s something they’d like to pursue.

      Videos are also a great tool when it comes to selling a home. Again, they give insight into the layout and flow of a house. You don’t need any fancy equipment for this, just a mobile phone and a steady hand.

    2. Open up and be ready for inspection

      Many sellers ask me if an open home is a good idea or if a by appointment viewing is best.

      My answer? Both.

      Open Homes are a great way of getting a large number of people through the doors without major inconvenience, and the other benefit of large groups, is that when you get lots of people together in one place, it creates a sense of demand that will hopefully spur those interested into action.

      I advise vendors to have at least two Open Homes per week in the first four-six weeks of listing so that buyers, regardless of their schedules, have the opportunity to choose a day and a time that suits. You only need to run your open home for 45 minutes maximum, so it’s not majorly inconvenient. Weekends and evenings work well for most people.

      Open Homes are easy to arrange, and you can inform buyers through your website listing, promoting the date and time at least four days in advance. Don’t forget to use a board outside the home and put the details on there too. Just the time and date and the words ‘Open Home’ are all that is needed.

      By appointment viewings are useful for soaking the extras who can’t make the Open Homes for whatever reason. If a buyer contacts you to arrange an appointment, you can wheedle out the time-wasters by asking a few questions about their position and then offer a few times. For instance, ‘We can do Monday at 5.30pm, or Friday at 9.30am.’

      I always advise buyers to contact viewers a few hours before the appointment to confirm that they are coming. Make sure that you are ready at least 15 minutes before the inspection time as buyers have a habit of turning up early – I’m not sure if they want to catch you off guard stuffing the mouse traps in the cupboard under the stairs, or worse, but be prepared.

    3. Clean and de-clutter and then clean again

      Given the choice of two identical homes, are you going to want to buy the immaculate one that smells as fresh as a summer meadow after a rain shower? Or, the one that has clothes all over the floor, is covered in dust and has a bathroom that smells like … let’s just leave that image there.

      I am regularly dismayed and distressed by how some buyers present their homes to would-be owners. I’ve seen mess, I’ve seen dirt, and I’ve even seen porn (I’ll tell you more in a minute).

      Selling your home is an ideal time to get rid of the clutter that has filled the back of your wardrobe, drawers and garage. It’s the perfect driver for giving away the things that you no longer need to charity. Your junk could well be someone else’s treasure, but one thing is for sure, it will not help you to sell your home.

      When my sisters and I were selling my Mum’s house, they asked me for my biggest tip to ensure a quick and fair-priced sale. I told them outright – get rid of all the ‘stuff’. They did and, guess what? It worked. We sold quickly because the house looked amazing. By getting rid of the stuff that wasn’t needed we opened up the house and created space. People who were looking could imagine where their possessions would fit, where they could place their large sofa and how much room they would have – so much that they could never imagine filling it (although that’s a fallacy as somehow we always manage to fill space).

      When it comes to cleaning, you want to present your home in a way that means a buyer could move in tomorrow. There’d be no having to lift the toilet seat with a gloved hand or, running a finger along a windowsill.

      Think it all through. Clean everything so it looks as good as it possibly can, and that includes windows, ovens, countertops and bathrooms. Big sellers like kitchens and bathrooms need to look showroom worthy – or, as good as they possibly can be. Sounds like too big a task? Then call in the professionals and get them to do a thorough once over that you can keep on top of when it comes to Open Homes and by appointment viewings.

      And the porn? Well, I don’t recommend you display that when you’re showing your home or taking photographs. Who would be so crazy to leave a blue magazine laying around when people are looking around your house? It happens, honestly.

      I photographed a house once and thought it was looking pretty decent. Then a day or so later, I received an irate message from a buyer who called into question my professionalism and honour due to a particular magazine they had seen on display in the online images. After much scurrying around and asking my assistant to check, we couldn’t see anything amiss and so I asked. The reply told me that on top of a wardrobe was the offending material; so tucked away that they must have used a microscope to find it. However, find it they did. We had to take another set of pictures and apologise for any offence caused.

      Of course, it’s unlikely that this will happen to you but think carefully about the personal items that you have on display. This even goes so far as to family photographs filling the shelves in your living spaces. Maybe take a few down so that people can imagine seeing theirs on the shelf?

Interacting With Home Buyers: 3 Rules To Sell Your Home For More

If only selling a house was as easy as this: buyer likes house, buyer buys house, you move out. End.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that, but there are ways to make the entire process a whole lot easier. It’s called interacting with your potential buyers and involves manners, mindset and measure.

Why you need the 3 Ms to interact with buyers


I’m sure that when you were growing up, you were told to ‘mind your manners’. It’s these little pleasantries in life that can go a long way when it comes to getting on with people and, in the case of selling a home, making a person part with a HUGE amount of money.

First impressions count (and that works both ways).

It is to your benefit to make a potential buyer feel at home, and there’s no better way to do that than by welcoming them into their ‘new’ home.

If you are holding an Open Home, it’s imperative that you have a person at the door to greet and invite people inside. There’s no need for a marching band or letting off party poppers, a warm and friendly ‘hello’ and handing them the property details will suffice. If you feel that you’re going to be too busy to do this, ask a friend, a neighbour or colleague to do it for you.

Once the buyers are through the door, make sure to introduce yourself to all members of the party. And, be warned, from my experience, despite lurking at the back of the group and appearing as if they’re a passive viewer, that background figure is usually very important to proceedings, so make sure you say hello to him/her. I call him an Uncle Barry. Who is Uncle Barry? He’s an expert, that’s what. Uncle Barry (delete and amend name as appropriate) is one talented man/woman. They are a ‘fault finder’ extraordinaire based on their time in the military or, when they spent six months selling one house back in 1969; they’ve just bought a new home themselves, they’re handy with a screwdriver, they are an astronaut freshly home from a stint on the International Space Station – you name it. Uncle Barry has seen it all, and when in doubt, his opinion counts.

It’s therefore crucial that you acknowledge everyone in the group at all times. If there’s a question, answer it by speaking to all involved. An issue? Again, talk to the whole group, I’d even go so far as to say that when you’ve pinpointed an ‘Uncle Barry’ in the group refer to him/her. Get them in on the conversation and onside.

For example, if there’s a bit of rotten decking, bring Uncle Barry in on the conversation. ‘Yes, the decking is a bit rotten in places, but it’s an easy fix, don’t you agree Barry?’

It might seem like you have to go to extremes to please everyone here, but it’s essential, and it will pay in the long term. Believe me.


A prizefighter would never enter the ring without a plan and you shouldn’t either. If you want to sell your house, you need to be organised and carefully think through your plan of action. And that involves mindset.

When it comes to selling your home, it can be all too easy to focus on the house and not the buyer. Yes, you want it to appear at its best, you’ve even had a word with ‘him upstairs’ and asked for the sun to shine on your Open Home. But let’s not forget, that as glorious as your home might look, you still need to sell the home to the buyer.

All too often, I’m told how a seller has the ‘gift of the gab’. On hearing this alarm bells tend to go off inside my head because the ‘gab’ is not always a gift. I imagine the seller dropping puns and ‘Dad/Mum jokes’ while the buyer shrinks into the corner of the room. Don’t get me wrong, I admire folk who want to sell their own home, and I have every faith that they can do it (that, after all, is one of the reasons why Agent In A Box exists), but you need to approach interaction with buyers with grace and nowse.

When it comes to showing people around your home, you need to give them space. While they might want to ask you questions about the exterior wall or when you laid the wood flooring, you do not have to follow them around as if you’re attached to them by Velcro.

Likewise, give them mental space too. I suggest you don’t spend an hour telling would-be-buyers all about your beautiful home and the fantastic times you’ve had in it, including the one time when your Auntie Joan visited from Sydney…. and spent three weeks sleeping on the spare room…. and one night got up and went sleepwalking …and accidentally walked into the wrong room… SNORE.

You don’t want to make your buyers feel like they’re a rabbit trapped in the headlights. Instead, let them walk around and create their narrative about the house – let them imagine themselves living there and inviting their Auntie Joan to come and stay.

Finally, when it comes to mindset, you need to play the long game. You’ve met the potential buyers, they seem to like the place, but it doesn’t end there. You need to follow up. Time and time again, I’m surprised to learn that sellers don’t chase up viewers. If someone looks interested, give them a call. If they didn’t seem interested, still give them a call. And note the word ‘call’.

I believe we rely too much on emails and text messaging and that real interaction gets pushed to the wayside. It pays to pick up the phone and ring a viewer. Ask them if they liked the house and would they like to come back and take another look. Pick their minds, for instance, they might like the house but are wondering about local schools or whether there are good traffic links closeby. You know the answers to these questions and can save them time spent searching. Be helpful, be productive – and for the love of all things cute and furry, have an ‘I want to sell’ mindset!


Now, let’s be clear. I’m not talking about a tape measure (although they’re very handy). I’m talking about being measured, which means not letting emotions get in the way of your ideal conclusion – which is, in this case, selling your home for a great price.

If a buyer comes to your home, it’s fair to expect buyers to ask questions and, like it or not, some of these might push your buttons. Typical questions you can expect are:

  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Why are you selling?
  • How old is it/when was it extended/renovated?
  • Are you negotiable on the price? How much will you accept?
  • Have you had any interest? Any offers?
  • Are the neighbours decent?
  • Has anyone had a building inspection?

How you answer these can make a big difference; it’s the wording that can sway an outcome, not necessarily the answers themselves.

Here is how I suggest you answer them.

  • How long has the property been on the market? Answer the ‘how long’ question with the truth. Buyers have the right to know, and in most cases, your house has just gone on the market, and there’s nothing dark or mysterious to reveal. When you’ve told them, zip up. Don’t start making excuses or spelling out the history of the universe. Answer, then move on.
  • Why are you selling? Again, be open and transparent. Unless you are moving because the house is about to collapse (and, in which case you’ll need to tell the buyer) explain in simple terms. ‘It’s time for us to move on’ or, ‘we are ready for a change of location’ or, ‘we’ve just built a new house, and it’s ready.’
  • How old is it/when was it extended/renovated? This should be pretty straightforward to answer. Tell the viewers when it was built, when you had it extended or renovated.
  • Are you negotiable on the price? How much will you accept? Now, this is the question that can cost you dearly. It’s the question that you need to be the most measured about. Don’t rush in with a ‘we’d be happy to accept $X…’ Instead, remember to answer any question about negotiating or accepting offers with a question NOT AN ANSWER. This, will prevent you from blurting out the wrong thing. So an, ‘Are you willing to negotiate?’ question can be answered with ‘The best way I can answer that is for you to make an offer and we take it from there. What do you say?’ No more. Leave it at that while you’re still in control.
  • Have you had any interest? Any offers? Play this one truthfully but do not go into the whole business of how many offers, how much interest and, who said what and when and why. Instead, say it like it is and move on. If you haven’t had any offers say so but again, don’t say why you think that’s the case or start elaborating.
  • Are the neighbours decent? Answer truthfully. It’s rare for your neighbours to be the cause of you moving home. Please keep it short and straightforward. If these people move in, they’ll meet the neighbours soon enough.
  • Has anyone had a building inspection? If a buyer has already had a building inspection carried out, say so. If they did find an issue, you are obliged to tell any potential buyers, so don’t hide something that will come out in the woodwork at a later date. Be honest.

Remember my 3 Ms – manners, mindset and measure – for great interaction with potential buyers.

Negotiating Your House Sale: 5 Proven Tips For Success

There’s so much advice on getting the right price for your home but what’s lacking, is the nitty-gritty on negotiation and an honest and truthful representation of what is likely to happen when negotiating the sale of your home.

Whether you want to hear this or not, the truth is that when it comes to your price, you need to be prepared to negotiate.

Dig your heels in too hard, and buyers will walk away and, guess what? Yes, you’ll be stuck living in the house that you were desperately trying to sell.

Power play: 5 ways to negotiate your house sale

Follow these five rules to negotiate the sale of your home and start the journey to your new one.

    1. Don’t write off an offer – think of it as a whole

      If you’ve set your price at $457,000 and a buyer offers you something that starts with a 3, you’re likely to be upset, offended even and want to turn around and immediately tell them that you’re not interested.

      My advice?


      Firstly, that offer shows that the buyer is interested in your property. They’ve made an offer and usually where there’s one offer, there’s another. Consider how you would approach buying a house, you’re not going to put in your best offer first, are you?

      Secondly, consider other factors that come with the price. For example, can they settle quickly? Or, take a bit of time? Have they already sold their home? Can they arrange a building inspection straight away? Are they flexible?

      Research suggests that often the first offer is the best. Over 71% of respondents stated that their first offer was the best.

      As the adage goes, time is money, so if you kick an offer in the butt that might work well for you in all other aspects, think carefully. Do you want your buyer to disappear and look elsewhere? While achieving the right price is paramount to selling your home, it is not the be-all and end-all.

    2. Keep all potential buyers in the loop

      So, you’ve got a buyer. That’s great news. However, is every aspect of ‘sealing the deal’ complete?

      For instance, has the buyer had their finance approved and, have they carried out a building inspection? If the answer to either of these two questions is ‘no’ you need to keep any other potential buyers in the loop.

      While you want this sale to go through, you’d be mad to turn away anyone else who might be interested before everything is signed off.

      Just like in a game of rugby, football or hockey, you need to have a ‘bench’ where the reserves can sit until it is time (or not) for them to have a go. It’s the same with any interested parties.

      How can you make the members of your ‘bench’ comfortable? By keeping them in the loop. Let them know you have an interested party with an offer and that at the moment you’re going ahead pending contracts. If any aspect of the ‘conditional’ deal falls through, you’ll be in touch and, if everything goes well, you also let them know so they can continue their search.

      In short, don’t write off other parties until the deal is signed. Sometimes the ‘star player’ is on the bench at the start of the game.

    3. Don’t let pride stand in the way of negotiating a deal

      Your house was your pride and joy at one time.

      Remember how excited you were when you first moved in? Think back to all those memories that you made within those four walls and how on moving day, you’ll have a little tear in your eye as you drive away for the last time.

      However, you now want to sell that home.

      You want to move on.

      And, to do so, you need to sell.

      So, don’t let a silly thing like pride stand in the way of your dreams.

      I met a house hunter recently who told me a story. She had her heart set on a property and had an offer accepted. It was her dream home, perfect in every way except… when she had a building inspection carried out, they discovered termites. Now, while termites are a pain, they’re also not the end of the world. Moreover, in this case, the inspector recommended only asking for a $2,000 discount. Guess what the vendor said? He said ‘no’.I had to ram my fist into my mouth because turning down a sale for the sake of knocking $2,000 off the price of a house is madness for two reasons, firstly, that the vendor allowed pride to get in the way of his sale. $2K must have been around a 0.4% discount on the entire sale price, and he had allowed it to fall through. Secondly, and importantly, because the deal had crumbled due to a building inspection, the agent would need to declare this information to any future buyers, which could affect the price even more.

      My final piece of advice? Pack your emotions in your pocket, lock them up and only let them out when you’ve drawn the curtains and, there are no buyers around!

    4. Create room to negotiate

      I’ve seen this a hundred times; the opportunity to negotiate gets nipped in the bud immediately – in one of three ways.The first is when an interested buyer asks a vendor if they’re prepared to negotiate, and the vendor responds by saying ‘yes, of course’.- The second is when the buyer asks, ‘how much are you looking for?’ and, in response, the eager vendor says, ‘we’ll accept $545,000,’ which happens to be $50,000 less than the advertised price.

      – The last is when there’s an offer, and the vendor says ‘no’ outright and walks off in a grump.

      All three of these put you in a weak position.

      As always with selling a home, it pays to put yourself in the position of your buyer (which just happens to be useful practise if you’re buying a new property yourself). Both parties want the best price – for themselves. You want to sell your home for $Z, and the buyer wants to buy it for $X. In the middle of these two is $Y. Of course, sometimes the first offer is way off, and more like $P but don’t be put off. Negotiation is the name of the game.

      If an offer comes in too low, don’t walk away. Instead, tell the buyer that you’re looking for more. Keep the lines of communication open by either saying:

      ‘Thanks for your offer, however, it’s not acceptable. Can you improve it and then we can discuss?’ Or,

      ‘Thanks for your offer, it’s a little too low. Would you offer $Y?’

      Negotiation doesn’t need to happen in the space of five seconds. Take your time. Ensure everyone is comfortable and that there’s room to breathe, reflect and think smartly.

    5. Know when to shut up!

      Selling your home is exciting, especially when a potential buyer is about to put an offer on the table. However, what you don’t want to do is blow the negotiating by saying too much at the wrong time.It’s simple when a buyer makes an offer, or you are making a counteroffer. Keep quiet. Zip up your mouth or stuff your fist into it if you need to.

      For example, your buyer asks you if you will accept $X and you say ‘Thanks for the offer, but I’m afraid that’s too low. Can you make another one?’ Then, you shut up. You do not offer a price; you do not try to justify, explain or backtrack. SILENCE.

      Or, the buyer makes an offer, and you give a reasonable counteroffer. ‘Thanks for your offer of $X but I’m afraid it’s too low. Can you offer $Y?’ Back off. Zip up and wait. Again, do not start rambling or adding ‘but’ or ‘because’ or ‘if only’.

      Those moments when you are quiet are the ones in which your buyer is making an important decision, possibly the most significant one they’ve ever made in their entire lives. If you start clouding their mind with your rambling, they will feel confused, backed into a corner, and you risk them walking away.




Qualifying buyers for your home: The eleven questions you need to ask

Qualifying is an essential step in house sales.

You need to know whether a buyer can buy your home to avoid both time-wasting and getting your hopes dashed.

You want to be able to spot the difference between the time wasters and the go-getters and ensure that you work your magic on the right buyer.

In my experience, sellers do not feel comfortable asking qualifying questions, yet they are fundamental to a sale. They are part of interacting with potential buyers.

I understand that some people think that asking a stranger about their financial status is intrusive. However, when asked in conversation and context, it needn’t appear strange or nosey. Moreover, one thing’s for sure; you can guarantee any serious buyer will have plenty of questions ready to ask you!

Qualifying for success: Then eleven questions you need to ask buyers

Here are my eleven questions to qualify buyers.

  1. Is your house for sale?

    I don’t think there’s anything mildly wrong with dropping this question into a conversation. Of course, the answer is beneficial for you when it comes to determining how likely and how soon a buyer is going to snap up your property.For instance, some buyers might have already sold their house and are waiting to find their dream property, while others don’t have their property on the market or, will only put it on the market when they find the home they want to buy.

  2. Are you buying this as an investment property or, something to live in?

    The answer to the first question might tell you the answer. However, you might find that you still need to ask. Many people buy property as an investment, and the good news is that if a buyer is going down this route, you don’t need to wait around for them to sell. This is a perfect result for those who are in a rush to move. Buyers only buy for one of these two reasons, so if they can’t answer this question, sound the alarm.

  3. Do you have finance approval from a bank or reputable lender?

    It’s a biggie. I know some sellers balk at the thought of asking this question but, when worded correctly it shows a buyer that you’re serious about them and about moving. If a buyer has the finance in place to buy your home, they won’t mind saying. If they have, it means they could be YOUR buyer, and you can then dazzle them with your beautiful house. On the flipside, it will be evident if a buyer is wasting your time or, hasn’t got that far down the track.

  4. Are you looking on your own, or with somebody else?

    It’s not unusual for one person to come along for an initial viewing despite there being more people involved in the decision-making process. And, although this second person is in the background on the first visit, you can guarantee that they become the one who calls the shots later down the track. Asking if a person is buying alone allows you to suggest another viewing or to tell the buyer about the next Open Home. You can also use space around this question to ask about the other person and whether they have particular needs or preferences.

  5. Is there a reason why you’re moving?

    While some people might be moving locally, others move to a new area simply because they like the look of it, have friends and family there or, fancy a change from where they currently live. For others, it’s because they need to be closer to their work, local schools, shops and transport links. It pays to ask because as well as being a source of handy information, you will begin to understand the buyer’s motivations. If for instance, a buyer is moving because of a new job it could suggest a timeframe in which they need to move. If the move is related to being close to a school, it’s likely to be tied to a deadline for enrolments or start dates. Have a dig around, and you can gauge how immediate a move the person needs to make.

  6. How long have you been looking?

    Some buyers who view your home might be fresh out the blocks. Your home could be first they’ve looked at, whereas for others they might have spent months searching and are possibly a bit ‘over’ the whole house-hunting scenario. Knowing how far into their search a buyer is, can determine how likely they are to buy. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules, but in most cases, those new on the house-hunting scene aren’t going to rush into buying a property on day one.

  7. Do you have any special requirements?

    Buyers do their research, so it’s highly probable that they have already determined whether your property is suitable for their specific needs. If you can identify what it is that they need, you can pretty quickly work out if your home fits the bill. If they say they’re looking for a private airstrip and you live in the city centre apartment, the game is over. However, it could prove to be the moment to show your creative side. For instance, if the buyer is wanting to make a conversion or hopes to build another property on the excess land, you can give them some helpful insight. Showing an interest in a buyer’s future projects also makes a great impression. Who doesn’t love to talk about themselves?

  8. Do they have a deadline to meet?

    If a buyer has sold their house, they might already have a moving date. Alternatively, if they are currently leasing a property, they might have terminated their contract. These are all helpful clues when it comes to determining how soon a buyer is looking to move and, is also an ideal opportunity to mention how ‘in tune’ you are as you’re also keen to move by a set date.

  9. Are you a first-time buyer?

    Don’t judge a book by its cover with this one. I’ve met people of all ages who are first-time buyers purely through circumstances. If your viewer is a first-timer or has no property to sell, it means that they come without the complications of having to sell a home. They also come with the hesitation of parting with a tremendous amount of money and a huge debt that they will be paying off for years to come.

  10. Is your buyer M.A.N enough?

    Now hold on. Before you throw me into a pit with Donald, Bill and other notable misogynists, let me make myself clear.What is M.A.N? It’s my fast track and surefire way of knowing whether a buyer can buy. Use it to help you sort the wheat from the chaff and divide the qualified buyers from those tyre kickers.

    M.A.N stands for Money, Authority and Need. Without all three of these, a buyer isn’t in the position to snap up your property. Noting this early can save you time and heartache.

    For example, if a buyer doesn’t have the money to buy your house or, hasn’t secured the finance to do so, they can’t and won’t buy. It’s a shame for them and you, but it’s the truth. Move on.

    Secondly, you need to find out if the ‘buyer’ is the one with authority. For instance, is the person looking at your home the person who gets the final say? I’ve mentioned this before; it always pays to ask if a viewer is a sole buyer. If there are other people involved, they will need to agree/disagree on the purchase.

    Finally, when it comes to M.A.N, you want to know if your buyer has a ‘need’ to buy your property because needs come before ‘nice to haves’. So, ask your buyer, if they’ve recently sold their home. Find out if they need to move quickly. Perhaps their lease is up? Or, has the bank just given them the go-ahead to buy? These are all great signs.

  11. What did you think of the house?

    Now, this isn’t such a silly question, is it? Just a plain old ‘what did you think?’ as the buyer is about to leave. This will give you at least some indication of their thoughts or a feel for whether they’re warm or cold. If they are interested, you then have the go-ahead to make contact the next day to see if they’d like to view again. It pays to ask.

Finally, when it comes to questions, you might be surprised to discover how honest some buyers are. Buying a house is a massive investment, and so they are going to take it seriously. It’s one of those times when I remind clients that they need to remove emotion from the situation. Therefore, do not be offended if a buyer doesn’t like your home, or tells you they are thinking about it as an investment property or, that they want to knock it down and start all over again. You want to sell. You want to move on, and you want out. To get what you want, you need to sell.

Promoting Your Home For Sale: 5 Tips From A 20+ Year Veteran

You’ve spent time and effort getting your house into shape. It’s looking attractive and is priced (you believe) correctly; now all you need to do is attract some buyers and sell it. Do not underestimate the importance of promoting your home to find buyers.

While buyers might be a ‘hungry’ bunch, they are not detectives.

They are not setting up camp outside your home just in case you decide to put it on the market.

You can’t sell a secret!


5 ways to promote your home like a pro

Make it known by following these five promotion tips.

  1. Use a sign

    A sign out the front of your house tells it like it is. It says, ‘This house is for sale’. It might also use a few words and pictures to make a buyer think ‘Oooh, this is worth a squiz’.

    I’m surprised when I find that vendors are reluctant to use a sign.

    More so, when they’re also super keen to sell. A sign doesn’t degrade your sale or cheapen your image. It shows that you’re marketing savvy and creates awareness.

    Of course, what you display on your sign can make a difference. Have you noticed how some real estate agents use tons of photos (sometimes of themselves) alongside essay-sized descriptions of the house? Who is supposed to read these?

    Unless you happen to have a high amount of foot traffic right outside your house that happens to love wordy descriptions, the lengthy verse isn’t necessary. If a buyer wants to find out more, they’ll remember they saw a sign out the front of your house and, when they’re at home or work, they will search for property online and read all about it from the comfort of their chair.

    What to put on your sign? There’s no need for anything elaborate. All it needs to say is ‘For Sale’ and ‘for open home dates visit www.’ and mention the name of the website where it is listed.

    Remember, the majority of buyers search the internet for potential properties. They are well-used to logging on and reading online. Over 90% of all property searches take place via the internet, mainly the two major property sites – and – which means as helpful as it is, your sign needn’t be elaborate, expensive or take up the entire street.

  2. Craft your headline

    I’ve seen a lot of poorly written house descriptions over the course of my career. While the description isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to selling a home, it certainly helps to get buyers through the doors for a first look. There’s an art to writing a decent headline, ask David Ogilvy, the advertising genius who said, “Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90% of your money.’ A headline has to ‘hook’ the reader, make them interested and drive them to find out more. The key to doing this? To write a headline that speaks to them about the benefits of your home.Look at these two headlines about the same property:

    Spacious three-bedroom home in great location

    Amazing value – a five-minute walk to cafes and transport

    While headline #1 speaks about the features of the house, it’s not telling the reader what the benefits are; it’s leaving them to do the hard graft and find out why they want to buy this house.

    My tip is to write a headline and then ask yourself ‘so what?’ In this case, ‘spacious three-bedroom home’ – so what? So, there’s room for families, guests and you’re not all on top of each other. Maybe ‘Enough room for all the family and guests too’ would be better? Also ‘great location’ – so what? ‘Close to the train station’ answers this more succinctly.

    Headline #2, however, does speak of the benefits. Amazing value tells them that they’ll be getting a great deal and, it gives the location rather than a general idea that you could attach to any home.

    Play around with your headlines and ask yourself ‘so what?’ Sometimes the headlines come fast and furious; at other times they are slow to form. Ask family and friends for ideas, write them all down, scribble some out and play around until you nail your headline.

  3. Craft your description to your house buying audience

    When it comes to writing your house description, think carefully about the words you use. To whom are your words aimed? A common mistake I see is when a vendor chooses to describe their home as ‘unique’.

    Unfortunately, this is often the opinion of the owner and is not a ‘carrot’ to dangle to a mass of buyers. Unique makes your home harder to sell. If something is truly unique, it’s only likely to appeal to a small audience. If for instance, your home was used in Lord of the Rings because it’s a hobbit house, then yes, by all means, describe it as unique – there are, after all, a limited number whom this would appeal to as a 24/7 living arrangement.

    It’s more likely that you want to appeal to a larger group of people who fit into one or two niche areas. What I mean by that is that a one-bedroom apartment will appeal to a single person or a couple, not a large family and vice versa.

    To help you word your description, use these three pointers:

    To what specific group of people does my property appeal? Families, singles, couples, house-sharers, students or those who work from home?

    How does my house solve their problems? How will your house make their lives better, more comfortable and give value? For instance, a family home needs space and plenty of rooms; it also requires a couple of bathrooms and outdoor space. Whereas a house for a single person needs all the conveniences of a larger home but with cleverly thought out space.

    Are there enough people in this niche? Going back to the hobbit house. Are there enough hobbits in your local area or, do you need to widen your appeal so that you have a chance of finding a buyer? For instance, a hobbit home might also appeal to people who are looking for a holiday rental or pied-a-terre for investment purposes.

    Using the right words to sell a property can make all the difference. If in doubt about how to shape your text, think about P- A – S

    Problem – Agitate – Solve

    Problem: Outline the buyer’s current problem(s) – e.g. the family has grown out of their current home, their house is too far from local schools etc.

    Agitate: What does the problem mean to the buyer? – You are constantly on top of each other, and there’s no room outside to play, so Johnny needs to be taken to the park five times a day. If you’re not in the right zone for good schools, the kids will end up in a not-so-good school, or you’ll have to pay for private schooling.

    Solve: How can your property solve these problems? – This home has a large, enclosed garden where children can play all day long. The house is in the catchment zone for a high-achieving school.

  4. Go beyond the location when promoting

    Many buyers are looking in a particular area; it’s where they want to live for a variety of reasons such as work, schools, nearby shops and cafes, close to friends – the list goes on.

    However, some buyers struggle to find their dream home in their preferred location and have to widen their search and look elsewhere for a house that ticks all the other boxes, which is why it’s a wise move to also promote your home outside of your local area.

    Buyers tend to have certain habits, for instance, they choose a location, then they search by house type and size and then, by the price. In just four-seven seconds, a buyer can determine whether your house is worth any more of their time, and by that I mean clicking a link, reading a description and looking at a few pictures.

    In a survey of 1,000 home buyers, 54% were open to widening their search area if it meant finding their ‘dream’ home while only 26% would not consider buying in another area.

    As you can see, the evidence is in favour of buyers being willing to search outside of their preferred area.

    So, if you are hoping to optimise your listing, list it beyond your immediate area.

  5. Promote your house within your network

    Your house is promoted on two large real estate sites, you’ve got a board out the front, you’ve written appealing headlines and body copy that talks to your buyer, now what? Tell your friends, neighbours, work colleagues and anyone who will listen!

    The more people who know about your house being on the market, the more the news will spread and who knows who will be listening? When your neighbour tells their friend, their friend might tell another and so on. Your promotional network expands beyond your control, and it could land you a buyer.

    Some vendors feel uncomfortable telling their neighbours that they are selling, but let’s face it, they are going to find out soon enough when a sign goes up, and cars pull up outside to give the place a once over.

    Get the word out there and get the promotional tongue wagging.

Pricing Your Home For A Pain-Free Sale [An In-Depth Guide]

Many vendors come into the home selling arena like they’re going into the ring.

They’re defensive and ready for an attack by cheeky buyers who aren’t going to offer them a fair price. It’s not the perfect start to a relationship, is it?

Instead, arm yourself with knowledge and enter with a reasonable price in place and you’ll find selling your home is pretty pain-free.

Buyers are the market. They are the ones who purchase properties and, the ones who write the cheques.

How to price your home

Use the market as a guide

It’s a simple question. Is the price that you’ve set going to appeal to the market? Firstly, you need to know what the housing market is doing. The market falls into one of three categories:

HOT – Great news for sellers as few houses are for sale and buyers are confident and eager. One of the best indicators that a market has heated up is when it appears first home buyers are out there competing with investors.

Knowing how the market is performing at the time of sale is crucial to pricing your home. If, for example, when the market is hot buyers are ready to compete against each other and often spend over the odds to buy their dream home.

EVEN – an equal number of houses to buyers – both sides of the fence are happy and in a good position

In times of an even market, buyers are in the game but they have a little more choice, and competition is not as prevalent. The risk of buyers paying over and above the odds doesn’t happen.

COOL – Buyers are in control yet cautious – a surplus of houses for sale

In a cool market, buyers are cautious and looking for a bargain and the best value. They can be choosy and take their time as there are more properties to choose from. If you’re selling in a cool market, it’s the sellers who compete against each other – go with the wrong price or scrimp on presentation, and you’ll be out of the game.

Compare to similar properties

There’s a straightforward way to know how to price your home: look at similar homes to yours that have SOLD in your area in the three to six months and note how much they sold for.

The prices that these homes sell for is the best indication of what you can expect to achieve. Similarly, don’t price your property against a property that hasn’t sold.

All too often, I learn that a seller has decided that their home is worth more than what the market dictates, sometimes way more than that similar property did or didn’t sell. I know why they do this; they let their emotions get in the way of the price. They built their house, or they loved living there, so surely a buyer will pay more for that, right? Wrong.

Remove the sentiment and see your house for what it is – the number of rooms, the land, the location, the age, the condition, the amenities and, the ticket to your freedom.

Of course, the other emotion that gets in the way is greed. While it’s tempting to overprice your house and see what happens, it tends to backfire. Buyers know the market well; they’ve spent weeks researching and can smell an overpriced house a kilometre away. You’ll receive a lukewarm reception at best with few people turning up to your open home or even be greeted with the dreaded ‘deafening silence of the market’.

Another typical ‘game’ that sellers like to play is spending time researching the right price by looking at similar homes, asking an independent valuer or real estate agent to price the home and then adding another five figures to the price for negotiating or ‘wriggle room.’ Adding an extra $10, $20, or $50k of negotiation space overprices your house. Buyers won’t be interested.

Ensure your pricing sits in the right place

Some sellers are adamant that they want just that little bit more for their home, and tweak the price so that it falls into a new price range. For example, a seller tries to push his house into the $500,000 price range (even though it’s worth a high $400,000).

The problem here is first that most buyers who search for a property online will use a search field that allows them to search by price range, so guess whose property isn’t going to appear? Secondly, it’s the psychology of numbers. For buyers who are busting a gut to raise $490,000 going over in the ‘5s’ is way too much.

I know of a seller in South East Queensland who was stuck selling his house. He had it on the market for four months at $500,000+, and he didn’t get any serious bites. Then, he adjusted the price into the ‘4s’ and bang, suddenly people showed up, and he ended up selling for $490,000.

If you price your home on the cusp of two big numbers, take care to pick the price that you’re happy with but will also attract a happy buyer. Buyers can smell an overpriced house from afar, and they won’t come near it.

So, as pricing is a bit of a game, is it a good idea to leave the price off your listing?

Let me think about this one. NO!

Save yourself a lot of aggravation and time spent answering the ‘how much is your home?’ question by including a price. Failing to do so will do one of two things:

Buyers will become suspicious because they’ll wonder why you haven’t shown an amount and suspect it’s too much.

Nothing. Buyers will look elsewhere.

It’s your job to entice buyers to your home, so make it easy for them to like you and your house.

“Sellers set the price, but buyers determine the value.”

Is it a good idea to get a property valuation?

Everyone has an opinion on house prices, especially those who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Tempting as it might be, I advise you not to take advice from everyone you know.

The sage butcher and Ted across the road are wonderful for meat and sharing footy tips, but they are not qualified, property valuers. Unless, of course, the butcher’s side hustle is in real estate, or Ted happens to have sold ten houses in the last six months – let their advice waft over your heads and stick with the experts and your research.

If you want a reliable and legal valuation of your home, it pays to use an expert. The first option is to use a certified property valuer. These experts are required by law to price your home correctly, and would not risk ruining their reputation and livelihood by doing otherwise.

Property valuers will compile a pre-sale report which shows how the market is performing and justifies the pricing of your home. To begin with, they undertake a thorough investigation of your property, from the inside and out. They will measure, they will poke, and note any faults and improvements. They also do the basics, such as recording the number of rooms, bathrooms, layout, fixtures and fittings, carports, garages, sheds, decking areas, and so forth.

They will also look at the property from outside, noting the topography and positioning from the frontage and its locations and zoning (crucial if you want to show that you’re in a catchment zone for schools). Finally, they take photographs that are dated to identify when the inspection took place; this assures buyers that the pictures aren’t years old or doctored.

The property valuer will then compile a legally binding report. It will include details about the property title, the land and all their findings in regards to measurements and layout. A pre-sale report will also identify the local market, recent sales and current listings, and use this as evidence to support their valuation.

How else can you value your property?

Why not ask a few local agents to come to your home and give their opinion on its price? I will warn you though; you should make it clear to agents that you are selling your home, NOT your listing. ‘Buying’ a listing is still an unfortunate industry practice.

Some unscrupulous agents will ‘beef up’ a price to inflate their own bulging pockets (and your ego). Don’t fall for it, because the buyers certainly won’t. If you ask three or so agents to come and value your home, you can lay all the estimates on the table and use these as a gauge.

For your research purposes, as well as following the local market and seeing how much properties are going for (online, agents’ windows and in papers), you can use online platforms such as Price Finder or Core Logic.

Core Logic has developed a Hedonic Price Index which measures the day to day property market movement and prices. It can be a little confusing, so I take my hat off to you if you can understand it!

What the right price means (and doesn’t mean)

If you’ve done all your research, you’ve used experts and followed their advice, and you’ve marketed your property at the right price – everything looks set.

Now, it’s a matter of holding your open homes and by appointment inspections. What it’s not time to do is PANIC.

Yes, you want to sell your home quickly, but you also don’t want to lose unnecessary amounts of money, and by unnecessary, I mean thousands and thousands of dollars. That’s why I advise clients to remove the word ‘DROP’ from their vocabulary.

If you find that your property is not selling and from feedback from viewers it appears that you may have ‘overshot the runway’, you can consider adjusting the price. Note, the term ‘adjusting price to meet the market’ rather than PRICE DROP is far more palatable. The latter suggests bargain basement and desperation, while adjustment shows you’ve reassessed based on market research and feedback.

Remember, marketing using professional and carefully chosen wording is essential to your price and getting a sale!