You want to sell your house. The only problem is, so do tons of other sellers. To stand a chance of making your property stand out, you need to ask yourself, ‘If I were a buyer, would I want this house?’
Keep reading and I’ll explain the little changes that will make a huge difference when it comes to selling your home.
When the housing market is even or cooling off, buyers have a plum deal; there’s a choice of properties to buy, all at the right price and in their preferred location. Competition is stiff, meaning there’s even more reason why, as a seller, you should put some serious effort into getting the price and the state of your property 100% right before the inspection.
When it comes to price, you only need to look at the local market to know if your home is too expensive (or too low). Consider your home’s condition, its features and location. Have similar properties to yours sold in the last 3-6 months and if so, at what price? Then go back and, if you need to, adjust your price and roll up your sleeves.
In terms of your home’s condition, it can be challenging to look at it with ‘fresh’ eyes and see what needs doing. However, I find that when sellers realise that it’s the little things that put buyers off, they soon start to see clearly!
Even if the jobs are purely cosmetic, such as weeds growing between the pavers or a messy bedroom, you need to understand that these are enough to put a buyer off. As they wander around your home and they notice the mess, or broken or missing fittings they’ll look out for more clues that your house isn’t up to scratch. That animal smell from your pet dog, stale cigarette smoke, holes in the screening and the patchy lawn will put them on red alert. Instead of finding their ‘dream’ home, they might wonder if they’ve found a nightmare.
Take a look at this checklist to ensure you create that all important great first impression.
- Lawns and gardens. It pays to tidy up all your outdoor areas, so they look maintained and inviting. If you don’t have the time or energy, get a gardener.
- Windows, doors and screens. Give all windows a clean, so they’re sparkly and allow in as much light as possible. Fix, repaint and replace any frames, broken door handles, fittings and holes in screens.
- Remove cars, trailers, vans, boats, bikes and gadgets from the driveway and front lawn. You want to create the impression of space; clutter does the opposite.
- Curtains, netting and drapes should be pulled back to allow as much light in as possible. Refresh and clean window hangings, so the space looks inviting.
- Pet odour, smoke and human smells. None of these are pleasant to a prospective buyer, so remove smelly items such as dog beds, ashtrays and clean the toilet.
- Bathrooms and kitchens. These two are the ‘big ticket’ items and need to look spotless and clutter-free. A person will be trying to imagine themselves in these spaces, so put in some elbow grease!
- Declutter. Present your house in a way that isn’t full of your life. Remove clutter and chaos. It will take an effort, but it’s best to depersonalise and minimise everything on display.
If you implement these changes and you still haven’t sold your property? It’s time to reconsider the Three Big Ps: Presentation, promotion and pricing.
Presentation – assess how you are presenting your home. Is it portraying the right image, and does it impress?
Promotion – are you using all the promotion channels to sell your home? Is there more you can do?
Pricing – have you priced yourself out of the market? Is your price attractive to buyers?
From experience, if the first two (presentation and promotion) are taken care of, it’s always that last, the pricing, where the problem lies. Approximately 99% of the time, properties that don’t sell within a reasonable amount of time are on the market at the wrong price.
To successfully sell your own house, you need to find that value ‘sweet spot’, the place where your expectations as a seller meet those of the buyer. Overpricing is the biggest killer when it comes to selling any property. However, if you’ve followed all the little steps through and you do reprice, you can bet that the buyers will come rushing back. So, don’t hang about, do the little things now and get ahead.