Why a Small Real Estate Agency is Better
Should I Give My Agent an Exclusive Listing?
Early Offer Paralysis – When An Offer Really Is Too Good To Refuse
Feng Shui Secrets to Sell Your Home Fast
5 Secrets of Property Presentation to Sell for More
Street Appeal: 5 Quick Ways To Enhance Your Property
Come back soon as new articles will be added regularly.
Since leaving a larger local Real Estate Agency I’ve been asked by potential clients about the benefit of working with a smaller real estate agency. Sadly, there is a perception in the community that larger agencies are better.
I’m here to tell you that this perception is false.
It’s common for a large agency to boast about the size of their team and how this will help get you moving. As someone who has worked in a large real estate business I can tell you with some authority that of the 6 or 12 agents who might visit your home during a mid-week “Stock Run” which they call a caravan, about 99% of them will never be seen by you again. Generally speaking, the listing agent is the one who will sell the property and that’s how it should be. It’s misleading in my opinion to promote the myth that there is a large team all focussed on you and your property. It’s just not the case.
To put this in perspective I’d like to outline some of the advantages of working with a smaller boutique agency. In this case my business.
- I have a direct vested interest in getting you the best result possible. You deal directly with me, not just a salesperson but a fully licensed real estate agent. The success of my business is directly related to the success you achieve as my client. If you don’t receive great service and achieve a great result then my business and reputation is on the line.
- I only work with a limited number of clients at any one time so you can be assured that you will get the extra attention you deserve.
- I live and work in the area and as such I’m fully conversant with the local market.
- I conjunct (i.e. share my commission) with every agent without exception. Because of the rivalries that exist between some of the larger real estate groups this is often not the case. Disagreements and disputes occur regularly among the larger groups. I have seen it first hand.
- I’m a trained & skilled negotiator; with over 17 years’ experience in the Real Estate Industry.
- Because of technology now available, the nature of Real Estate in Australia has changed dramatically, over 97% of all Buyer enquiry is now derived from the Internet real estate portals such as www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au. This means that a prospective Buyer will find your property regardless of who your agent is. If you are getting the feedback you need; are priced right and presented really well, your home will sell. It’s that simple.
Regardless of who you select to work with (large or small) I wish you all the best with the sale of your property.If you’re still not sure please consider talking to your local small agency if you are thinking about a move.
The best and most practiced type of agency is the single or exclusive agency agreement.
It means you’re represented by your own agent who owes you a fiduciary responsibility.
It is a legal, binding contract and should only be signed after you’ve done your research and are absolutely certain that this is the agent you wish to represent you in the sale of your home.
Many agents offer a guarantee that if you’re dissatisfied at any point in the sales process you can discontinue with that agent.
Make sure you’re aware of the term of the agreement.
Your other option is an ‘open listing’, where you list with as many agents you want.
Some disadvantages of this method include:
- Overexposure to the market, making your listing appear ‘desperate’
- Having to deal with large numbers of agents
- Listing with many agents could mean extra advertising spent
Open listings generally take longer on the market to sell, invariably for a lower price.
Aren’t humans strange creatures?
We all want our homes to sell quickly because the alternative is a long, painfully drawn out process that wears us down. Plus, we already know that the longer a property is on the market, the harder it is to sell, at least for a premium price. Yet, along comes Mr or Mrs Buyer with an offer early in the marketing process and what do we say?
“Wow! If a buyer is already offering me so much for my property this early on in the campaign, I believe I’ll turn it down because logic says that surely there’s a better offer just around the corner!
Logic? I don’t think so. Experience tells me that this thinking is not only common, but those who fall for it stand to lose thousands of dollars. You see, the ‘value perception’ of your property doesn’t magically increase during the lifetime of a marketing campaign. It almost never pans out that way Indeed, the opposite happens.
It is imperative that you understand that real estate attracts the greatest attention, and has the highest ‘value perception’ within the first few weeks of the marketing process. So when you receive a strong offer early on, you really should carefully consider taking it, or else run the risk of kissing thousands of dollars “goodbye”.
It’s very early on that competition to buy your property is at its peak and when anyone who has “fallen” for your home will make a move quickly by submitting offers. You’ll almost always receive the highest offer in the early stages because it’s then that buyers are fearful of missing out on it. So, whatever you do, don’t fall for what I call ‘Early Offer Paralysis’.
Instead, make a considered judgement, taking into account the advice from your well-chosen agent on whether or not an early offer should be accepted (refer also to the original CMA given to you at the time of signing the agency agreement). That way you’ll know that you’ve sold at the optimum time to achieve the maximum price.
Follow these tips to help you sell in a timely manner and at a premium price.
- Make sure the clutter is cleared out of your entire home. Most homes can benefit from removing about ¼ of the furniture and belongings. Create a home that feels spacious. Open up the floor space.
- Remove extra decorations on table tops, shelves, etc. Give a spacious feel to all horizontal surfaces.
- Give the home the most complete clean it has ever had, inside and out. Include: cleaning carpets, blinds, curtains, cleaning inside cupboards, drawers – nothing can be ignored.
- Make sure the entrance is especially attractive. This is their first impression of the house and it gives prospective buyers an indication of the condition of the rest of the house. Trim back bushes along the front path. Remove all weeds. Keep it immaculate, with lights turned on, a new doormat, and have something flanking either side of the front door, such as two pots of lush, healthy plants and flowers.
- Make sure that you and everyone in the family wants to sell the house. If anyone in the family is anti-selling, it will affect your ability to attract the right buyer.
- (This is a bit woo-woo) Write a letter to your house thanking it for being a wonderful home for your family and your willingness to now let another family benefit from it. Gather the family together and read it out loud to your house.
- In the kitchen insist on clear counters, a clean organised pantry, and bins and knives out of sight. Place a small, lush plant and jar full of home-made biscuits or a bowl of fresh fruit on the bench top, make the kitchen smell and look good. Do not use those cheap plug-in deodorisers from the supermarket.
- Create a spa feel in the bathroom by hiding all your personal items, buyers do not need to know which toothpaste brand you prefer. Toilet lids should remain down. Repair dripping taps and showerheads. Buy showy new white towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
- Make all necessary repairs.
- Create a pleasant fragrance by cooking ¼ cup of cinnamon with 1 cup of water in a frying pan 30 minutes before you show your home, until the aroma drifts throughout the house. The cinnamony fragrance will trail throughout your home, like you just baked a wonderful dessert and will suggest a comfortable, at-home feeling to potential buyers.
INSIGHTS: PROVEN PROPERTY PRESENTATION TIPS TO SELL FOR MORE
Property presentation to maximise the sale price of your home is about removing any excuse for a buyer to ask for a price reduction.
If you follow and apply the 5 steps below, you’ll dramatically reduce the chance of “leaving money on the table” when you sell.
Property Presentation Tip #1:
Clean your house from top to bottom, inside and out.
And then do your best to keep it clean and tidy until sold.
Cleaning costs nothing but if the carpets and curtains could do with a professional “deep clean”, it’s well worth the money.
Cleaning your house is possibly the biggest chore you’ll face when selling, lots of people do it half-heartedly – all the better for you! Eliminating bad odours is part of this process. We won’t go on about this but:
- Blocked drains
All produce odours that turn-off buyers – get rid of them. Make sure you clean all your blinds too.
If your house stands head and shoulders above your competition, you’ll be the first to sell.
Property Presentation Tip #2:
De-Clutter and Depersonalise
Get rid of the clutter and your house will look bigger. It will feel to buyers like a tidy, well-ordered place to live – just what they want!
What’s more, de-cluttering your house is a cathartic experience; it’s also the best way to mentally prepare for your move.
The act of de-cluttering helps you to:
- Start looking at your house as a commodity for sale (essential if you are to make sound, business-like decisions).
- Manage the emotional bond with your house that in extreme cases can cloud one’s judgment and stop you from selling.
- Focus on the new life you’ll create when you move.
Unless experienced first-hand, this emotional side of selling is easy to underestimate.
Don’t be surprised if at first you find de-cluttering tough.
We would urge you to persevere because you’ll be rewarded with more money in your pocket and less worry on your mind.
Throw away (or donate) as much as possible and then throw away some more.
After this, look again at your cupboards and other storage areas – are they full to bursting?
If they are you need to consider thinning down your house further (possibly even consider renting a personal self-storage unit).
Ideally, cupboards and storage areas should not be more than 75% full.
Serious buyers will look inside your cupboards. If there isn’t enough storage for you, they’ll assume there isn’t enough for them.
Depersonalising is just as vital. Buyers will fall in love with your house when they can imagine themselves living there (when they can imagine your house as their own).
It can’t be done with evidence of you or your family everywhere.
That’s why show homes are always anonymous. You’ll never see a family portrait or anything personal.
Here’s what you do to make your house look lived-in without looking like anyone actually lives there – pack away into storage:
- All family photos
- Holiday souvenirs
- Trophies & certificates
- Collectible items
- Children’s artwork
Buyers do not want to buy your home – they want to buy your house and then make it their home!
Property Presentation Tip #3:
1st impressions count and catch-up on routine maintenance
It’s never too early to start making a good impression.
Your house may be stunning inside but if the outside doesn’t look great you’ll immediately put your buyer into price reduction mode.
Look at your property from the road. How does it compare to other houses in your street?
As you walk from the footpath to your front door, does every element of your property look cared for and well maintained?
A well maintained house screams out that it’s “well cared for” (a desirable attribute that buyers will pick-up on).
Property Presentation Tip #4:
This continues the idea of “depersonalising” your house. It’s key to pulling off a quick sale! Colour is a personal thing – one person’s harmonious colour scheme is another’s crime against humanity.
Don’t let differences in personal taste affect your sale price. Take colour out of the equation all together. It’s cheap to do, just paint your walls a neutral colour (something like “Antique White” from Dulux works well).
Repainting boldly coloured or highly individualised interiors to something blander is the most cost-effective way to add value to your property. Rooms will immediately appear bigger and brighter (major selling points). You’ll also create a blank canvas. This helps buyers to project positive visions of what their life could be like in the house – part of the process of “falling for” a property.
Property Presentation Tip #5:
Define the use of each room!
While living in a house the use of certain rooms can become blurred over time, for example:
- The lounge becomes part office.
- The spare bedroom becomes a storage room.
- The dining room becomes the kids play area.
If this has happened in your house, think about converting these rooms back to their original use.
This makes sound financial sense and helps you sell for more because certain rooms hold a greater perceived value than others, for example:
- Buyers perceive bedrooms to be worth more than offices.
This is now also a good opportunity to make your house look bigger.
Remove all the furniture etc, that isn’t essential to the function of the room. This will free up a lot of space.
You’ll see for yourself the minimum amount of furniture needed to define the use of a room and achieve a maximum sale price for your property.
Aim for this because at the end of the day, space sells.
The 5 steps above make sure your house is saleable however, if you want to go further and get creative, you need to understand an important concept:
“Buyers are not looking to buy property! What they’re really looking to buy is a better life (property just happens to be the way they’ll get it).”
For the presentation of your house to really attract buyers (and the highest offers) you need to make buyers want what you’ve got – give them a glimpse of a better life and you’ll guarantee the maximum sale price for your home.
A welcoming entryway is essential when selling your home.
These 5 easy tips will add street appeal and hopefully more money in your pocket when you sell.
- Replace welcoming elements: The letterbox, house numbers, door mat and door hardware can have a huge impression on buyers. These small elements can send a welcoming impression and are relatively inexpensive to replace.
- Symmetry: Add pots of colour to either side of the front door for a visually dramatic entryway. Recommended are impatiens and succulents are also very fashionable.
- Renew garden beds: Get them into shape by pruning growth, pulling weeds, planting flowers, and adding mulch to restore colour that was taken away by sunlight and harsh weather.
- Evening street appeal: During the sales process, consider always leaving a few interior lights on plus any exterior lights at the front of your home. Buyers may drop past to view at night.
Copyright © 2013 Peter Ware. Licensed Real Estate Agent. All rights reserved.