Little Things You Can do to Your Home Before Listing it For Sale

Failing to research the market properly before a campaign might mean you don’t make enough money to cover the cost of your next financial commitments. A lack of research may mean you adopt an inappropriate marketing strategy for your area, including pricing the property too high, which can result in the property lingering on the market for months, giving prospective buyers bargaining power, especially if you are pressed to sell.

A well-presented home has a much better chance of becoming an object of desire that potential buyers will compete for with more gusto, says the LJ Hooker franchise manager for Victoria and Tasmania, David Harris. While most vendors readily understand the importance of presentation, the reality of turning their homes into a marketing dream can be daunting.

Shoddy emergency work to patch up a problem like a cracked wall or faulty electrics is typically noticed by prospective buyers or professional inspectors and may risk creating a negative perception of your home, Mr Harris says. He believes prospective vendors who are prepared to make cosmetic changes throughout their houses should start their improvements in the kitchen.

Look at replacing the face and handles of your cupboards and even consider new taps for the kitchen,Mr Harris says.

But think twice about replacing the floors.

Don’t replace your carpet before seeing what it looks like after some professional cleaning a lot of people are going for easy-to-maintain timber floors, so replacing it may be money down the drain, he says. Strategic placement of rugs can lift the tone of your home and be useful in high-traffic areas.

Replacing the grouting in tile work can lift a tired bathroom or laundry wall very quickly and doesn’t require great skill,Mr Harris says.

Clearing clutter within the home and the outdoor areas is also a way to make the house’s overall space seem much more efficient to prospective buyers.

Mr Harris says with growing awareness about climate change and the rising costs of energy and water, there is definite evidence some buyers will pay more for a house with environmentally friendly features.

Energy-saving appliances and design measures can make a property stand out for certain buyers, when they have similar properties to choose from; they may even be prepared to pay a bit more knowing environmentally friendly features are in place,he says.
Solar heating, water-saving fixtures and fittings, water tanks, five-star energy rated appliances, double glazing and energy-efficient lighting are examples of environmentally sustainable measures available for houses today.

Location is still a prime attractor but a low-energy home is climbing the desirability list,Mr Harris says.

In regard to marketing, he says a common mistake prospective vendors make is skimping on advertising.

You cannot sell a secret. In the global village we live in today, buyer inquiries can come from a couple of streets away, interstate or overseas,he says.

It is no surprise that an estimated 75 per cent of real estate inquiries today  both from potential buyers and sellers come through the internet.

Online research tools now available include detailed maps, most including street view, and access to sold properties in the area, often with images or such details as land size.

Sellers also view websites to measure the worth of the real estate name they intend to do business with.

Mr Harris says prospective buyers are increasingly looking for marketing agents with an online reputation and credibility.

Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and analyst, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

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