How to get the best price for your home

March 01, 2016
Melinda Halloran

Thinking about selling? These simple tips can help get you closer to the price you want.

Presentation is everything

Potential buyers want to see a certain lifestyle reflected in their new home. Spending some time working on the presentation of your home prior to advertising and open house inspections is recommended.

Consider the following:

  • Remove clutter and clean thoroughly.
  • De-personalise by removing photos, items from your fridge, trophies, etc.
  • Use mirrors and lamps, and open any curtains or blinds to let more light into the space.
  • Consider hiring a stylist to ‘stage’ your home ready for selling.

Issues to address:

  • Neutralise any animal, cigarette or strong food odours in the house.
  • Clean up any evidence of dampness or moisture.
  • Fix any doors, windows or gates that stick.
  • Replace cracked glass.
  • Have stained carpets professionally cleaned.

Small renovations can add real value

Investing a small amount in simple home improvements can add value to your property when it goes on the market.

If you plan to paint, use neutral colours, as they not only make a space look larger, but they also help potential buyers to envision their own furniture and belongings in your home. Dark or bright colours in a house can put buyers off.

In older homes, renovating bathrooms, replacing flooring and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference.

Get to know the property cycle

Understanding where the property cycle is at can help when it comes time to sell. Each area experiences different highs and lows, so do some research to help you understand where your local market is sitting.

Scope out the competition

As you prepare to sell, take the time to research other properties for sale in your area. Attending open homes and auctions will help you understand what you are up against. You might even pick up ideas for small improvements to add value to your home.

Be picky when it comes to your agent

To get the best result, look for an agent who understands your market and your area. An agent with a good understanding of your potential buyer will help you to advertise the lifestyle buyers want from their new home. For example, if your suburb is popular with young families, you can use this insight to your advantage by ensuring your agent promotes local attractions such as childcare centres and parks. Choosing an agent who understands this local knowledge will be an asset to you.

Invest in high quality photographs

In the age of online advertising, high quality photographs are extremely important. Most real estate agents now employ professional photographers, so it is worth discussing whether this will be included in your contract. Some agents are even using technology like drones to capture aerial shots of houses to use in advertising. It is important to ensure your photographs show a variety of different rooms and perspectives throughout the house.

Choose the right method of sale 

Deciding whether to go to auction or stick with a private sale can make a huge difference. Ultimately, this comes down to market conditions. Experts agree that a seller will usually benefit from going to auction when the market is ‘hot’, as competition is rife. When a market is ‘cold’, an auction gives more power to the buyer, which means a private sale may be your best option. Discuss these options with your agent if you are unsure which way to go, as they will have an understanding of tactics that are most effective in your area.

Be willing to negotiate

In many cases, selling a home at the asking price can simply come down to the right person walking through the door at the right time, but this is not always the case. Decide how low you are willing to go with your agent and be prepared to negotiate. Knowing how to effectively negotiate may help you to get a better price.

Related stories

Seven affordable ways to add value to your home
Understanding the property cycle
Negotiating a sale with real estate agents

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