There are a lot of things to consider when selling your property, but few of us realise as we go through our ‘To Do’ list, just how many of those action items are actually huge misconceptions. When researching dos and don’ts, the best strategy is to pay attention to advice that keeps being repeated and that you know has been around for a long time. Mostly the tried and the true are the things that really work after all! In the meantime however, here are some of the most common misconceptions vendors encounter when putting their property on the market.
1. You can drive up the value of your home by overpricing it - WRONG!
Getting the price you want is extremely important, however don’t let this motivate you towards greed. There is only one thing worse than selling under your goal price and that is not selling at all! An overpriced property has a much greater chance of sitting on the market for longer, especially if it’s unrealistically priced above other similar properties in the local area. You need to choose a price range that is compatible with the current market, leaves room for negotiation, but also encourages people’s interest to come and see it. If the property is priced too high, it will deter inspections, stay on the market longer, and buyers will see it numerous times and start to think something must be wrong with it. They can also guess that it’s overpriced and bide their time to pounce for a bargain down the track, when they sense desperation to sell may have set in. Get an appraisal, research the market and, with advice from your agent, set your price realistically.
2. Getting building and pest inspections is an extra expense that buyers should take care of – WRONG!
This may be something a potential buyer wants to do for their own peace of mind, but if you haven’t done it first, it could be a disaster for your sale. Getting all the relevant building and pest inspections before you put your house on the market is essential if you want to get the best price possible for your property. A professional inspection will reveal any issues and give you the chance to take care of them swiftly and thoroughly, before a buyer gets even a hint of trouble. If it’s not you that finds the issue, it may well be the buyer, giving them the opportunity to bargain down your asking price. Or worse, they could spread the word amongst other buyers that there’s a problem, completely undermining the value of your property in the market in the process. The upside of course is when the tests are clear, giving you the chance to hand over inspections results to prospective buyers, validating the quality and integrity of the property and yourself as the vendor. A transparent approach and a property in top condition, brings fortitude to your position as well as your asking price.
3. The more open inspections you have the better your chance of selling – WRONG!
Not only does this make you look desperate and wastes time, it also decreases the perceived value of your property to the market. Organising open houses is almost a science and you should consult closely with your agent about the best days and times to schedule them. Strategic scheduling gives you a better chance of attracting more genuine buyers and it also minimises the number of ‘tyre kickers’ who turn up – those non-buyers who like to take a voyeuristic look into how their neighbours live. Aside from the impact numerous inspections can have on the perception of your property in the market, it’s also a pain! All that shuffling of furniture and tidying things up. Less is more and a refined and focused schedule should be more than enough to attract serious committed buyers to see your property.
4. If the price isn’t what you want, you should just hold out for a better offer – WRONG!
This is really one of the craziest. Your goal is to sell your house and if someone offers to buy it, at a price that works for you, then why would you say no? Sell it for goodness sake and get on with the next stage of your life. As long as the price is in line with market expectations and your future investment goals, there is no reason at all to hesitate. Never take it for granted that there will be other offers, or better offers, or offers from people you like better. The reality is that this may be the best (or only) offer you get and if it ticks all your boxes, why one earth wouldn’t you say yes and wrap things up? Greed should not be a motivator, and if it does, it will inevitably become your downfall - the property market is just not that reliable and the longer your house sits on the market, the more it devalues in people’s perceptions until eventually you’ll be begging others to take it off your hands.
5. The more you spend on fixing up the property before selling it, the better price you’ll get – WRONG!
It is true that you should spend some time and money on making improvements to prepare your house for sale. Tidying is the first step, and then you can brighten things up with fresh coats of paint, repairs and just some general spit and polish. Attention to the overall appearance of your property will help to encourage buyer interest and also to hopefully achieve your desired sale price. However it’s not necessary to spend a fortune to do so. Just because you’ve invested a lot on improving the property for sale, doesn’t mean it will be reflected in the sale price. Your improvements may just bring your property up to the same standards as others on the market, then you are in the same boat as everyone else, but will have lost out on your return on investment. Any improvements made should be practical and improve aesthetics where necessary, but it’s not a competition for best home. You’ll be surprised how much difference a few simple improvements can make.
Thinking of selling
The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.