What To Do Before Putting Your Property On the Market

We’ve all heard the reports. Australia’s property market is in decline. Most homebuyers who couldn’t afford to buy in the boom time will be letting out cheers of jubilation! But what does this marketing ‘softening’ mean for vendors?
The fact is, houses are still selling – just not like hot cakes. In a buyer’s market, sellers need to lift their game to ensure they are ahead of the competition. This means implementing a few simple strategies to ensure every Open For Inspection has the best chance of a positive and profitable outcome.
Ironing out the bugs
A well-known fact in real estate is that the first few weeks on the market are most crucial for securing a sale. A house which continually fails to pass a pest or termite inspection can find itself languishing on the market for weeks or even months without a nibble (at least not a financial one).
Failing pest inspections also provides buyers with a strong negotiation tool. Even if your home has suffered no structural damage, you can expect offers to come in at ten to 20 percent lower than your asking price. Can you really afford not to ensure your home has a clean bill of health before placing it on the market?
Remove yourself
We all have a personal style but if your home’s decor is a little left of center, then you will be limiting its appeal and in turn, its chances of a quick sale. It can be difficult for many sellers to take an unbiased view of their own home so it can help to ask a trusted friend’s input.
Avoid strong colors. A neutral decor will present a blank canvas and appeal to a wider market. Hide personal items and declutter. Leave only decor which shows each room's purpose and function – while enhancing feelings of space. If unsure, visit a few display homes to understand what buyers are looking for.
Main areas
Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes but avoid overcapitalizing. If renovating a modest home to sell, consider tile and cabinet resprays and changing handles; which provide dramatic transformations for minimal cost. A kitchen or bathroom respray may cost as little as $2,000 compared to conservative costings on new kitchens ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 and more.
Higher end homes buyers will demand luxury fittings and finishes with stone benchtops and European appliances. Failure to supply these can see a substantial drop in a home's value.
It’s all in the detail
Avoid spending big dollars on updates and renovations, just to have it tarnished by something which could have been easily fixed. The most sumptuous residence can lose its luster and tens of thousands of dollars dropped from a selling price, over tiny neglected details such as:
● Pet Odors
● Worn carpet
● Dirty windows or light switches
● Unkempt lawn or gardens
● Clutter
● Peeling paintwork
In a buyers market, many vendors will be looking for quick sales. By taking the time to present your property in its best light, you will be positioning yourself competitively.
A word on pricing
It can be tempting to set a high price for your home with the expectation that a final selling price will be negotiated with the buyer. Unfortunately, this can also work to discourage inspections and reduce market interest.
Employ an agent who is located in your area. They will have real-time feedback as to what your property is worth. They should be able to provide statistical data to value your home accurately. Well-meaning neighbors will often feel compelled to overvalue your home since the value is directly connected to their own homes – leave this to the experts.
Agents have a 30-day rule. This means the first 30 days your home is on the market are the most crucial to achieve a sale. After the initial flurry of excitement, the home will risk becoming stale. This is where the bargain hunters come in.  
The trick to achieving a satisfactory sale price is to present your home in its best light, employ a hard working agent who implements an effective marketing campaign and to price the property in line with the current market climate. Implement these strategies and you will have placed yourself in the optimum position for a successful sale.

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