Your agent has an extremely important role to play in your buying and selling process.
Firstly, he or she is highly trained and skilled in real estate knowledge, including the all-important areas of marketing, negotiation and finance.
Secondly, like a good shopkeeper your agent knows your area and all of the available stock and can quickly find the right property to suit a buyers needs.
Due to our large range of listings in all areas, many buyers contact us every month online, in response to advertisements, from signs, at home opens, other people selling and re-buying and through many other sources.
Although fees charged by agents do not vary to any great extent, skill levels and marketing resources can vary enormously.
The quality of an agents Internet presence will be a good guide as to how advanced their skills and services are in other areas.
We have provided the following tips and guides to assist you in the selling process:
The challenge is to locate and deal with a real estate agent with whom you not only feel comfortable but who can demonstrate and prove a number of attributes You need an Agent committed to selling your home with a minimum of fuss, for the best possible price and in the shortest possible time. It is most important that you feel comfortable with the Agent and that they offer you the service you require. You may be guided by recommendations of friends, family and/or neighbors.
The Property Appraisal
We will outline the various types of listing agreements that are available and will recommend the most appropriate approach for your property.
Keeping in mind that you want your agent to fully commit all of his or her time and resources to achieving a great result for you, be prepared to grant a reasonable listing period of at least 90 to 120 days.
The old retail adage goods well displayed are half sold, also holds good for real estate as does the saying theres no second chance for a first impression.
First appearances are important and this means the garden area, driveway, guttering, windows, window frames and other obvious areas should all be clean and in good condition.
The interior of the home should be neat and tidy and not cluttered with too much furniture for the size of the various rooms. Dishes should be washed, beds made and cupboards spring-cleaned (purchasers sometimes have a look). Make sure that blinds and curtains are open as buyers like light and bright homes.
What’s Included in the Sale?
Failure to clearly list all of the chattels included in the sale price at the time of listing the property for sale, can result in a dispute with a purchaser later.
If you wish to retain any of the fixtures and fittings, such as your prize door chimes, or an expensive light fitting, then you should advise your agent accordingly and have these exclusions noted on the original Authority to Sell document. We strongly recommend that you replace or remove any items to be retained by you before placing the property on the market for sale; this will avoid any confusion at a later date.
It is recommended that the purchaser ask for a final inspection of the property prior to the settlement. At this inspection the inventory of chattels and fixtures and fittings which will remain with the property can be pointed out, room by room. In this way, both the vendor and the purchaser are satisfied that there are no contentious items to be disputed after the settlement has been finalised. Reticulation equipment (particularly if shared with adjoining owners), is a good example of a commonly overlooked item in the sale.
The For-Sale Board
When the property is sold it is customary to place an Under Offer or Sold sticker on the sign until the property settlement is completed. The Sold sticker is self-explanatory, but an Under Offer sticker is used when a contract has been negotiated but is still subject to one or more conditions e.g. finance approval.
What price should I ask?
Shorter time means a higher price The two most frequently asked buyer questions are, how much will they take and how long has it been on the market. The first question is a great opportunity for a good agent to invite an offer but the second question is always a curly one. When people ask how long a property has been for sale, it is usually because, the longer its been for sale, the less they think they will need to pay.
It has been proven that the best opportunity to achieve top price for your property is within the first 30 to 45 days.
Consider the Price Ranging option
The pitfalls of traditional fixed price selling are that the seller will almost always get less than their asking price and many buyers never take a look because they dont think they are in with a chance. Keep in mind, history show that buyers usually spend between 5 and 10% more than they first planned. Its also a proven fact that buyers make their ultimate decision based on emotion rather than price. In other words, if they love it, they will find a way to buy it. Price ranging between the Top dollar price and the bargain basement price will ensure maximum interest and the best price. And NO, very few people start at the bottom. They will usually compare your property to others theyve seen and base their offer on where they think yours compares. Remember, they have got to see it before they will make an offer and price ranging entices them to have a look
For Sale by Public Auction
A public auction focuses an enormous amount of purchaser attention on your property and although sales are not always made on the day, a sale will usually result soon after to a purchaser who was introduced to the property by the advanced level of high quality and intensity marketing.
If your property has unique or individual benefits, is of unusual design, possesses characteristics which set it apart from others, or will appeal to neighbouring owners, then you should seriously consider a sale by public auction. We can advise you whether or not your property is suitable for auction or whether one of our other marketing strategies would be more suitable.
Showing the Property to Buyers
Keep your pets under control and turn the radio or television volumes low when the agent arrives with customers to inspect.
If the weather is fine, perhaps you can move into the garden while the inspection is taking place. Buyers are conscious of the fact that they are invading your privacy and may rush the inspection if you are too close at hand. If is far better to leave them and your sales consultant to enjoy a relaxed stroll through your property so that they can get the true feel of it as their possible future home.
Your agent will always be present during an open house, to escort potential purchasers through the property and act as the caretaker in your absence. It is wise however, to lock away valuable items such as jewellery, money boxes, expensive ornaments, etc. Incidents of theft from properties being open for inspection are extremely rare, but it is nevertheless wise to remove these temptations from sight.
Be aware that smokers and pet owners will rarely smell odours to which they have become accustomed and it is usually too embarrassing for a third party (including your agent) to broach the subject.
A tip to make the home smell sweetly is to place a cinnamon stick in a heated oven for a short period prior to the home open or to bake a loaf of bread or a cake during the home open. A vase of flowers and the dining table set for a dinner party will also show off your property to its best advantage.
Negotiating with the Buyer
Any agreement to purchase your property will be made in writing on the standard form and signed by the purchaser. Offers made verbally cannot be legally enforced and are therefore worthless.
When your agent arrives with the customers written offer, you should clarify every clause ensuring you completely understand what is proposed. You may then decide to accept the offer by signing in the space provided, or to counter the offer at a higher price that is acceptable to you. Inserting the new price on the contract and initialing the alteration usually achieves this. Your agent will then present your counter-offer back to the purchasers for their acceptance or rejection.
You should be aware that if the purchasers do not wish to accept your counter-offer, they can withdraw their original offer leaving you without a purchaser. Therefore your decision to counter the original offer at a higher price should be made with the clear understanding that you may run the risk of losing your purchaser altogether!
The keys to the property are usually handed over after final settlement, i.e. when the vendor has been notified that the transaction has been finalised by the settlement agent/solicitor and the settlement agent/solicitor is in receipt of the full purchase monies.
In practice, it is usual for the vendor and purchaser to make prior arrangements for the handing over of keys to coincide with their mutual arrangements for removalists and the like.