Trying to sell your home or investment property? If it’s been on the market forever and you’re struggling to get any bites, don’t fret. We’ll show you how to get those offers coming.
When the market is flooded with properties for sales, it’s known as a “buyer’s market”. Many suburbs and cities across Australia are currently in a buyer’s market, which means buyers have many more property choices at their fingertips.
But even if your property is located in an area where there is a glut “for sale” signs on front lawns, that doesn’t mean your house or apartment should sit on the market for months with no buyer interest, says Nicole Marsh, Licensed Buyers Agent from Eureka Property on the Gold Coast.
If your property has been listed for more than 60 days and you’ve yet to receive an offer, it’s like that you’re doing one of the following things wrong:
Problem #1: Ineffective marketing
“Most agents are very good at marketing a property but some agents have no clue,” Marsh says. In a competitive environment it’s even more important that your property is presented at its very best, so you can’t afford to have a “bad blurb about the property and bad photos”, Marsh warns. “Buyers will just glance over it and write it off.”
Solution: View your property marketing through the eyes of a potential buyer. How does it stack up against other similar properties that are selling in your suburb? Does your advert make your home look appealing and unique, or does it blend into the sea of other properties on the market? You might want to consider having professional photos taken, and employing a professional real estate copywriter to create your listing copy, so your property marketing really stands out from the crowd.
Problem #2: A less than impressive agent
Your real estate agent stands to make a pretty penny from the sale of your property, so they should be willing to work for it. “We find that 99% of agents are really good, but if you’re unlucky enough to choose an agent who has zero care factor, is slack to return calls, lacks follow up and has no clue about the property they are selling – such as development potential and council zonings – then this will certainly devalue your property. They will let the buyers slip away, or they’ll just turn them off altogether,” Marsh warns.
She recalls turning up to an open inspection one weekend and finding the selling agent drunk. He stumbled and hiccupped his way through the viewing after a long lunch. “It didn’t phase me – it was the wrong house for my buyers anyway – but for an ordinary buyer, this would have really turned them off,” she says. “The vendors would have been ropable if they had have known.”
Solution: Interview your real estate agent before you assign them the rights to sell your property. Ask questions like: How long have you been selling property? How long have you specialised in this particular area? Do you have any references we could see?
Problem #3: Pricing the property incorrectly
Many vendors make the mistake of “believing their castle is worth much more than anyone else’s”, Marsh says, which means that may not price the property right when it first hits the market. “If a property sits on the market too long, it ‘goes stale’ and is perceived by the buyers as having something wrong with it,” she explains. “In the end, the vendors and agent have to continually discount the price until they almost have to give it away before it sells.” She adds, “In the current market its not uncommon to see properties sell for a whole lot less than a previously offered price, as the vendors wanted to hold out for a higher price – which never came.”
Solution: Be realistic about your listing price. Get three appraisals from three different agents before listing it for sale, and have a “floor” price in mind before you put it on the market.