Important Things Home Sellers Often Forget to Do
If you are currently thinking of selling your home, your to-do list is probably as long as your arm is. There’s just so much to think of: how much you should sell for, which agent you are going to use to help you sell, where you are going to move once your property has sold… who can keep track of it all?!
You can bet that there will be things you forget to do – which is why getting an agent to help you tick all the boxes should be your number-one priority. Real estate agents will make your own to-do list much shorter, and help you to sell as quickly as possible, at the best possible price.
While you’re busy prioritising, there are some things home sellers commonly tend to forget. Here are seven things that you should remember when selling your property.
Google your address
The online realm is where buyers will first become aware of your property. Just like in the world of online dating, though, buyers will want to gather every bit of information about your property before committing to go and see it in person. This means Googling your address to see what pops up. If you’ve never done it yourself, you might not be aware that Google Street View doesn’t show the recent improvements you’ve undertaken in the backyard, or that the information about your property isn’t accurate in terms of things like the amount of rooms in the house.
It is for this reason that the online listing on your real estate agency’s website should be comprehensive, with as many good-quality pictures as possible to back your claims up.
Scouring the internet for information about your home will reveal exactly what is missing in your current online listing and how you should expand to make an impression on buyers, who will have to remember your property among a host of others.
Account for improvements and issues
Homebuyers will likely insist that a thorough home inspection is done on your property before signing any type of sales agreement. Home sellers will do well to have their own pre-inspection carried out before the property officially goes on the market in order to avoid uncomfortable questions down the line. Sellers should always reveal any faults to potential buyers beforehand, as neglecting to do so could get them in hot water later on.
However, home sellers shouldn’t skimp on telling prospective buyers about all the improvements they made to the property while living in it. Telling them about invisible improvements like getting the wiring fixed or having the plumbing system upgraded sets potential buyers’ minds at ease, and creates a rapport between the buyer and seller.
Buyers want to feel like they can trust what you are saying at all times, and anything you don’t disclose will become apparent after a home inspection anyway, so, as with most things in life, honesty is also the best policy here.
Check your real estate agent’s references
Who you choose to be beside you while your home is on the market has a much bigger influence on the outcome of the sale than you think. Your real estate agent should be someone you can trust, but should also have significant knowledge of the property market in your city or suburb. They should know how to sell, but be approachable enough to appeal to the buyers that they are bringing to your property.
How does one find an agent that fits this rather long and specific bill? Speak to friends and family that have recently enlisted the services of a real estate agent to get recommendations. You can also use an online agent finder like Perfect Agent to get a number of recommendations, based on your specific preferences.
When interviewing potential real estate agents to help you sell, ask the right questions, and don’t forget to also ask for references. A good agent won’t be unwilling to send along the details of a few people that you can contact to find out what their impression of the agent was. When contacting the references, enquire whether the agent had knowledge of current market conditions in your suburb or city, whether they were good negotiators, and whether they communicated well and in a timely fashion. Ask references whether they had confidence in the agent’s abilities and if they would recommend the agent to other home sellers.
People who have already been down this road with someone can give you the most accurate information, and are invaluable as you embark on finding an agent you can trust.
Insist on social media marketing
While your home will certainly be listed on the website of the real estate agency you are using, there are many other online tools that are at your disposal. Social media is particularly useful, because it holds the potential of spreading the message of your home’s sale much further than any other traditional listing would. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram lets you figuratively shout your message from the rooftops, which is why you should pay as much attention to social media posts as to other online property listings.
The way your property comes off is very important, so ensure that you are using good-quality, high-resolution photos (keep in mind that social media platforms shrink down the size of media as a rule, so starting with bad photos will make them seem even worse).
Ask your real estate agent how social media platforms can be used to boost the marketing of your property
Make sure the doorbell rings
The devil is in the details, and when you pay attention to the small things, it makes a big impression. Conversely, neglecting tiny things can also leave a lasting impression with buyers.
Things like a doorbell that doesn’t work will leave potential buyers wondering whether there are other things you might not have disclosed, which doesn’t exactly bode well for creating a sense of trust with buyers.
Make sure that you also pay particular attention to kerb appeal. This part of the home, despite it being the very first area potential buyers see, often doesn’t get as much attention as the rest of the home. Make sure the driveway is clean, the lawn is mowed and the weathered front door has been sanded down and repainted.
Clean inside everything
Before a home viewing, sellers will take care to make the home seem as clean as it possibly could. Even so, they often forget to also clean the inside of closets, cupboards, kitchen cabinets and the oven. When buyers view the property, they won’t hesitate to open your closet to see how much storage space there is, and they’ll want to check whether the elements in the oven all heat up.
Not thoroughly cleaning the inside of things will put off potential buyers – not least because these areas might be especially filthy, as they generally don’t get cleaned as much as other parts of the house.
When real estate agents refer to a deep clean, they mean a deep clean – if you don’t have the energy or equipment to make this happen, you might want to get a professional cleaning service to come and tidy up from top to bottom. You’ll be reimbursed for this more than tenfold once the sale goes through.
Clarify which items are not included
Don’t simply assume that prospective homebuyers will be aware of what exactly is included in the property of the sale. Ask your real estate agent to clearly explain exactly what buyers get when they acquire the property, and avoid anger and confusion down the line.
Some properties sell with the stove and other appliances included, while others don’t. The tree swing in the backyard might have impressed the new parents looking for a new property, and they could be genuinely upset and angry to learn that you’ve decided to take it down and move it to your new home with you. The same could be said for other movable items like hammocks or trampolines.
Again, you should try to stage your home in such a way that it is not filled with items (beautiful as they may be) that draw the attention away from the property itself.
When you have someone qualified who understands the complicated workings of the Australian real estate market on your side, it takes a lot of the pressure of selling off of you, as it well should. Real estate agents have spent their entire careers navigating all the different avenues of the property market, and are an indispensable partner to every home seller out there.
As a seller, you do have to take responsibility for some of the work, though. By making sure that your property listing contains up-to-date and correct information, you’ll be helping your agent to tailor the very best description in order to lure the biggest amount of potential buyers. You can help them even further by making sure you’ve paid attention to the tiny details that make the biggest difference.
Not sure which agent is right for you? Perfect Agent takes your preferences into account, and will recommend the very best candidates to help you sell.