Category Archives: Selling

8 Easy Tips that will Help Sell Your Unit

If you’re preparing your unit for sale or maybe just thinking about listing your unit the approach you take may need to be a little different to preparing a house for sale.

Why? In Australia over the past 12 months, the number of units sold has actually dropped, whereas the number of houses sold has risen, according to research conducted by Corelogic RP Data.

In this kind of market, it’s more important than ever to highlight the advantages of owning a unit to potential buyers.

After all, units tend to be a more affordable option than stand-alone houses, particularly when they are close to city centres. They’re lower maintenance and come in a range of styles and sizes, so you don’t always have to compromise on space.

Here, we’ve asked two of our experienced sales consultants who have helped sellers to sell many units in both CBD and coastal locations, what advice they give owners who are preparing a unit for sale.

Tip 1 – Always work with a unit and apartment specialist

Make sure you’re sales consultant has sold a number of similar properties before. It takes a very specialised skill-set to have success selling a property against others that are very similar and it’s often a much more difficult process than selling houses.

This is why it pays to use a sales consultant who knows the area well, and is well-versed in selling units.

Tip 2 – Start working with your sales consultant early

Make sure to choose your sales consultant and start working with them in advance of the property going on the market, says Bridget Gabites, of Harcourts Solutions Inner City.

“If I have four to six weeks up my sleeve I can work with my clients to make some simple, affordable and important changes to the apartment to give it some unique appeal.

“We compare the apartment to the others in the complex and something as simple as wallpapering a feature wall or putting ceiling fans in can be enough of a change to give your property the edge when going to market”, says Bridget.

Tip 3 – Advertise if the unit is pet friendly

Not all body corporates allow for pets within a unit, but it pays to do your research. Generally, units aren’t allowed a blanket ‘no pet’ policy unless it has been voted on and passed by owners, so make sure you find out, as the ability to own a pet can attract a much wider pool of buyers.

Tip 4 – If you have money set aside for the property, use it wisely

Harcourts Coastal sales consultant, Tina Sander says she has helped more clients attract the best price for their unit through great marketing rather than spending huge sums on home improvements and staging.

“I often say to clients if you have $10,000 set aside to promote the property, invest in a great, tailored marketing approach because this will ultimately ensure your unit is seen by the most buyers and this will ultimately help you to achieve the sales price you’re after”, says Tina.

Tip 5 – Make your unit stand out from the crowd

When selling a unit or apartment within the inner city suburbs or even in a coastal community, your main competition often comes from other units almost exactly the

same as yours – it can be really difficult to get an apartment to stand out from the crowd.

So focus in on your apartment’s most unique feature. That may be the view, the size, or a recent renovation. Work out what your winning factor is and make sure your sales consultant concentrates on it in their photos, the title of the advertisements and the written copy – your buyers need to be totally aware of the reason to buy your apartment over any others.

Tip 6 – Add small, appealing touches during open homes

Styling your apartment for inspections and marketing photos is essential to have it stand out from the crowd, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. The first obvious step is to declutter, then it’s a matter of working with your sales specialist to figure out which small touches will make all the difference to buyers.

Think of adding bright, decorative pieces like throws, cushions and flowers, and make sure candles are lit and soft, appropriate music is playing during open homes.

“I always bring candles and music to each open home for my clients”, says Tina, whose believes it’s these small touches that will help your unit stand out from the neighbours.

Tip 7 – Make the most of your sales consultants time

Make sure to have two sales consultants at your open homes, this is something you can request through your sales consultant. One consultant should be at the front of the building and another upstairs in your apartment. Your lead sales consultant should be with the buyers talking through all the features and benefits – not standing at the door.

Tip 8 – Give potential buyers as much as information as possible

Giving buyers as much information about the unit as possible is a good idea so they know exactly why it is that your apartment is the one for them over a similar one.

“I make sure I have a detailed property booklets which include a floorplan ready to give potential buyers, which answers any question they might have on the unit”, says Tina.

“When it comes to selling coastal units, we also invest in aerial shots that show exactly how far a property is from the beach, so that buyers can really see the benefit in buying this particular unit”.

Choosing the right sales consultant, and working with them early are the first key steps to successfully marketing and selling your unit. If you’re based in Brisbane or the Gold Coast in Queensland, why not contact our sales specialists mentioned in this blog post?

Brisbane sales specialist, Bridget Gabites, at Harcourts Solutions Inner City can be reached on 0424 628 877 or at bridget.gabites@harcourts.com.au.

Gold Coast sales specialist, Tina Sander, at Harcourts Coastal can be reached on 0418 878 901 or at tina.sander@harcourts.com.au.


The Benefits Of Selling Your Home Through Auction

What is the value in listing your house for auction?

Fewer days on market and a higher rate of success

When it comes the question, “Why auction a home over a traditional sale?”,  you can’t look past the facts. Currently in the past 12 months in the USA, Harcourts have seen just over a 90% success rate selling properties through auction. When you look at traditionally selling your home in Southern California you have under 50% chance of getting a result, which makes auction a logical option.

You can also look at the average days on market and compare auction and traditional sale. Obviously this can change from place to place, however if you look at the average days on market for a traditional sale in California over the past few years it has varied from 90-150+ days. Our auction platform has an average of just 33 days on the market which allows everyone involved to understand the true market value in a shorter timeframe.

This is paramount when selling real estate because we often hear from sellers that they don’t have to sell.  Taking this approach when listing a property on the market is one of the main reason that sellers do not achieve what they want for their home;  they sit and wait, then drop the price, which then becomes a game of chasing the market down.

Auctions allow you to negotiate up, rather than down

Another reason that auctions make a lot of sense is that it allows the agent that listed the property to negotiate up rather than negotiate down like a traditional sale. For example if you were to price a property in a traditional manner at $850,000 you have straight away told people what they are not going to pay.  In most cases you would see someone submit an offer well below the asking price and it becomes a negotiation.

When a home is listed through the Harcourts auctions platform we list the property at a bidding-to-start-from price. This price is well below market value and below the seller expectation for the home, however the seller sets a non-disclosed reserve price which safe-guards them and allows us to find out how high the market will go. Think about it like a negotiation up rather than a negotiation down.

Selling through auction will help you to achieve true market value

Another query which we come across often is, “The last agent told me I could get a certain dollar figure”. We call it the promise of a price. When a home goes through our auction platform it is not the promise of a price, it is a process that finds the true market value of that home through feedback and offers that are not influenced by a listed price.

The process gives us a plan A, B and C in that we can sell a property before auction, on the day of auction and also if all else fails we can always revert back to the traditional sale so you have nothing to lose. In fact, you can gain the knowledge needed to price the home accurately to achieve a sale in any event.

A set timeframe drives buyers to make a decision

An easy way to think about the structure of the auction platform is to think of the timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have a four week lead-up where people go crazy getting everything ready for one day, having that set date does not allow us to procrastinate, it drives us to make decisions. This is the same principal we employ to get a property sold in the shortest time for the true market value.

Aren’t auctions traditionally for properties which have foreclosed?

The banks still use auction as their primary way to sell foreclosed homes. This is because auction is the only proven way to get the highest price for a property in the shortest timeframe.

This perception can actually work to your advantage

We use the perception of the word ‘auction’ to drive over 45% more people through the front door of a home than we would see with a traditional sale. We get some many more people interested in a property that is going to auction – have you ever met a buyer who wants to pay too much?  Getting the buyer to the front door is the hardest part of selling real estate.

It is a very common misconception in real estate that an agent sells your home, when in fact we could not sell a property to someone who did not want it.

It’s our jobs as agents to manage buyer and seller expectations

After thousands of transactions, we have identified that it is our job as listing agents to manage greed on behalf of the buyers and fear on behalf of the sellers. Greed on behalf of the buyers because I have never met a buyer that wants to pay too much and fear on behalf of the sellers because I have never met a seller that was not fearful of leaving money on the table.

Now, as contradicting as it may sound we need to feed the greed of buyers to get them to the front door, so the word auction feeds the greed but then the process manages that greed with our set timeframes and the competition of the other buyers. All the while providing the seller with the information and feedback they need to understand about the true market value of their home is. So in short, we use the stigma that surrounds the word auction to get the volume of people we need.

What kind of success have past clients had using the auction process?

We are very proud of all we have achieved with our auction platform, as over 60% of all our properties that have sold through our process have previously been listed on the market for an extended period of time.  To have over a 90% success rate while listing properties where we needed to revitalize the reputation because other agents had promised a price and not a process.

One particular story really does put our platform into perspective. A broker from a real estate office outside Harcourts had his own property listed for almost two years and could not sell it. He had reduced the price several times and had still not been able to get the traffic needed but also lacked the leverage in any of his negotiations, as he could not get people to make a decision.

He saw one of our auctions and saw the property sell in a short timeframe for a great price in the local area where he worked and called us to talk further. We listed the home as an auction and had it sold in two weeks at a price which was higher than previously advertised.

The power of the set auction date drove a buyer to pay more so they could avoid being in competition on auction day.

If you’d like to consider selling your home through the auction process, and live in California, Nevada or Oregon, get in contact with Harcourts Brady & Co Auctions Manager, Ben Brady at ben.brady@harcourtsusa.com 


Choosing a real estate agent

How Much Is Your Home Worth?

It’s spring time, the weather is warmer, and more people are out and about looking at open homes. As such, spring is often a popular time to list homes for sale.  So if you are looking to sell your property, how much is your home worth?

Did you know?
The average time it is taking to sell a home in your market indicates the market climate. It is very important a seller understands which market they are in and the average time it is taking to sell a property within that market. Ask your sales consultant about the current market in your location.

There are three types of market climates:

A seller’s market

There are lots of buyers and very few homes for sale.  High demand for property is in the seller’s favour as properties spend less time on the market and sale prices rise due to scarcity.

A buyer’s market

Often there are literally hundreds of homes for sale and very few buyers. High demand for buyers is in the buyer’s favour as properties stay on the market much longer and sale prices reduce to compete for buyers.

A balanced market

Numbers of buyers and properties for sale are about equal. Neither buyer nor seller has an advantage as properties are not languishing on the market or being snaffled up.

 

If you have decided now is the time to make a move, one of the most crucial aspects of selling is determining a fair market value for your property.

How do you go about doing this?

If you choose to market your home with Harcourts, your sales consultant will provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA).

This will help advise you of the market value of your property by comparing your home with others that have sold recently. Using these properties as a guide, you can objectively calculate an accurate market value.

Of course, identical homes are not always readily available, so sometimes you will need to add or subtract the differing features. For example, if one of the comparative properties in the CMA has a single garage yet your home has a double, you can discuss with your sales consultant how much more value that places on your home. If on the other hand, the other home has three bedrooms and yours only has two, then you might conclude that your property may be worth less.

If you choose to auction, you will be letting the market determine the value of your property. Marketing with a price limits what a keen buyer may pay. Once a listing price has been established for a property, a ceiling has been placed on what a buyer expects to pay for it. Auction, on the other hand, offers a real opportunity to get more for a property than the seller might expect.

You may be very pleasantly surprised by the price your home achieves on auction day, however it is sensible to have in mind a fair price you would be prepared to accept. This is where your CMA will be invaluable.

If you choose to market your property with a price indication, it is absolutely critical to set this at a fair market rate for the following reasons:

  • The best buyers inspect first – the longer a property is on the market, the less sense of urgency there is amongst the buyers.
  • Website activity is at its highest when a property first enters the market. Many buyers have an automatic alert in place to notify them of new listings.
  • The right price will attract the right buyers for that particular property rather than buyers in a higher price bracket inspecting the property and expecting more based on its price.
  • A fair market price attracts more offers, resulting in a faster sale.
  • Urgency creates more realistic offers from buyers and often a better price achieved.
  • All listings are perishable and deteriorate with time on the market. Therefore, the longer an overpriced listing is on the market, the less perceived market value it will have.
  • An overpriced home makes the competition look good – it helps other houses to sell.

 Selling soon?

If you’re looking to sell your house soon get a free no obligation appraisal from one of our sales consultants.




Appraisal


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Selling in summer? Get your BBQ area right .

Hot Tips for Selling in Summer

It’s getting to be the hottest time of the year and as the sun comes out, so do the hats, cold drinks and backyard barbeques.

Summer is the season that most of us long for all year and a season where many prospective buyers are braving the heat to look for their next home. Here are a few tips to make your home more summer-friendly to prospective buyers which will enhance the chance of achieving the best result for your property.

Brighten with colour

Using the right colours can add a summery, fresh and cool look to your home and you don’t have to spend lots of money on repainting the walls. In fact, a common interior design trend these days is to keep walls fairly neutral. Instead, invest in bright, summery cushions and décor, fresh fruit and bright flowers which will give your home that fresh, and colourful edge.

Let the outside in

Open your windows and any sliding or bi-fold doors. Although air-conditioning is a quick way to cool down your home, consider using the air-conditioner only prior to a home inspection and then open windows and doors to let in fresh air and summer breezes.

Allowing natural airflow through open windows and screens, with fans turned on at a low speed, can help to show how naturally cool your property is, as well as highlighting outdoor entertainment areas and gardens.

Freshen up the garden

Make sure the grass and garden is tidy. Your garden is often the first thing to make an impression on potential buyers, and first impressions are important. In summer, our lawns and shrubbery tend to grow faster and some plants need additional watering, so ensure your lawn is mowed, hedges and unruly shrubs are trimmed, and any wilting or dead plants are revived or removed.

Make the most of outdoor spaces

Summer really is the best time of year to showcase your home’s outdoor area, so spend some time making it look as appealing as possible. Put away any pool toys or play equipment, consider replacing or buying new outdoor cushions for seating areas, place a bowl of fruit or fresh flowers on outdoor surfaces or even a jug of cold lemonade, sweep and tidy entertainment areas and even consider staging these areas to show just how inviting the space is in the warmer weather.

Overall, the best tips for selling in summer are to put on your ‘buyers shoes’ and take a look around your house as if you were inspecting it for the first time on a hot, sunny day. Think about what appeals most to you and think of what you can do to further enhance that area. Also take the time to consider what needs to be done to fix any problem areas. Happy summer selling!

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9 Ways To Make Your Home More Attractive To Buyers

Purchasing a home is both a financial and emotional decision so the look and feel of your home will be an important factor in attracting interested buyers. Here are our top tips for helping you make your home more attractive to buyers.

1. First impressions count

What will people see the first time they walk up to your house? Make sure your property has ‘curbside appeal’ with a well-maintained fence, driveway, letterbox, front door, lawns, hedging, and exterior. Outdoor living is a big selling point so make your outdoor space inviting.

2. Declutter

Remove clutter from your home and put it in storage. This includes oversized or too much furniture, large bench top appliances, and personal items like photographs, CDs, books and magazines. This will make your home appear bigger and allow buyers to picture themselves in the space.

3. The personal touch

Your house should feel like a home. Once you’ve decluttered, a few personal touches such as flowers, a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, and a pot plant here and there will do wonders to help buyers feel like your property could be their dream home.

4. Freshen up your walls with a coat of paint

Use a neutral, light shade to make your home appear more spacious. This also gives prospective buyers a blank canvas to visualise what they would do with a room. Don’t forget to paint or varnish the doors too.

5. Make your home sparkle

Clean every room in your home, including the windows inside and out. In particular, ensure your bathroom sparkles, remove any mould and replace your shower curtain. While you’re cleaning, you should eliminate the source of any unpleasant odours inside and outside your home. A bad smell will quickly turn off prospective buyers.

6. Do necessary repairs

Buyers don’t want to spend their time or money doing repairs to a home they’ve just bought. You can remove that barrier by fixing anything off its hinges, replacing broken tiles, repairing holes in walls etc. Replace threadbare carpet and ensure wooden floors are well maintained. Give your home some TLC so that buyers know that it’s been well looked after.

7. Kitchens sell houses

If you can afford to invest a bit of capital before you sell, spend it in the kitchen. Reface or replace your cabinetry and upgrade counter tops. If you’re whiteware is old, consider renting modern appliances.

8. Brighten your home

Aim for soft lighting throughout the home and bright light in the kitchen and bathroom. Use lamps to brighten dark corners. If you have old curtains or blinds, take them down and replace them with basic cotton or linen ones and make sure they are tied back to make the most of any natural light. Make sure you replace burnt out light bulbs.

9. Pets

We love our pets but not everybody else does. Be aware that many people have allergies to, or are simply not used to animals. Keep them out of the way when prospective buyers are visiting your home.

It may sound like a lot of work, but doing these simple things, can really pay dividends by helping you to attract interested buyers. Remember, you’re not just selling a property but a potential new lifestyle for the homeowner so put yourself in their shoes when preparing your home for sale.