The preparation you put into getting your property ready for sale can be the difference between getting a standard price and getting a great price. And, the best part is, it's not hard, time consuming or expensive.
The process, or indeed art, of presenting your property for sale is an important one to master. For most, the sale of a property comes around every 5-7 years. For others it has become a more regular event, choosing to capitalise on the opportunity of upgrading the family home and make substantial tax free gains in the process.
Whatever your motive for selling, the process can either be stress free and lucrative or tense and disappointing. The good news is that you have the ability to choose.
Buyers for good quality property can be found all year round. With the marketing process having become far more sophisticated than in previous times, the issue of timing is less critical today than in the past. However, there are some important points you may wish to consider.
If your property is located in one of Sydney's beachside suburbs our research indicates that the Spring and Summer months produce superior results, particularly October and February. In major centres avoid the Christmas holiday period between 20 December and 10 January. In tourist destinations however, this same period can be the best time for the sale of property.
The time required to sell property that is accurately priced will typically vary between two and six weeks. Prior to placing your property on the market, allow an additional two weeks to prepare both the property and the marketing material.
Presentation of your property is a critical factor in achieving the highest possible price. This is similar to detailing a car before you sell it. The emotional appeal required to stir the spirit of the buyers is unlikely to be generated by a poorly presented property. And a neglected building sends out 'warning signals' to prospective buyers.
So it is important to do whatever is possible to have your property looking its absolute best on inspection day. Some of the turn offs for buyers include:
- Animal odours in the house
- Evidence of damp or moisture in the walls
- Cigarette or strong food odours
- Doors, windows or gates that stick
- Cracked glass
- Too much furniture or personal belongings cluttering the space
- Stained carpet
To improve the presentation, seek an outside opinion, as many of these problems can be fixed over a weekend for little expense. We believe the process is so important that we offer our clients the services of our in-house Property Stylist to help in preparing the property.
For vacant properties, we would also recommend the use of decorator furniture for the period of the sale. Advice on the best type of furniture can also be offered by our stylist. The average cost to furnish a typical three bedroom house for six weeks is likely to be in the range of $4,000-$6,000 - in our experience an excellent investment in maximising the sale price of your property.
Method of Sale
When it comes to selling your property, there are three popular methods to choose from:
- Private Treaty (Sale)
- Public Auction
- Public Tender
Each has its own advantages and it is advisable to speak to your agent about the benefits of each method.
Our company has successfully utilised all three methods, however we have found sale by Public Auction to be the most effective method for properties located in the top 50 suburbs. Auction is effective in the event of there being difficulty in clearly determining the value of a property whereby a value range may be more practical.
Also, where a property is likely to attract more than one qualified buyer in the marketplace, auction allows competitive bidding to increase the final sale price. In the event that you choose to submit your property for sale by auction, research the success of each company's auctioneers, as a skilled auctioneer can add significantly to your end result.
Most auction marketing periods run for about four weeks.
Sale Preparation Checklist
1. Get the property detailed thoroughly
2. A few hundred dollars spent sprucing up the property will increase the saleability and more than likely increase the sale price.
3. A property stylist can improve the appeal of your property by enhancing its appearance. This helps in obtaining a higher sale price.
4. Obtain a building and pest inspection report. - This allows you to have necessary repair work done prior to sale. A 100% clear report can be used as a selling feature for buyers.
5. The Contract for Sale should be prepared by your solicitor or conveyancer with all the essential terms and conditions. In NSW the law requires that a contract be available for inspection prior to the property being offered for sale.
6. A certificate of compliance should be obtained from the Local Council if you have recently undertaken major building works.
7. It is advisable to have a survey of the land and buildings available if required when selling a property.
8. If there is a current lease, check the expiry date and termination requirements and advise your solicitor.
9. Make a note of all the inclusions. That is, everything that will be included in the purchase price and remaining at the property after completion. Standard items include light fittings, floor coverings, curtains and blinds. These can also be excluded if you prefer but it should be noted in the contract for sale.