Invite 2-3 agents from your area to discuss with you the strategy on how they would sell your house. Do they suggest an auction or private treaty sale and why? Ask them to provide evidence of recent sales of similar houses in surrounding streets that compare to your property and how they arrived at the price they suggest for your home. You want an experienced agent who knows your market and can source the right buyer. One way to get to know agents is to attend open houses. You can assess the agents' selling styles, presentation, and marketing materials and get a feel for how good they are at returning phone calls, a critical factor in a selling campaign.
Don't assume you can pay for your renovations or achieve what you may have achieved at the market's peak in 2007 - in some cases, prices are still lower than they were at that time, despite recent rises. Sadly some agents over estimate the value of property simply to win your business. Be very careful that you do not choose an agent merely based on the selling price they quote you.
Houses should be thoroughly cleaned and de-cluttered. Anything that detracts from a potential sale needs to be thrown out, put in storage or sold in a garage sale or on eBay. You are going to be moving soon anyway, so start packing away 'stuff' now! The trick is to make your home look comfortable without too many personal things so buyers can imagine where their own things would go.
It's important to have the property looking smart from the outside because that's what many buyers fall in love with. Consider things like a house wash with a high-pressure hose to get rid of cobwebs and dust and freshen driveways and pavers.
You'll want to eliminate any evidence of damp and moisture, doors and windows that stick and cracked glass etc. Spending that little bit of extra money by getting those things right can enhance the emotional appeal. While it's hard to put a figure on exactly how much more a property can achieve if it is well presented, buyers could expect an extra 5 per cent or 10 per cent. Check the outside lights are working, because you'll want to keep them turned on at night for house-hunters driving by. Carpets should be steam-cleaned a few days before your first viewing to allow time for any cleaning smells to evaporate. Window cleaning can also help create a lasting impression.
As a vendor, you're not required to have building and pest inspections done - yet. Although the state government is considering making them mandatory. We recommend our vendors commission their own reports as it gives buyers confidence to proceed and helps to sell their property quicker. Getting building and pest inspections done can also help sellers identify any unforeseen problems with the house and avoiding sales falling over.
When it comes to marketing, photographs can be the most important element. Many buyers will judge your property within five to 10 seconds of looking at the photos and if they're not excited ... then they simply won't read on and they'll go on to the next house. You may have just lost a sale. Insist your agent uses a professional photographer to market your property
Pet smells can be a major turn-off for buyers. Not everyone is a dog or a cat person. During the sales campaign, open homes and private inspections you might want to make sure your four-legged friend is out of the way. If they've been living indoors, getting rid of their lingering scent will generally mean a top-to-bottom polish, plus professionally cleaning any carpets and soft furnishings.