The Traps You Might Fall Into

 In Selling

My column this week is to point out the traps you may fall into when selling your home and how to tell good advice from bad, as I am seeing a lot of sellers falling for the same old spiels time and time again and it’s costing them a bomb.

So, here’s what I see as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

There is no set value for your home, so don’t call in an agent to find out how much it’s worth. Your home will be worth different amounts to different people for different reasons. You don’t want an agent to tell you how much your home is worth….you want one who knows how to get the best price for you….and THAT’S what you should be asking them.

Another truth is that people buy what they see…. when you go to the supermarket, do you buy the scarred old apple with discoloured skin, or the bright shiny one that’s been polished to within an inch of its life? The bright shiny one of course…. even though the dull discoloured one could be a lot tastier and possibly organic, whereby the shinier one has probably been in a freezer for a year, injected with heaven knows what, and is totally tasteless. You don’t even think about that do you? You just buy that one because it LOOKS nicer.

You see, we are all very superficial…. well, around 95% of us are….we go purely on looks when we buy, so, if an agent cannot give you any tips on how to make your home look good, then you should show them the door.

Now, when an agent comes around, please don’t let your very first question be…”How much do you charge?”. If you asked me that, I would answer…. ”Charge for what?”. Then they would say “For selling my home“ then I would say…”For selling it how? For selling it for a low price? Or a good price? Or a fantastic price? For giving you no advice? For giving you great advice? For arranging work to be done? For providing you with cost effective tradesman? For project managing the whole process? For choosing paint colours, light fittings… for having an extensive number of buyers for your home, the best people to style your home and for being able to negotiate on your behalf……? Or would you just like me to put a FOR SALE sign out front and hope that someone turns up?”. So yes…. there are very different levels of service in the field of Real Estate and if you choose the cheapest agent in town, you’re very likely to end up with a far lower price, which, in effect means that the cheap agent just cost you a whole lot of money…. bit silly really isn’t it?

Now…. the latest ‘buzz’ word……OFF MARKET SELLING……. this one is a BIG BEWARE! In the current market where there are about 20 possible buyers for virtually every property out there…. WHY would you just offer it to one party exclusively when you could have a whole lot of people fighting for it and prepared to pay a great deal more? It’s crazy!

I called up one of my clients the other day to see if they were ready to sell yet, and they told me (rather smugly I might add) that they had sold ‘off market without any advertising or anything’….well, when they told me what they had sold it for, I thought…how sad….we could have easily got $200k over that with just some good advice, and a little competition. Still…. you don’t know what you don’t know and in that particular case it was probably just as well! In a world that is driven by supply and demand, it makes sense to sell to the highest bidder…. not the only bidder!

Here’s another trap….overpricing or not pricing at all. So, if you are asking too much for your home in the first place, the chances are it won’t be snapped up, and will sit there which is the very worst thing that can happen in this market, because the longer it sits there, the more people will wonder why, and come to the conclusion that there’s either something wrong with it, nobody likes it or that it’s too expensive, and every day that goes by the perceived value of the property will drop further and further…..you may as well just strangle it to death. Not putting a price on at all is also not a good idea because it bugs the hell out of buyers who just won’t bother to ‘contact the agent‘ and hence you cut down your market.

So, remember…perception is everything, but it’s not always the actual truth, so beware the traps you fall into, and please don’t just swallow everything you are told, trust your OWN instincts …. believe in them, and you will find that things will either make sense or……. they won’t.

Source: “The Traps You Might Fall Into”, The Post – 25 September 2021.

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