4 important things you need to do before you sell your home
You should paint bathroom ceilings if they need it, and paint kitchen cupboards if the colours are dated. Consider changing the handles as well – this is a very inexpensive way to modernise your kitchen and most cupboard handles are a standard size so they are easy to change (all you need is a screwdriver).
You want your garden to appear as low-maintenance as possible to potential buyers. If you present a section that is well maintained, it will give buyers confidence that you have taken care of your property. Make sure no trees or hedges are touching the house itself, and ensure paths are clear from overhanging branches. But above all – trim anything that is blocking the sun! Be ruthless.
When you are just about to sell, you need to clean as if the local health and safety inspector is coming for a visit. Buyers will poke around and inspect every nook and cranny so your usual Sunday afternoon whip-around really will not do. Hire some help if you need to and clean all those surfaces you don’t normally bother with – like the top of the rangehood, inside your pantry, behind toilets, in high corners were the cobwebs live and inside wardrobes.
Firstly, take out everything you don’t need for daily life. Now, take out some more. When you visit a show-home, the first thing you’ll notice is that they have a ridiculously small amount of furniture – that’s no accident. The more you take out of a room, the bigger it will feel to a prospective buyer.
Selling my home in New Zealand
Choosing a New Zealand agent to sell your house quickly and for the best price can be complicated. Some will offer you low fees or give an impressively high property valuation, but these can be red flags.
While two thirds of recent home movers told us they were satisfied with the service they received from their estate agent in our 2015 property survey, one in six were dissatisfied – so it’s important that you do your research before choosing an agent.
Search for an agent that is experienced in selling property like yours – they will have a good pool of potential buyers and know what people are looking for in a property.
Choosing the best estate agent
Use comparity.co.nz to shortlist three potential estate agents and invite each to give you a property valuation.
Make sure you check exactly what services each estate agent offers. For example:
- Will they conduct viewings, or will you have to?
- What marketing materials will they prepare (eg floorplans, photographs, online tours)?
- How many relevant buyers do they have on their books, and will they tell them about your property?
- Will they provide a ‘for sale’ board?
It’s important that you check which property portals they will advertise your property on – trademe is far the most popular New Zealand property listing site.
- How quickly do they sell homes in New Zealand? What’s their track record with achieving the asking price?
- What is their reasoning behind the value they’re proposing to market your property at?
- Will details of your property be shared with their colleagues? It’s good if more than one person in the office can talk enthusiastically and with knowledge about your property
- What would they do if your property was not selling as quickly or at the price you expected?
- Are they open at weekends? A surprising number of agents only work during the week, and perhaps do half day on Saturday, which means they are less accessible to potential buyers
No two properties are the same. Potential buyers will make an offer based on their knowledge of comparable sales and the emotional value they place on your home.
Regardless of what you might think your property is worth, it is the buyer that ultimately sets the price they are prepared to pay. The method of selling is an important step towards achieving the best result.
As no two properties are the same it is very hard to give an exact time frame for the sale of your home. The Real Estate Industry of New Zealand (REINZ) publishes statistics for ‘average days on the market’ but these do not differentiate one style of property from another so are likely to be skewed by apartment timeframes etc.
To help limit your time on the market it is important to choose the right sale method and target the right buyers for your property.
All of this needs to be decided with the consultative advise of a good real estate Salesperson. Equally important to this is good communication on feedback and progress from your Salesperson. Being informed during the process makes the decisions you need to make as a vendor much easier.
Buyers are looking for properties at all times of the year so if your property is warm and gets good winter sun, why not market it at a time when there is less competition?
Alternately you might have a well-established garden that flourishes in spring so this will be the best time to market your home. Whatever the season, take the time to present your house well to maximise interest and achieve the best possible price.
There is no standard rate or scale of charges for buyer’s agents. It is important that you ask in advance about costs and what services will be provided as a part of this cost. If the buyer’s agent charges a set fee, you should check whether any separate charges are made for expenses.
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