Find a good salesperson
Most people take the decision of choosing their real estate agent far too lightly and would put more effort into selecting a new car or home. However, choosing your real estate agent can be one of the single biggest financial decisions you will make.
The difference between a mediocre agent and a very good agent (and bear in mind, you are paying the same for both!) can mean thousands of dollars that you receive for your home. A good agent should be determined to get you the best possible price for your home. They will go beyond what a buyer is prepared to pay for your home and try to get what they are able to pay!
List with one agency
Listing with one agency creates a win-win situation for both you and the salesperson. You receive a salesperson who will fully commit their time, resources and expertise into selling your home; the salesperson receives a commission when their hard work and effort results in a sale.
Many people who decide to list with a number of different agencies often find they do not receive the same kind of attention and commitment. Or even worse, the salespeople are in such a hurry to sell the home before anyone else that they focus on making a quick sale rather than getting you the best possible price.
Price your home at the right market value
Once you put your home on the market you are competing for buyers against other similar homes that are 'For Sale'. Ideally, you want to attract as many buyers as possible because the competition created by interested buyers can often bring you a premium price. Whenever there is competition, the focus of the buyer turns to 'out pricing' the other interested parties, rather than trying to buy your home for as little as possible.
Pricing your home much too high is a sure way to deter buyers. Those who actually want to buy a house in that price-range will tend to pass over your home as they can get better value elsewhere. And the buyers who do want a home similar to yours are also likely to exclude it as it is well out of their price range. As a result, your home could end up sitting on the market for a long period of time with little interest from buyers.
The best strategy is to price your home at the right market value to begin with. This way an optimum number of buyers will consider your property. Your real estate agent can help you set the right market price by taking into account factors such as the price of similar homes in your area that are currently for sale (or that have already sold) and the current market situation. In many instances, your sales consultant may advise a strategy of marketing without disclosing any price, such as Auction, or Tender.
Sometimes people will make the decision to renovate their home before selling in order to add extra value. But before undertaking any major improvements you'll want to be sure that you aren't over capitalising. This is when the cost of your improvements is greater than any additional value they add.
For example, you could spend $23,000 installing a swimming pool but may only receive half or a third of that money back in terms of added value. If you are planning on making any significant improvements before selling your home, contact your real estate agent and get their advice on how much extra value they are likely to add.
Present your home at its best
Purchasing a home is nearly always an emotional decision for buyers and first impressions do count. It is important that your home is presented at its best so it will be as attractive as possible to buyers. Keeping the lawns mown, gardens neat and tidy, obvious small repairs fixed, curtains and blinds open and your home clean, tidy and free of clutter will make a good first impression with potential buyers. A bunch of fresh flowers also creates a warming impression.
Have a good salesperson negotiate the sale
A buyer's expectation of price and a seller's expectation of price are very seldom the same. In fact, there is often a big gap between what the buyer is prepared to pay and what the seller is willing to accept. That's why a good salesperson is worth their weight in gold when it comes to negotiating. It is their job to close this gap in your favour and get you the best possible price for your home.
A good real estate salesperson should go beyond what the market is prepared to pay and negotiate for what it is able to pay. They can often greatly influence the final price you receive for your home.