It’s time for a wake up call! Agents and Sellers if your in la la land its time to snap out of it and come back to earth.
Selling is an art. You need to pre empt the actions of your buyers. Now I don’t claim to be any expert on selling or on Real Estate but if you take a step back and use common sense then you may just be able to filter out the crap and actually do yourselves a favor. There is a world of information out there – some good some bad – some of its true and some of its sales bullshit! But the true fact is that this is 2010 and in the last 2 years there has been a major attitude shift from buyers and you as sellers or salespeople need to understand it.
Regarding Real Estate I read a great article today from Sharon James, a business Broker about getting it right. Her article is below.
Debunking Real Estate Myths
Whatever the market is doing out there, selling your property does not have to be overly complicated, not when the correct amount of attention is given to the 4 P’s – Price, Presentation, Promotion and Persistence. The brilliant part is, the 4 P’s are all variables which are completely within your own control. A warning though, if you are feeling a little sensitive about having had your property listed forever, then I suggest you skip this article. However, if you are serious about selling take a deep breath and read on.
Pricing is always a delicate subject amongst sellers so let’s wade in immediately and debunk a few myths.
“Your property is unique” (from the Agent) is a rather unfortunate excuse for not being familiar with their local real estate market. Of course the property is unique; it is after all the only one with that particular title. However, any Agent worth their commission MUST be able to offer an informed opinion as to the likely sales price substantiated by analysis of the local market with all variables taken into account. In fact, the new Real Estate Agents Act has identified this one service as being so important, they have made it compulsory prior to inviting a client (seller) to sign an Agency Agreement.
“Our property is worth $$ because we need $$$$ to buy the next place” I agree, this would be ‘nice’, but unfortunately chances are not good that your current property will be worth more simply because you are upgrading to something better and NEED more money to facilitate that process.
“Our property is worth $$$ because we paid $$$ two years ago (and subsequently owe the bank $$$). Again, I hate to shatter any dreams but what you paid for the property in a prior market may again have little relevance to the market value today. If you are upside down with debt, you basically have two options (1) hang on in there in the hope that the market will eventually shift or (2) sell the property and change a $$$$ problem into a $$ problem.
Review the Appraisal that the Agent provided you, get them to explain it fully to you so that you are then in a position to make an informed choice. Go a step further and arrange for a Registered Valuation, after all, the buyer will need one to fulfill their finance clause.
Ultimately, it is your decision as to what price you list your property at, and consequently only you can decide how much interest will be expressed by the buyers.
The wonderful thing about your property’s presentation is it is something completely within your control. There are plenty of articles available advising how to stage a property, Wikipedia provides the following definition;
The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want.
Self explanatory really and I would expect that this is something your Agent will have advised you on at length. If they have overlooked telling you or you just didn’t hear them at the time, do yourself a favour and start taking notice of the buyer feedback they are giving you or at the very least read some of these articles.
This is a buyer’s market, your property is one of literally thousands available, if you want it sold within a short time frame and at a good price then it is essential to make the right first impression. No excuses.
The promotion of your property is another service that the new Act felt the need to address and as with the pricing of the property discussed above, the Act specifically identifies what the minimum requirements are that an Agent must provide. As a minimum, your Agent will have given you a written submission as to what promotion, (advertising or marketing) was going to be undertaken on your behalf prior to requesting your signature on the Agency Agreement. With so much paperwork to be filled in, you may have forgotten the details, however again thanks to the Act, the Agent will have provided you with a copy of the Agency Agreement within 48 hours of you signing it which you have possibly tucked away in a ‘safe place’.
It will be natural for you to have relied largely on your Agent’s advice about promotion; after all, they are the ones who know how to sell property. Dig out their marketing submission and remind yourself just what promotion you agreed to and have a quick think about whether or not it is meeting your needs to get the property sold. If not, why not? Has your Agent made any suggestions that you perhaps didn’t fully value at the time?
You can’t sell a secret; the more exposure your property is given the more chance there is of finding a buyer. We have today a vast array of media which we can use to promote property, however one size does not fit all and as a minimum I would expect your Agent to have provided you with an individualized marketing schedule. As they are the experts, ask them to substantiate any claims they have relating to market exposure – unless you have all the facts you will be unable to make an informed decision when comparing different media providers.
Selling real estate in New Zealand in 2010 requires enormous persistence. Buyers today are few and far between and while many of you will be satisfied with just one who is prepared to pay a fair price, finding that buyer and then coaxing them across the finishing line takes tenacity. Barriers will be constantly thrown up by the buyer, for example they can’t arrange finance, the place down the road is better, they want to wait and see what the Budget brings and on and on. Your Agent must have the right balance of persistence to get the job done yet at the same time not be perceived as being overly pushy. They need to be insightful and perceptive; an understanding of psychology also helps.
If you are wondering how persistence is within your control the answer is straight forward – you chose the Agent.
To recap, while some of the points outlined above may appear a little harsh, it is important to note that they are all matters within your own control. Properties which are well presented and realistically priced are selling whilst those that are lacking presentation or are overpriced are almost impossible to sell.
Ultimately, it is your decision as to what price you list your property at, how it is presented and promoted, and how much persistence is shown by your Agent and consequently only you can control how much interest will be expressed by the buyers.
The choice is yours, are you on the market or in the market?