4 min read
You don’t have to tell agents twice that spring is the hottest time of year in the property market. It’s a widespread belief amongst vendors that spring is the best to sell a home because they can capitalise from their home and garden presenting at its best on sunny spring days and buyers awakening from their winter hiatus from house hunting.
However, before you jump the gun and bring their listing live, here are tips you need to pass on to your prospective vendors to achieve a successful sale this spring.
1. Good staging is vital.
Never underestimate how important staging is, especially during the busiest ‘open house season’ during spring. The difference between having a professional stylist come in and not could be tens of thousands of dollars extra come auction day for vendors because. Advantages of enlisting a professional stylist to remind vendors of include:
They can help vendors declutter and depersonalise the home so buyers can easily envisage themselves and their things living there.
They style rooms to show off their best features and distract from any negative elements.
They ensure rooms look appealing in photographs and feel well proportioned in person.
Dated decor and older homes can be instantly refreshed with the introduction of modern furnishings.
2. Prices are set by the market.
Vendors will sit down and give you a reserve figure they think the home is worth based on what you suggest. However, always finish the discussion explaining to vendors you’ll do everything within your power to achieve a good result but the property is only worth what someone is willing to pay. Don’t set a figure in stone because you can leave vendors feeling dissatisfied if they don’t get there in the end and you won’t have many referrals coming your way.
For vendors that aren’t sure what house prices are in their area or have an unrealistic figure in mind, ask them to visit a set of comparative properties over the weekend and have them engage with the agent to find out what they estimate is on that property. This is a good exercise to get the vendor on your side where they can draw from their own comparisons and other agent’s suggestions when agreeing to an achievable reserve price for their property.
3. You need to spend money to make money.
Vendors are often reluctant to spend money but at the same time they want to earn the most possible from the sale of their home. Whilst it’s understandable to not want to spend thousands of dollars on something you’re about to move out of, it’s not always realistic to expect a good result without some investment in the home, especially in spring when local competition with other sellers is at its peak. If the house isn’t up to scratch buyers will quickly swipe over to the next listing, with the shiny new appliances or updated kitchen cabinets.
Explain to vendors that buyers are quick to judge listing photos online and homes during inspections, so if there are glaring faults or damaged features on display, scrupulous buyers will hold that negatively, to the nth degree and be quick to walk away. Recommend that vendors allocate a budget on basic small cosmetic fixes (repairing cracks, fresh paint or replacing the kitchen benchtop) and clean ups (think windows, carpet cleaning, landscaping and paver cleaning). It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, just enough to ensure the home is presented in the best possible light. Also suggest all rooms are given a thorough spring clean and that the home is cleaned an hour or so before all inspections.
4. Use a short settlement to set their home apart.
Understandably sellers are very keen to sell in spring but they don’t often think what purchasing is like from the buyers’ perspectives. Not a lot of buyers want to move house over the summer period, they may have vacations planned or family gatherings to host at home etc. Therefore, try and offer the best settlement terms that you can to tempt buyers in and set yourself apart from the fierce local competition. If you can provide a 30-day settlement and allow the new purchaser to move in ASAP it’ll really sweeten the deal from their point of view and they may even be willing to offer more for the opportunity to be moved in and settled by Christmas.
When it comes to getting the deal done vs it falling through, the extra $15,000 or so you get for your clients by offering a short settlement will well and truly cover the costs of a transitional rental home over the summer. Giving the vendor plenty of time to prepare for their next move and take their time to find a new home they really love. It’s a win-win for both parties.