EVERY homeowner wants to make the most of selling in a competitive property market.
But with competition sizzling, making one of these easy mistakes could cost you thousands.
Research from online real estate comparison service, Open Agent, reveals the ‘seven deadly sins’ a seller can make when putting their property on the market.
USING THE WRONG REAL ESTATE AGENT
Real estate agents are not a one-size-fits-all service.
Open Agent co-founder Marta Higuera said one of the most common mistakes sellers make is not doing their research properly when it comes to selecting a real estate agent to work with.
‘We see a lot of people who end up going with someone they know, like a family friend, who actually operate a long distance from where their house actually is, and they are not the right person to sell the property,’ Ms Higuera told news.com.au.
‘That’s the most common thing; people making emotional decisions and not doing their research.’
As a seller, it is important to use an agent who operates locally and specialises in selling the type of home you are listing.
REMOVING ALL FURNITURE
Believe it or not, removing all your furniture and leaving a blank canvas is not letting the potential buyer be imaginative and creative.
‘It allows people to be creative if you have something in place that is not too personalised. Empty houses look smaller,’ Ms Higuera said.
‘The reality of selling a home is it is a very emotional decision and people need to be able to see themselves living there and it is hard to visualise that if you walk into an empty bedroom.’
BEING AT THE OPEN HOUSE
Hanging around at your own open home telling buyers about the hidden values or sentimental values of the home isn’t adding a personal touch. In the same way it is hard for a buyer to visualise themselves living in the property if there is no furniture, it is hard to do that with the current owner there.
‘People want to buy a house and see themselves living there. They don’t want to see the last person that lives in there.’
Ms Higuera said it is better to convey what you love so much about the property or neighbourhood to the real estate agent and let them do the job for you.
GETTING EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED
Our homes may be a reflection of our unique personalities, but while this can make you feel warm and fuzzy, personal touches are a big turn off for buyers.
‘You want [the buyer] to feel it is something they can own and move in to straight away,’ Ms Higuera said.
This includes getting rid of personal artefacts around the home, such as photographs and collections, as well as some of the more personalised style elements of the home, such as bold feature walls.
HAVING YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE ON DISPLAY
It seems contradictory to say buying a home is a personal process in the same breath as saying you have to make your home look impersonal. But showing any part of your day-to-day life in open inspections will dissuade buyers. This includes dishes and cutlery, toys, gadgets and clothes. You have to make your house look like a house but not lived in.
‘You do need to manage selling with having a family life … Having a few packing boxes ready [before an inspection] where you can hide these things can do the trick. You should wash and put away all dirty dishes before an open home. Just try to take those sorts of things away before an open home,’ Ms Higuera told news.com.au.
OVERLOOKING SMALL AESTHETIC ISSUES
Something that seems insignificant and inexpensive, such as loose plug sockets or loose cupboard doors, can actually knock thousands off your sale price. Ms Higuera said that this is because it can make buyers assume there are deeper problems.
‘We are not talking about big renovations but when people see those red flags, they extrapolate and wonder what else they cannot see, and if the house has been properly cared for and maintained.’
So just spend the few extra bucks fixing up those tiny aesthetic things, even if you think it is insignificant.
NOT UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF DIFFERENT ROOMS
Understanding which rooms have the biggest impact on buyers and investing the most in making these rooms sale ready can have a big impact on your sale price. According to Open Agent’s real estate agents and sellers, investing in your kitchen and bathroom will see the biggest return.
‘These are the rooms that will be most costly for the buyer to update,’ Ms Higuera told news.com.au.
‘What we are talking about here is not doing complete renovations yourself but to make it look like renovations are not needed in the buyer’s mind, such as changing the cupboard doors or updating the cupboard handles.’