No matter how the market is faring, vendors need to ensure their property stands out from the crowd. Here are five areas to take into consideration to help ensure your home gets noticed
Decluttering is essential. While you don’t want an empty house, you also don’t want it to be stuffed to the gills with many odds and ends. Warwick Brookes, a director at Domain Property Advocates, says this is important for open-for-inspections and any photographs in the advertising campaign. Pay particular attention to the entrance to the property and front yard – after all, first impressions count – and make sure you have a light and neutral palette of colours inside for the widest appeal. Fix anything that needs work. ”You might have dripping taps or a door handle that’s a bit loose or a door that doesn’t shut property,” Mr Brookes says. ”You might spend $300 on a handyman, but all those things will remove potential barriers that make people think, ‘Oh, there’s a bit of work here’.”
CHOOSE THE RIGHT AGENT
Buyer’s advocate Peter Rogozik says it is important to engage an agent who has a ”proven track record”. This will mean looking at their recent sales results and perhaps even going to one of their auctions to gauge their performance. ”Go for the agent with results – don’t go for the slick presentation or the good spruiker. Go for the guy who has actually produced something.” Other advice includes making sure you know who is handling the sale – that after signing on the dotted line with an agent you are comfortable with, you are not going to be passed off to someone less experienced in the same company. Mr Rogozik adds that vendors are also better off employing one ”really good operator” rather than having two agents working in conjunction.
Consider advertising the property through a range of different avenues – including the internet and print media – to maximise your reach, says Karl Gillon, managing director of Buxton in Albert Park. ”Marketing of any product is continuously reinforcing the message that it’s there, it’s there, it’s there – encouraging as many inquiries as possible and encouraging as many inspections as possible.” Experts say it is important not to skimp on how much you spend. While Mr Gillon says a rough rule of thumb is to spend about 1 per cent of the property’s value on marketing, others say the right amount may be less.
TIMING YOUR OPEN FOR INSPECTIONS AND AUCTION
It can be a good idea to hold them on several different days and appropriate times – a week night as well as on a Saturday and a Sunday to allow as many people as possible through the house. The time of day can be important to ensure the best presentation – at what time of day does your house look its best? ”If you had a west-facing living room with lots of glass, you wouldn’t open it at 3 o’clock in the afternoon,” Mr Brookes says. ”You open it mid-morning, when you’re still getting light but you’re not getting the full belting sun coming through, which just gets uncomfortable.” Other experts advise against putting your auction on a day when there are expected to be a large number taking place.
SET THE RIGHT PRICE
”There’s no point spending $10,000-$15,000 in advertising and then you have a no-show,” Mr Gillon says. Looking at up-to-date comparable sales information in the area in which you wish to buy is essential to ensure you’ve got the price right. Mr Rogozik says that ensuring an estimated selling range is presented in the marketing of the property may also be a good idea – it means would-be buyers don’t have to chase around to find out whether the property is in their price range. ”It’s all about making it easy for the buyer,” he says.