Focus Mar 2014

Published 2014-04-17

Placing your home on the market is one of the largest financial decisions the majority of us ever make. It is also a time when most of us are probably more likely to be swayed by the promise of big dollars and cheap fees, as opposed to doing our homework and listening to expert opinion.

Many people think they should entrust the sale of their principal place of residence to the real

estate agent who puts the highest value on it. Not necessarily so, and in many cases the absolute last thing you should do, if you want to actually sell.

Talk to people you know who have recently sold in the area, act on advice from people whose opinions you respect. Word of mouth is the best source of current information about local real estate agents or any other professional services.

Intending sellers should also obtain submissions from agents who are active in their local area.

You can tell if agents are active by the number of ‘Sold’ signs they have, and by the quality of their local advertising. Choose two or three agents and get them to put their submissions in writing.

Some of the criteria to consider are, a busy well located office, level of service, specific advertising details, fees and expenses, and a commitment to feedback during the marketing programme. Make sure they show you comparable sales in your local area, no two homes are exactly the same, but compare similar properties to your property, they give you a great indication of what you can expect.

Once you have two or three submissions you are in a position to compare apples with apples.

It's no good going with the agent who puts the highest value on your home

or offers you the lowest commission only to find out that there is obviously a reason why they are heavily discounted. Many would-be sellers see through this kind of false economy too late. Like everything else in life we don’t mind spending money as long as we get value for money.  And at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how little you’re paying if you don’t sell regardless.

As hard as it is to do, do not focus on the fee or commission that the agent is going to charge you.  Consider first if you think that agent and agency is the best to represent you in the sale of your property.  In a nutshell, are they the agent who is going to represent your best interest, ethically and honestly and put the most amount of money in your back pocket at the end of the day.  Not just a high ‘fantasy’ listing price that doesn’t reflect the true market price of your property.

One of the biggest problems in selling a home is overpricing in the beginning of the marketing campaign.  The first few weeks are often crucial, as it is during this time that the most amount of property ‘hits’ either on the internet, print media or agents buyer data bases occur.  If it is overpriced and misses its target buyer range, it may be destined to stay on the market for a considerable time.

Potential buyers recognise overpriced property for what it is, this makes

them cautious and decreases competition for the property.  Most overpriced properties fail to attract offers and purchasers end up with the psychological edge once negotiations are under way. Take your time about choosing an agent, after all, it's not something you do

every day and you want to be confident in your choice. Do your homework and don't be

seduced by fantasy prices.

Be extremely careful of the agent who gives you the highest price and then reduces his commission in order to get your business.  If he or she can’t show their worth to you, do you want them negotiating one of the major financial transactions in your life?

Never forget that for most of us our home is the largest investment we ever make.  It’s our nest egg, part of our superannuation package, and our kids inheritance.  Chose and chose wisely, if you were going to a medical specialist you wouldn’t make a decision based solely on price.