If you have a property in Melbourne that you are looking to sell, your main objective will be to sell it quickly and to sell it for the highest price possible. However, there are a number of things that you need to take into consideration when selling in order to achieve this.
1. Presentation - major items
When you are selling your own home, if it is well presented, it will appeal to more buyers. This leads to greater competition for your property and a higher sale price.
It is therefore important to understand who the likely buyer of your property will be, then ‘get the balance right’ with presentation work. There are a couple of things to consider.
Firstly, there may be costs involved in getting your house up to standard. This might include minor renovations or improvements such as a coat of paint, sanding the floors or replacing the guttering and spouts.
While some of these improvement and repair items may cost money, they will make the property more appealing and should add the value of your property. It is also important that you pay attention to the small details, as your potential buyers will most likely scour your property with a fine tooth comb when conducting inspections.
Secondly, if you don't have the time or money to make major improvements, then you may be able to sell your home as ‘a renovators delight’ or ‘opportunity to improve’. In this case, you need to think about the options that would attract a renovator.
For example, you might be able to give them some ideas such as knocking a wall down to make a room bigger or conversely, installing a wall to create another bedroom or home office. Giving your buyer some ideas may actually help you to sell your property for more, as you will be selling it on potential.
2. Presentation - minor items
The other part of the presentation that you need to take into consideration is the minor items. For example, you don't want your house look to look cluttered, as a cluttered room look smaller. You want the buyer to be able to visualise their own furniture, their own paintings and other personal items in the house. This helps them with their buying decision.
Therefore, it is recommended that you declutter your house before any inspections are carried out.
Other things to consider are making sure that your garden is nice and tidy, vacuum your carpet and clean your tiles, make sure the guttering has been cleared of leaves. If you have pets, make sure they are not there during open for inspections, and there is no ‘pet smell’ in the house This doesn't leave a good impression, particularly if your potential buyers are not pet owners.
3. Timing of sale
One of the factors that might determine when you sell your property in Melbourne is the season. The general view is that Spring is the best time of year for selling the property - when gardens tend to look their best.
However, you should also consider that there are more houses on the market, as everyone is thinking the same way - ‘sell in spring’. However, with more available properties on the market, buyers have the luxury of being able to pick and choose. They also have room to try and negotiate down the price. Usually the more supply there is something, the less expensive it becomes.
Selling your property in winter may be an option, particularly if there is limited stock on the market and therefore more buyers than sellers. This also gets you in ahead of the spring rush.
At the end of the day, there is no hard and fast rule about what time of year is best to sell your house. However, it is it an important consideration.
4. Marketing campaign
Your marketing campaign is critical to the success of selling your property in Melbourne quickly and for the best price.
It is important that you point out some of the key features and benefits of not just your house, but also the location of your property and its proximity to facilities such as schools, shops, public transport, parks and sports fields.
These things are important considerations when people are looking to buy a property. Make sure you highlight the conveniences and facilities in the neighbourhood. Your real estate agent prepares the marketing material, but check that everything is covered in the advertising copy.
5. Photos and videos
Your marketing campaign should include great photos that show your house from the best angles. Video walkthroughs of homes are also a popular way for potential buyers to get a feel for the layout of a property before they actually make an inspection.
Great walkthrough footage may be enough to entice potential buyers into booking in an inspection.
Depending on the size and location of your house, you may also consider some drone footage (costs about $250) which will allow you to showcase aerial photos and video. Most professional photography will include this as an option.
6. Pest Inspections
We all know the damage that termites can do, but many people forget to have their house inspected prior to selling. In some areas of Melbourne, termites can be a problem. If the house is on wooden stumps or wooden frame, you may consider getting a professional pest inspection carried out.
You could well lose a potential buyer if they carry out a pest inspection before they make a buying decision and find something untoward.
You can even show your Pest Inspection Certificate to potential buyers to give them peace of mind and who knows, this might even add to the value of the sale.
7. Is your house on a large block?
Is your property big enough to actually build another house or some units in the backyard? If so, it may pay to check out the process and costs for subdividing the block with your local Council.
When you sell your property, you can promote its potential for further development to try and increase the price. This doesn't mean that you need to actually go through the process of subdividing your property.
If you understand the process and costs involved, you can sell the concept to your potential buyer.
8. Are there any planned developments in the area?
While we are on the topic of land, it is important to know if there are any developments in the area near your house which may enhance its value.
You may find there is a freeway being planned nearby or a new train station. This means better accessibility which potentially means there is more demand for property in the area, which forces prices up.
There may also be a shopping mall planned for future construction facilities that may be beneficial for the area. Property in Melbourne has been steadily increasing over the last couple of decades and there are always new developments planned or under construction.
9. Is the fence the actual property boundary?
It is important to know where the boundaries of your property are, and that the fences are in the right location.
This may sound obvious, but people think that the fence marks the official boundary of the property. This is not always the case and particularly with older properties, which may be affected by adverse possession.
You should check the actual boundaries with the Plan on your title. You may have more or less land than you think, as fences may be moved over time, or a laneway taken in by a prior owner.This hopefully helps to avoid any disputes that may arise prior to settlement, or you may have more land than you realised.
10. Choosing an estate agent
Choosing the right real estate agent is critical in the process. It is recommended that you should choose at least three local real agents for marketing proposals to ensure you are getting the best real estate agent for you.
Selecting an active local agent means you get the benefit of the marketing of other similar properties in the area. As a general rule, do not use an ‘out of area’ agent.
It is important to check out other houses they have recently sold in the area, the properties they currently have for sale and the time they have been on the market.
The agent should have a good understanding of recent property sales in your area, so that you have a benchmark price for the sale of your property. They should also be able to make recommendations on whether private sale or auction is best for your house. The marketing proposals should include:
An estimated market value or your property
A detailed marketing plan with costs
Advice on how to make your property more appealing to buyers.
Their proposed selling commission rate and all other fees that may be applicable.
Remember that commission rates are negotiable. They will vary depending on the value and location of your property. Don’t be afraid to bargain.
Make sure you have the necessary paperwork in place for the preparation of the contracts. Your lawyer or conveyancer will prepare the contract of sale and supporting information, so make sure you give them plenty of notice when you propose to sell. Contracts should be with the agent when marketing starts.
The usual time for settlement in Victoria is 60 days, however, some buyers may prefer a longer settlement (90 days). This may be because they are trying to sell another property, or they could be waiting for finance approval and a drawdown of funds. Be suspicious of a buyer wanting more than 90 days, as you may find they don’t have the funds to settle and are hoping to ‘flip’ your property (at a profit) to meet settlement. Whatever the settlement date is in the Contract, you can always settle earlier by mutual agreement.
13. Check out other properties for sale
Get a feel for the market by attending auctions in your area, as well as inspecting other properties that are for sale. Talk to other sellers and other agents. Ask the agent what is the expected price range and how they arrived at that price. Also, ask for any other relevant information that may be useful in helping you to sell your property. Talking to other agents, buyers and sellers can really build your knowledge base up.
14. Vendor Advocacy Services
Selling property can be a harrowing experience. If you lack the time or knowledge to be able to take all of the necessary steps in order to get the maximum price for your house, then you might consider enlisting the services of a vendor advocate.
A vendor advocacy service will take care of everything for you as they work on behalf of you, the vendor. They not only assist you with selecting the best agent, recommending ways to improve the value of your property, and help you decide what your property is really worthy, but they also take care of all the other headaches such dealing with the agent, advice on marketing and instructing your conveyancer.
In some cases, if you are looking to do minor works to order to improve the value of your property, they will organise quotes and contractors to carry out the work.
Vendor Advocates work hand-in-hand with your real estate agent. Some vendor advocates share the commission charged by the agent, and others are a fee for service and negotiate the agent’s commission down. In either case, they should be cost neutral for you and will help you through the sale process.