Confused about selling? Don’t be.

Part of selling real estate is easy. The rest of it, which is the stuff that helps people achieve higher than market prices, low time on market and happy sellers AND buyers, can be tough. Here’s my take on the basics to put you well on the way to a great result.

1. There are things that cannot and will not change.

Don’t stress about them but don’t focus on them. You can’t change the suburb or the street you are in and you can’t change the fact that there is a power station down the road. A good sales person will always be prepared for questions on any detail and will be able to deal with them accordingly.

2. Presentation is crucial.

But don’t go overboard. Pick your market and spend wisely when presenting a home for sale or rent. Staging furniture can yield amazing results in many homes, but in others, using your own furniture that is nearly as nice (or nicer!) will work a treat. De-clutter, de-clutter, and then de-clutter some more!! It’s an easy recipe, right? A fully furnished home with as little in it as possible. Getting the balance right will attract buyers, and please use a professional photographer!

3. Get the marketing right.

Advertise in the right places at the right time. Understand where the buyers are and what they want to see in your ad. Don’t be deceptive but don’t be too forthcoming either, people are less likely to come if they already know everything. Sufficient internet presence is now non-negotiable and the newspaper is dying fast. It can still relevant for unique and high end real estate, just don’t be fooled by 3 year old stats about how useful your local real estate liftout is for your “normal” house – it probably isn’t.

4. Choose the right campaign.

Auction? Private Treaty? Tender? Expression of Interest? Auction and private treaty sales are the most popular in Australia but that doesn’t mean they are right for you. Find out or take advice on what works for your area, your type of property and your goals, because getting this wrong will confuse, mislead and turn away potential buyers.

5. Price your property correctly.

This is the most important ingredient to success and it can make up for mistakes in other areas. If your presentation is horrible and your marketing sucks, it won’t matter if your price is low enough! But that’s not the point. Do your research, seek the proper advice and make sure you are as close as possible, or just below, market value. Accurate pricing will attract genuine interest fast and result in a quicker sale for a good price. Have you ever seen a property start priced too high, sit on the market for ages, then sell for less than what it is worth? Food for thought.

6. Choose the right agent.

A real estate agent has the ability to shape your sale. They could damage your campaign with poor advice, enhance it with brilliant strategy and impressive negotiation, or they might just stand around at open inspections and ask for a fee. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions – how do you negotiate? Why do you recommend this strategy, that price, and others? I find it is always best to ask open ended questions and let them talk. You should find out pretty quickly how committed they are to you and your property, and how qualified they are to help you. Ultimately, you are trusting this person with what is possibly your most valuable asset, so don’t just choose the agent that your friend knows – he or she might cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

James Polacek is an expert on real estate in Adelaide and isn’t afraid to tell the truth about property. If you want to speak with him about selling your property, or maybe you just want some friendly advice, try or his mobile 0403 527 398.

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