Taking the stress out of selling your property
This document is designed to help you the client, by preparing you for some of the decisions that have to be made, dealing with perplexing situations that may arise, and managing curve balls that may be thrown along the way.
As with many situations in life, being prepared and armed with the best knowledge and information in advance, is the key to successfully managing a positive outcome for the sale of your home.
Deciding on the asking price
We are all hopeful sellers when it comes to deciding on an asking price for our homes. It might even be human nature to think our home may be worth more than someone else does.
Deciding on an asking price for the sale of your home should take careful consideration. Your Harcourts consultant will provide you with the current property market research that you’ll need to make a well-informed decision about your price. Selecting an asking price close to where buyers see value in your property from the beginning, will greatly increase your chances of getting the best result. It’s important to get it right from the start.
If we think your initial price expectation is too high (or too low), we’ll tell you. It’s our promise under the Real Estate Agents Act (2008) not to mislead you in any aspect of the sale process. If your price is too high, it’s better to identify this early on, rather than risking disappointment when your property fails to sell at a level that the market was never prepared to meet.
Another agent contacts you to say they have buyers for your property
This is a commonly used tactic by less experienced or less skilled sales consultants, designed to create doubt in your mind as to whether your consultant has located all the buyers who might be interested in your property. However, the real estate industry’s generally held advice in these instances is to refer any interested buyers to your nominated agent. We’ll be happy to introduce the buyer to your property at a time convenient for you.
You get an early offer that is below your asking price
It’s not uncommon to receive an early offer soon after your property goes on the market.
When buyers have been looking for some time or have been unsuccessful in purchasing another property, they are often keen to secure the next one available that suits their needs. These are prime buyers - fully aware of sale prices achieved within the competing pool of properties, and often in a strong position to act quickly.
Other potential buyers may want to ‘test’ you by putting in a low offer to see if you will countersign.
If either of these situations arise, your Harcourts sales consultant will be able to discuss your options for achieving the best price the market has to offer. A little knowledge can go a long way, and understanding something about a purchaser’s own circumstances and motivations will help you to make an informed decision on how best to proceed with their offer. It’s your consultant’s job to obtain the best offer possible from every genuine buyer.
Once this offer is in hand, it will be up to you to decide whether it’s acceptable, or not. Whatever you decide we’ll respect your decision.
Your neighbour or friend says you’re selling your house too cheaply
Residential real estate is one of the most widely discussed topics in New Zealand media today, hitting the front pages of the news on a regular basis.
As a result, there are thousands of self-appointed ‘experts’ ready to share their opinions. Without well informed market research, most of these views are simply just that - opinion.
Of course your friends want you to sell well. With the best of intentions, they want to be encouraging and supportive of your sale process – ultimately hoping to see you achieve a ‘dream scenario’ which in reality may not be achievable. The same goes for well intended neighbours, since seeing your property achieve a high sale price may be in their best interests as well.
Ultimately, the market will decide the current value of the property, but it will be your decision alone whether to accept that valuation.
Challenges during the process
Preparing your home to look its best for open homes
It’s a demanding job at the best of times to keep any home presentable, especially so when you have children. By pre-arranging inspection times for buyers, you’ll have plenty of advanced notice - enabling you to plan for the days when your home will be on show. And don’t worry if your home doesn’t look like a page from a glossy magazine, most buyers are just looking for a home.
However every now and then we may have a request from a prospective buyer to inspect your home at short notice. In some instances we may decide it best to introduce them to your home between pre-agreed viewing times, before they may be enticed away by another property. Your Harcourts sales consultant will always contact you first to check whether an inspection is convenient before taking anyone through your home.
What do you do while there is a viewing?
During the course of an open home or pre-arranged private viewing, it is in your best interest to allow buyers to begin to ‘see themselves’ living there. Our experience tells us that buyers will spend longer at an inspection when the owner isn’t present. Your Harcourts sales consultant will be your personal representative, able to provide all relevant information about the property to interested buyers.
Who’s that at the door?
All sorts of people may turn up when you are selling your home, and some of them should be avoided - especially those who want to deal with you directly with an offer. Frequently this kind of approach has more to do with ’getting a bargain’ than paying an optimal price. Just refer the buyer directly to your Harcourts sales consultant. Make sure you don’t disclose what you would accept to a buyer who approaches you in this way as your real estate professional is best placed carry out negotiations on your behalf.
You’re away for a few days. What happens?
If you’re heading away for a few days, you need to advise us should an offer be made in your absence. It’s often handy to have a phone number as well as fax machine or computer close by.
Keeping you ‘in the loop’ at all times
While your property is listed with Harcourts, we promise and commit to stay in regular communication with you. Your preference for the frequency of contact will be something we can discuss when we list your property. As well as by phone, it’s helpful to also meet face-to-face on a regular basis. This way, we can keep you up to date with all the buyers who have expressed interest in your property, passing their thoughts and observations directly on to you, as well as any ideas they have about the market value.
Challenges which arise as offers come in… or don’t
Do you accept an offer?
The moment you’ve been waiting for since listing your property for sale. Your Harcourts sales consultant will be by your side to give the best advice possible and help you navigate through the process of negotiation.
Under the Real Estate Agents Act (2008), all offers irrespective of price level or conditions of purchase must be presented to you as the client. Sometimes, the offer your consultant is required to present may not meet with your expectations. Each home, each client and every marketing campaign is unique. Your Harcourts sales consultant will discuss the potential pathways and outcomes in the consideration of any offer.
Using your agent’s knowledge and expertise, the challenge for them will be to seek out the buyer’s best possible offer, and then assess it in relation to the marketing coverage, buyer feedback and recent comparable sales.
Once again, to accept or not will ultimately be your decision - and yours alone.
Offers are thin on the ground. Do you drop the price?
Only one factor ever stops a property from selling and that is its price. Quite simply, the best home on the market may remain unsold for months if the asking price is too high.
Once again, our human nature is inclined to decide on an asking price that’s generally a little higher than where the market sees the value, that same human nature tends to make purchasers dream of a getting a ‘good buy’.
If your open home viewings or general enquiries have been slow in comparison to other similar properties, it may be worth reviewing the asking price.
Experience shows, that when a homeowner is realistic about the value of their home on that market, buyers in turn are receptive to the property.
We hope the material you have just read through has given you a broader and more informed understanding of the processes involved with selling your home.
Selling a home can be one of the most stressful periods in your life. Yet with the right business partner by your side, it doesn’t need to be that way. With Harcourts as a trusted guide, we’ll always be there to help you through the sale process – making the road ahead as simple and fruitful as possible.
Together, we’ll deliver a great result. Best of luck in the times ahead…..