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Selling Secrets

What can cause a low selling price?

Poor presentation = poor selling price

I have only met one seller in 34 years of selling homes who has said to me… “This place is a mess. It needs painting, new footings at the front, new windows down the side, new carpets, and a new kitchen and bathroom. Let’s work out a price, taking all the faults into consideration so I can sell it”. He received a poor price but was happy to have sold quickly.

Most homes that are lived in will need to be tidied up if you want a top selling price.

Go to a car yard and inspect two identical cars at the same price, one immaculate, and the other with last week’s takeaway wrappers on the passenger’s floor. Which one do you buy?

If you intend on selling, buy a number of packing boxes and start packing now, you will have to do it sooner or later.

These are some of the things to look at before selling or even inviting agents to the property for an appraisal:

  1. Get rid of the clutter including the dust behind the cupboards.
  2. Remove any lingering cigarette smoke smells and the dark yellow ceiling smoking causes (by painting the ceilings if necessary)
  3. Repair the leaking taps, broken door handles and broken or loose electrical points.
  4. Make sure your smoke alarms are working and have electrical safety switches installed.
  5. Repair holes in the walls.
  6. Repaint if necessary always use a professional painter. Apart from the quality finish the extra cost will pay handsome dividends at sale time with an excellent price achieved. Many sellers think painting is easy and have a go themselves over the weekend to save a few dollars. This approach usually cost them many thousands in poor workmanship. Leaving an appearance of shoddiness with buyers thinking they will have to repaint this again and discounting thousands of dollars of the price offered. A professional painter becomes a cheap option in the long run.
  7. Clean dirty bathroom shower recesses, repair the vanity unit or replace it
  8. Repair the steps, do some painting, check the guttering and downpipes and repair if required.
  9. Mow lawns, prune trees, remove the old car bodies from the back yard, and take everything you have no use for to the tip!

For a local tradie call Jason 0419 744 556 at LET US FIX IT

Some other excellent web sites if you require a tradesperson to do repairs

A question constantly asked by a lot of sellers is “Should I do extensions or major home improvements?”

Forget about doing that extension or back deck. You will never get your money back, you will have more fun shouting all your friends to a meal out at the pub or a fancy restaurant.

IMPORTANT:  It is not a good idea to expect an agent or potential buyers to be enthusiastic about your home if they have to carry a machete with them to get to the front door, and once inside, step over 20 years’ of ‘lived in’ home! 

Busy roads. Train lines. Power lines.

There will always be a large number of Australians living on main roads or near train lines for many reasons. Mainly it is because they can purchase the property they desire at a cheaper price and there are even some train buffs who love to hear the sound of a train speeding by! Apart from the property being cheaper, there is the convenience of easy access to road networks or the city centre that may also be appealing to some buyers.

Power lines are a different ‘kettle of fish’, and usually found in small acreage estates, but sometimes in built up areas of the city. These structures are surrounded by a press driven emotive fear of electromagnetic fields. Whether these structures do have effects on the human body is yet to be proven, however some buyers do have aversions to power lines running across the property. Many of these properties sell for a lesser price than those that don’t have power lines across them.

All properties with these features will sell and do sell. The only issue is that sellers may start with a price that is comparable to a property nearby without these features and they expect to receive the same price. Often sellers say “I can’t hear the traffic” or “my kids grew up next to these power stations and they weren’t affected by the lines.” A true enough statement. Nevertheless, busy roads, train lines and loud noise will cause the seller to receive less for the property. Power lines have a greater effect on the price received, due to the lack of concrete proof either way about electromagnetic fields causing health issues.

IMPORTANT: as an agency, we love the extra challenge of finding a buyer if traffic, trains or power lines are close by to properties!

Continuous and steep interest rate increases

Continuous and steep interest rate increases were experienced in the mid 90’s and had a devastating effect on house prices in numerous suburbs. I recall in the agency that I owned at the time, selling a home for $130,000 dollars. Just over 2 years later, in the middle of the recession we “had to have”, the owners had to sell due to health reasons. They sold for approximately $35,000 less than the price they had paid for their home. It was a very sad to watch at the time. Hopefully we will not have to experience these circumstances again.