We are all in unchartered territory at the moment and every industry has been impacted in different ways by COVID-19. Some businesses like supermarkets and sporting goods are thriving, others such as travel and retail have closed down whilst the majority are treading water, waiting for this nightmare to pass.
Real estate is one of those industries staying afloat fuelled by the lowest interest rates in history and the fact people still need somewhere to live (demand).
If your property is currently for sale and you’re not having much success, or a change in your personal circumstances require you to sell your home during this time, we would like to share our Top 5 Tips for achieving a successful outcome.
1. Choose the Right Agent
Whether it’s COVID-19 or not, this is the most crucial part of the process when selling. Get this step wrong and you set yourself up for disaster right from the start. We cannot stress enough how important it is you do your research before interviewing agents. During COVID-19 the best way to do this is to call up a few agents enquiring as a buyer on properties within your local area. Have a list of questions on hand and ask these same questions for each agent noting down their responses. The idea is to get a feel for how the agent handles buyer enquiry. This will help your decision as to whether you would want them representing your property. Questions such as:
- Why is the owner selling?
- Have you had any offers on the property and if so what are they?
- How much is the owner willing to accept?
- What measures do you have in place to protect buyers when inspecting the property?
The answers to these questions combined with their consistency of follow up post inspection will give you a good indication of how well the agent would represent your property should they be chosen. If they disclose offers made by other buyers, then immediately strike them off your list!
A word of warning: do not tell the agent you are thinking of selling as they will over deliver on their service to you in an attempt to win your listing and this defeats the purpose of the exercise. A better approach would be “I’ve just started looking and not sure what I’m doing at this stage”.
2.Know the right marketing channels
During COVID-19 it’s more important than ever to have the correct marketing channels included in your marketing campaign. Most agents have a standard campaign they tend not to deviate from. If an agent is not active with social media then do not go with them. The wider the net you cast, the more opportunity you have of attracting the right buyer.
If you are selling a villa, ground floor apartment or a property that would appeal to the elderly, you must have a presence in the local real estate newspaper. Majority of these buyers are not tech savvy and rely heavily on printed material. The great thing about advertising in the local paper during COVID-19 is there is little competition which puts your property at number 1 on the buyer’s call list.
Your marketing campaign should also include various inspection options for buyers to inspect your home virtually. So make sure your agent is willing to prepare a virtual walk through video, or better still, using 3d technology a 360’ virtual tour which allows buyers to actually stand within the space. The more opportunities buyers have to view your property prior to making an appointment will ensure they are better qualified and a definite prospect for purchasing your home.
3. Be realistic in your price expectation
Knowing the value of your home before you call in the real estate agents is the key to a successful outcome. Spending a few months researching the local market will give you an accurate idea of what you could expect to achieve for your home. In accordance with industry regulations, agents are to provide you a list of 3 recent sales of comparable properties when giving you a market appraisal. The key word here is “comparable”. If you’ve been researching the market, you will easily identify and be familiar with the properties that compare to yours.
Some agents will try to manipulate the properties they provide to the seller to match the appraisal price they intend to give, so bear this in mind. Ultimately, the property is worth what a willing purchaser is prepared to pay, and a willing (and not distressed) seller is prepared to accept, after a reasonable period of marketing has taken place.
We often suggest to our clients to consider 2 figures when selling their home. One they would be happy to sell for immediately, and one they would be prepared to accept as a last resort. These figures often change during the course of a campaign based on buyer feedback so be prepared to be flexible.
Please remember: the longer you hold out for your dream price, the more chance the property becomes stale and actually de-values.
4. Communicate your strict hygiene requirements
With the entire population nervous about contracting the Coronavirus, it makes sense that your advertising include some comments about how this will be addressed during an in person inspection. Your agent must be willing to outline the various protocols they have in place to make potential buyers feel comfortable to view your home in person. The likelihood of buyers buying sight unseen are very low so you can’t rely on virtual inspections alone to seal a deal.
In addition, you must outline your expectations of the agent in regard to sanitising and disinfecting all surfaces after an inspection. They must ask buyers not to touch any thing during the inspection. Precautions such as gloves, masks, sanitising stations and disinfectant spray must form part of the standard inspection process and be communicated to potential buyers to alleviate any concerns.
5. Two more very important tips
1. If you are selling for any of the following reasons, do not disclose this to the agent. Agents have a tendency to talk too much and often forget which side they are representing! If a buyer gets just a whiff of these reasons for selling, you can be guaranteed a lower sales price.
- Financial burden
- You’ve bought elsewhere
2. Don’t let the agent pressure you into underselling. As long as you have followed our recommendations in Tip No. 3, make sure you stand your ground if the agent is applying the pressure to sell at greatly reduced price. The fact is, any person buying during this time is extremely motivated to do so and will most likely pay a reasonable price. But if the property has been on the market for more than 4 or 5 weeks, be prepared to reduce your expectation and perhaps meet halfway to achieve a sale.
As Sydney Sellers Advocates, we employ various strategies in addition to those outlined above to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients. By engaging us you remove the stress and anxiety of selling your home as we take care of everything for you. The best time for us to become involved is right at the start before you even speak to an agent – we refer to it as the ‘Planning & Preparation Phase’.
Even if you are planning to wait until after COVID-19 to sell your home, we will give you the best possible chance of achieving top price for your home and it doesn’t cost a cent more than the agent’s fee to engage us. Click here for more info.
Visit us at www.innovativeproperty.net.au or call 0411 522233 for an obligation free chat.