Showing your home with the intention of selling it to prospective buyers in Australia can be one aggravating experience. People who decide to sell a house privately tend to suffer from over-thinking, a habit that leads us to fear situations that never materialize.
Reality, however, can be as harsh as the demons in our thoughts, especially when you’re not equipped with the right house-selling tips in a “for sale by owner” deal. What if a jet suddenly decides to fly over your house just as soon as a potential buyer tells you just how much they value peace and quiet? Or maybe the same time you’re showing off a beloved neighbourhood, the mutt next door decides it’s the perfect time to finish some private dog business right on your manicured lawn?
We put together the seven deadly sins in selling your home privately. These will help you avoid mishaps with regards to factors that are under your control. Research has shown how one in five buyers claimed to witness ‘something peculiar’ while looking at a property. Don’t give your potential buyers such an experience. Avoid committing one of these lethal sins:
1. Bad Housekeeping
Put your game-face on when your house is on the market. Don’t be lazy and leave your house in its full natural glory, believing the right buyers will just come to you with minimal effort from your part.
Buyers aren’t attracted to awful housekeeping. One would think this is needless advice but you’d be surprised with the amount of clutter you won’t notice but potential buyers surely will.
A few cleaning tips to get your home show-ready:
- Clear clutter from countertops, tables, floor and everywhere else the eye can see. Clutter looks even worse in photos than in person, and potential buyers won’t pay you a personal visit if your photos are unattractive.
- Keep your pets out of sight. If your pets shed fur, you might want to look into hiring the services of professional housecleaners before showing the property.
- Get rid of unnecessary furniture and home decors. Walk through your house and try to see each angle from the eyes of a critical buyer.
- Consider putting things in storage while you’re showing your home. Cluttered spaces make rooms appear smaller.
When you’re aiming to sell a house without an agent, you’ll get plenty of perks in return but you can’t afford to be lazy when it comes to making your home as attractive to buyers as possible.
2. Poor Negotiation Skills
One common mistake home-sellers make is taking lower-than-expected offers personally. Think of their suggested price as a starting point for negotiation. Don’t let greed cloud your thinking. Approach the negotiation table with a logical, rather than emotional, mindset.
If you’re only entertaining clients who can afford a higher price bracket, you’re turning away business from potential buyers who might have a lower budget than you’d prefer but who actually are open to negotiation. These people might turn out to be more serious buyers, too.
Treat all potential buyers with respect, not just those who you deem financially worthy. Even if you don’t close a particular sale, a friendly referral is always a plus for you.
3. Lack of Curiosity and Interest
The questions during the potential sale of a home shouldn’t just come from the buyer’s side. Asking the right questions can significantly help you sell a house privately in Australia than simply waiting to answer inquiries.
Find out what a potential buyer is looking for and approach your sale pitch using the information you gather. Beyond finding out how much budget there is, or how many rooms they need, find out why the buyer wants to move. Inquire about their goals for buying a new home. Discover their priorities and motives so you can highlight the selling points that meet each buyer’s objectives.
By asking and listening with sincere curiosity you’ll set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, professional agents included!
It’s unfortunate how deceptive marketing tactics in the real estate industry have taught buyers not to trust property descriptions and any other way houses are shown off. From real estate agents to “for sale by owner” sellers, fluffy words are used to deceive. A “diamond in the rough” actually means a rundown property while “cosy” in reality is a cramped living space!
If you want potential buyers to trust you, using clever marketing words is fine provided they are accurate and aren’t used to deceive. Yes, by all means take attractive photos of your home but don’t overly doctor the images to the point of deception, where you might as well be uploading photos of a different home.
5. Being Intrusive
When potential buyers walk through a home, they like to imagine themselves living in the property. Do you know what it’s like to be bothered by pesky salespeople when you’re shopping in a store? Don’t be that guy. Know how to be discrete and when to get out of sight while people are roaming your house.
Give buyers the chance to soak in the experience of being in the house. This means avoid talking their ears off as you boast about the latest light fixtures you put in. This means waiting and letting potential customers take their time.
6. Lack of Communication
Don’t let laziness or the fear of picking up the phone ruin a sale for you. While email and text messages are highly convenient inventions that make our lives so much easier, there’s much to be said about picking up the phone and calling potential buyers.
Your tone, the inflection in your voice and other vocal nuances relay information that even the most eloquently written email can’t convey. And when serious inquiries come your way, do pick up the phone. Reply as soon as possible if you’re unable to take a call as it comes your way.
7. Too Proud to Get Help
Buying a property is usually the biggest purchase people make. The same goes for selling one. Closing a real estate sale is probably the largest deal you’re going to make.
If housekeeping, for example, prior to holding an open house is too daunting of a task, don’t be a scrooge. Hire professional cleaners. Unsure about the price to start off with? Do your research. Online real estate companies like Zero Commission and realestate.com.au have excellent resources on their blogs to help people like you sell a house without an agent.
You don’t need a costly real estate agent to sell your home. By avoiding these seven deadly sins in home selling, you can walk away with a lovely deal of a lifetime.