This month I would like to share a short lesson in the art of selling a property, a kind of “Real Estate 101.”
In addition to pricing correctly, having your property sales-ready is probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure a speedy sale, which, at the end of the day, is what all sellers are looking for. In order for a seller to get their property into the state it needs for this to happen, I recommend that sellers close their eyes for a moment and imagine themselves walking in the shoes of the buyer and, more specifically, what that buyer is looking for when they come to view a property.
Take a walk outside and then into the property (this time with eyes open!) and properly notice what the prospective buyer will see upon arriving. There are obviously aspects of a home that sellers cannot change, such as the elevation or views. But they can improve on landscaping, ensuring that weeds are eradicated and lawn edges are kept neat. If there is faded paintwork, then touch it up; if mold and watermarks are an issue, get them removed; if the roof is dirty, get it cleaned. First impressions are absolutely vital and are the difference between engaged and excited buyers and those who are immediately and forever turned off by the property.
Walking into the home, is the doorway and interior cluttered? Is the paintwork and decoration too personalized for general tastes? Are there children’s toys scattered everywhere? These are issues that need to be addressed if the buyer is to be properly able to imagine themselves living in the home. Other seemingly trivial but nonetheless important aspects of a home to remember include ensuring light bulbs are in working order and checking the trim on light fixtures is clean and not faded.
Do your homework for a speedy sale
Are you the type of person who has their house up to the standard it needs to be “show ready” at a moment’s notice? As much as we as real estate agents would love to schedule all our viewings well in advance, the reality is that that is not always the case and quick shows are sometimes the deal sealer, so owners need to be ready to show their property at very short notice.
Small investments will be reaped back once the sale has been completed in a timely manner, the goal of all sellers. Once the house is up to scratch, this should accelerate the sales process. The secret to a quick sale is to have a home sell itself through emotion, rather than the seller needing to actively persuade a would-be buyer to purchase. I have even had sellers hold off listing their property until work had been undertaken to get it up to scratch, and this has been a successful sales strategy time and time again.
The goal of any seller is to get the maximum price for their property in the shortest time possible. In order for this to take place, sellers need to make the entire process as simple and as clean as possible. This means offering buyers their dream home right from the offset, beginning with a positive experience when they first arrive. Offering a beautiful, clean and tidy home that speaks volumes to the buyer is a sure step toward a speedy sale.
James Bovell is broker/owner at RE/MAX Cayman Islands.