18 November 2019
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How to spruce up your property for an early sale

John McGrath
11 September 2018

Going early carries one significant advantage for sellers – time. This year, I think it’s best to maximise it instead of listing later when the Christmas deadline can cause a bit of stress. 

I say this because credit restrictions are having a material impact on buyer competition and this, combined with cooler conditions and less urgency in the marketplace overall, might end up impacting the timeframe of your sale this year. 

It’s not uncommon to see auctions postponed a week or two these days, especially when the best buyers on a property can’t get their finance in time. This is a strategic decision that you may or may not face but it’s good to have extra time up your sleeve by going on the market early this Spring. 

The other advantage of listing sooner rather than later is it gives you more time to buy back in. Most family buyers want the moving process over by Christmas, so they can enrol their kids in new schools for new year and move into their new homes before or during the holiday period. 

In terms of the time is takes to sell property, a three to four-week campaign is not all there is.  If you want to maximise your sale price, you need to approach the sales process methodically and this means at least a couple of weeks planning and preparing ahead of your campaign launch.  

After signing with your agent, there is likely to be a series of small repairs you’ll need to do and maybe even some cosmetic renovations to freshen up the presentation, such as painting, a house wash, some gardening and so on. 

If you want to professionally style your home, that also requires time for the stylist to attend your property, put together a plan and arrange for the hiring and delivering of furniture. 

Presentation is a critical part of the selling process as it directly contributes to how buyers feel about your home. You don’t have to invest a huge amount of money but what you don’t invest financially to get someone else to do it faster and better will cost you time to do it yourself. 

Getting the presentation right can result in a $5,000 to $50,000 upside in most instances I’ve seen, so you can’t skip this process and that means budgeting a decent amount of time to get it done. 

Then your property needs to be photographed and ads have to be booked and mocked up. Don’t forget that you need to factor in school holidays (September 29 – October 14), which are best avoided in family suburbs because buyers go away. Your agent can advise you on whether this is a consideration in your area. 

For the 2018 Spring season, it is also crucial to invest in a good quality marketing campaign. You need to attract the maximum number of buyers possible because the odds are, some of them won’t be able to compete due to finance issues. So, the bigger your buyer pool, the better chance you have of selling for a good price, in a concise timeframe, which allows you plenty of time to buy back in. 

Lastly, I want to encourage Spring sellers to listen to their agents on price and keep their expectations realistic. This can be hard in the first Spring season following a boom but in my experience, 80% of failed sales come back to price so it’s crucial to get this right from day one.

Whether buying or selling this Spring, I wish you the best of luck!

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