I am starting this thread as a complement to the main thread on property news and prices. I hope some of these tips/suggestions gained from actual dealing on the ground would be helpful to homeowners/buyers. I will start off with the below burning question that I get all the time....why some units break record prices but some could not be sold for months and months.
Selling your property for top dollar
Firstly, let's define what is top dollar? In my terms, top dollar would means selling above market valuation. Often, it also means breaking the record price of similar units in the same estate/condo. Over time, I observed that these price record transactions had a similar trend. To get top dollar, contrary to most beliefs, it definitely has much more science to it than art. Top dollar deals seldom come from just listing and pray; it has a method to it. Unfortunately most sellers/agents never really took the method seriously and in most cases, never get top dollar for their units.
As this is a post and not a blog, I will keep it short and concise. To sell for top dollar, you need to understand the below on the psychology of a buyer when they come for viewing:
1) Buyers use very little logic when viewing, they tend to follow their emotions more
2) Emotions arise not just from what they see, but also from the other senses such as smell, feel, touch and hear
3) Sellers always make mistake by assuming that the buyer can imagine an empty house. The buyers don't and they won't
4) The key then is to be able to reach down to the sub-conscious of a buyer by invoking their positive emotions during viewing. Houses that gets top dollar often make the buyer feel 'right" and they then use their emotion to justify their logic.
Failure to consider the above is the key difference between getting no offers (or market valuation at best) and one with a top dollar offer.
Understanding the above,here are my 10 tips for sellers based on my experience:
1) A cluttered house kills good emotions. Always un-clutter the house before viewing. Throw away junks and keep the house tidy. The owner is selling the house and will need to move soon...use that opportunity to start clearing the house. This issue is so prevalent in many units that the seller think that the buyer will imagine an empty house. Again they won't!
2) Fix all minor defects. Again, too many sellers thinking that the house gonna be sold, what is the point of fixing it up. You don't have to renovate the house, but you should fix up all visible defects. Even a new coat of paint on any old house does miracles in getting good offers
3) Clean the kitchen top and uncluttered it. A clean good looking kitchen makes a lot of difference in getting top dollar. If there is one place that make the difference in offers, it is the kitchen. The buyer's wife/gf/mother has a lot of emotions attached to the kitchen and in most cases, they are also the CFO to the purchase. Unclutter the kitchen top and make sure the stove and built-in oven looks clean. I even had a seller once storing his microwave away just to clear up space for his very limited kitchen top space.
4) Dining table. Another culprit which is always full of everything except dining stuff. Clear it, and put an attractive piece, a vase with flowers, etc at the center. Pull the buyer eyes to the center of the dining table and let him feel that they can eat comfortably at that table.
5) A well lit, unblock, entrance door. Clear away your shoes or anything untidy at the entrance. An unblock well lit entrance creates eagerness to explore more of your house.
6) Masterbed room is important and it must look like it is ready for relaxation and sleep. I have seen many master bedrooms that has clothes hang in it, or the seller cramped a study table into the master. If you confuse the buyer over the purpose of that room, chances of getting a good offer is as good as nil.
7) Always give exclusive to your trusted agent. I seldom see record selling deals that are from open listing. Open listing agents are prone to be "tested" by the buyer agent and their motivation to close will bring you a lower price. Furthermore exclusive agents are motivated to do every viewing for you hence has minimal viewing leakage.
8) Be flexible in your ability to open doors for viewing. Great offers can come from any viewing time and if you restrict your viewing time to evening or weekends only, you are restraining your ability to get good offers, Two of my record breaking sales came from afternoon weekday viewing. Hence, never, never have viewing leakage.
9) Check if your house has certain odors especially for those with pets. The houseowner is often immune to any smell, but the buyer will sense it at a distance. And if you have pets that could walk around the house, (or make noise, for.e.g barking) , please bring them out somewhere if you have viewings. Again, please don't assume that the buyer can imagine that your pet won't be there when they make the purchase. They won't. Remember, the sense of smell and hearing invoke powerful emotions so if you want to get top dollar, make sure those senses of the buyer are not affected.
10) I leave the last point to the advertising. Good advertising attracts viewers. Unfortunately I've seen many seller/agents use mediocre handphone photos to advertise. Some photos are so bad that a young Instagram-obsessed teen would probably take better. If you already took the effort to do fix up, unclutter the house, etc, the last thing you want is to have photos that does not depict your house accurately. Wide angle photos, imo, is the minimal requirement. Videos and virtual tour are great, but only if your house is of a certain size. Buyers will sub-consciously drawn to sellers/agents who take pride in advertising their house and first impression does count in this business. Don't neglect this which I somewhat keep seeing all the time.
There are many more concepts that I can keep going (the use of colours for e.g) but the above is suffice for most sellers if they want their property to fetch good offers. Infact, I seldom see all 10 points click into place, but if they do, that property should get good offers. It is very often for me to hear that some units could not be sold for months, but when another agent took over, it get sold within one month at the same asking price. I don't believe it is all luck. It has to do with the method right from advertising to preparing the house for sale.
I hope the above helps in giving some ideas in getting good offers for your property at your location. Your property is one of your biggest investment so it is worth the effort in putting the right "sciences" into it and get the top dollar offers.