Preparing Your Home for Sale

Selling your home is one of the most important transactions you will undertake in your life, so obtaining the very best result is paramount. A premium result doesn't just happen; it is created. 

To help you understand how to achieve a  premium price for your property, we have identified six crucial elements:


Crucial Element 1 - Presentation

This is probably the most obvious element in property sales; however it is often overlooked, or 'skimmed' over.  Presentation of your home not only refers to how clean your house is, but also how your home flows from room to room, the colours, and the layout of furnishings.  You want to think about how the buyers will feel when they first pull up outside your home and how they receive the property from start to finish.  Every inch of your home will be observed, from the front door to the back porch and beyond.

We offer the services of a stylist/interior designer to provide our clients with helpful and practical advice on how to best present their property for photographs and the following open inspections.  Each property is individual; therefore, tailored advice for your home will differ depending upon your specific needs.  Quite often homes may require landscape attention, while others require furniture moved, freshening up of paint colours and/or staging of certain rooms. 

In my professional opinion, this is the MOST crucial element of your property sale.  It will create a springboard for your future sale.


Crucial Element 2 - Price

Building an exceptional price is usually derived from first engaging the marketplace with some logical pricing evidence and positioning.  Working off recent comparable sales in the immediate area, and nearby, will help create a firm foundation for a logical price position.  In most cases, buyers first look for value evidence before they inspect your home.

A rule that is handy to remember: Buyers start logically and finish emotionally.

This rule generally means that first, your property has a mental agreement on price positioning from prospective buyers.  Secondly, buyers will transfer to an emotional connection with your property, provided the general feel and criteria of your home suits them.  Once a buyer becomes emotionally attached to your home, the choice to purchase becomes a lifestyle decision, rather than an exact dollar and cents decision.  It is in the highly emotional part of this equation that an opportunity for a premium result lies. 

If a buyer feels your property is overpriced (even if they like the property), it will stop them moving towards this emotional aspect.  Logically, they don’t agree on the initial price and quite often they will leave the property without making an offer.  This is the reason why some homes sit on the market for extended periods.  More often than not, there isn't anything wrong with a home; it is a result of the market place not agreeing logically with the price.


Crucial Element 3 - Method

The right method of sale will go hand in hand with price. There are two methods that work effectively in residential real estate sales in the modern market, which are: 
Auction or Deadline sale.


The auction method leaves the outcome open, while also accelerating the sale process by placing a closing date on the marketing process.  Compelling buyers to make a buying decision prior to the auction date creates a heightened sense of urgency and excitement in the buyer's minds, which ultimately helps propel us towards our premium price formula.  Auctioning isn't for all homes; rather is invaluable for some. 

A common misconception about an auction is that it has a higher upfront cost for vendors.  This isn't necessarily the case, as we match a marketing plan with the type of property, rather than the auction process itself. 

Deadline Sale

The Deadline Sale method is fundamentally the same as those of Auction and Tender, except it allows maximum flexibility for you, as the vendor, to accept what offer you are most happy with, taking all conditions into account.  The property may or may not be advertised with a price.  As we near the deadline, offers can be submitted at any time after the first day on the market, and up until the deadline, giving you as the vendor the right to accept an offer at anytime.

This method will:

  • Attract a high level of interest through marketing
  • Create urgency as a result of a fixed time frame
  • Invite interest on your terms without eliminating purchasers' variations
  • Ensure that interested parties will have little idea as to the level and extent of other interest
  • Not cap the price; therefore, the risk of forfeiting a premium is averted
  • Allow you to be able to make decisions in your own time without pressure

Quick tip:  If you think a lot of people will love your property and the price could vary between purchaser and purchaser, you should choose an auction campaign. 


Crucial Element 4 - Marketing

The right marketing campaign for your property acts as the fuel of your property sale.  There may be hundreds of properties that buyers are choosing from across a number of suburbs at any one time.  The effectiveness of your marketing campaign will be the difference between a potential buyer taking notice of your property to potentially missing it.  

The structure and quality of your marketing campaign will determine the amount of separation you create from other competitive properties in the market place.

Above all, marketing isn't just advertising.  It is much greater than that, and consists of:    

  • Your online presence and strategy
  • Eye-catching signboards
  • Presentation and styling of your home
  • Being buyer-centric in design
  • Quality photography and videography
  • The information you provide the buyer
  • Your agency's database capabilities
  • The synergy of the office you select and the networking capabilities locally to your home and throughout Christchurch
  • And, of course, advertising

The right marketing structure is essential in ensuring the premium price element is maximised.

Each successful marketing campaign we create is tailored to the individual property, and ultimately, designed to suit you as the vendor.


Crucial Element 5 - Your Agent

Not all agents are the same.  Some are highly skilled, while others are not - the same as you might see within any field in the business world. 

Your agent's crucial function is to not just show buyers through your home; it is to help you protect your price.  Their negotiation skills are paramount.  Ironically, negotiation is not a trained skill in the industry, although it is the main reason you engage an agent; to help you determine and govern the strongest possible price.  You can only base your selling decisions on the quality of information you receive from your agent during the process, and it is your agent's skill set that determines the quality of the information you receive.  Before engaging an agent to sell a home, I would always ask how they will negotiate on my behalf.

You don't get to see what an agent says to your potential buyers, so inquire as to how they communicate with interested parties.  When deciding on an agent, ask them to demonstrate their negotiation ability, as this can be very costly down the track if they aren't an expert in this area.


Crucial Element 6 – Buyers

This is where the process culminates.  Having the choice of multiple buyers is exactly what you are aiming for.  This doesn't always happen, but will happen more often than not if all other elements fall into place.  The other elements act as the foundation as you enter  into the market place supporting this outcome.

Crucial elements 1 - 5 all act as the foundation as you enter into the market place.  Without these being covered and maximised, you can never surely know you have given yourself every chance of securing the very best outcome.

A premium buyer - or buyers - are created through emotional attachment and also an urgency to a large degree.  Remember the rule: Logical to EmotionalAn emotional buyer will traditionally spend 5-20% more on a property more than what they first thought they would spend.  The key is giving yourself the chance of dealing with more buyers who are emotionally connected.


Putting it all together, the formula for achieving a premium price is:  

  • How your home looks and feels
  • The pricing of your home
  • The best method that will suit your property
  • Marketing
  • Your agent's ability
  • Emotionally Connected Buyers

Once these have been achieved, sit back and enjoy your selling experience!