Preparing Your Home for Sale

Selling your home is one of the most important transactions you will undertake in your life, therefore the opportunity of creating the very best result is paramount. 

Over the past 10 years, I have learned that a premium result doesn't just happen, it is created. To help you understand the premium price sequence and utilize these crucial elements yourself in your further property sale I have created this easy to follow guide.

I hope you find it useful.

Crucial Element 1 - Presentation

This is probably the most obvious, however widely overlooked element in a property sale. Presentation of your home does not only refer to how clean your house is, but also how your home flows from room to room, what accent colours are used, and the layout of furnishings. The focus is how the buyers 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.

Often we engage the services of a stylist or interior designer to provide our clients advice on what would best appeal to the senses of prospective purchasers. Each property is an 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 restructuring, freshening up of paint colours and/or staging of certain rooms. This crucial element of your property sale in my professional opinion is the number one element that will create a springboard for your future sale.

Crucial Element 2 - Price

Building an exceptional price usually, is derived from first engaging the marketplace with some logical price evidence as well as through positioning. Working off recent comparable properties in the immediate area and nearby, will help create a firm foundation for a logical price position, to begin with. In most cases, buyers first look for value evidence before they will 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 will be found. 

If a buyer feels your property is overpriced (even if they like the property) it will stop them moving towards this emotional aspect, because 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 the only two methods that work effectively in residential real estate sales in the modern market, which are:

Auction or Set Date of Sale


Great for homes that are highly desirable or difficult to precisely price

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 it is the marketing plan associated with the type of property rather than the auction process itself that calls for a more elaborate marketing plan. The property requires it to stand above its competition.

Set Date of 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 and allows you to better choose when you accept an offer. 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 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 the marketing.
  • Create urgency as a result of a fixed time frame.
  • Invite interest on your terms without eliminating purchaser's 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 for potential buyers to better notice your property rather than potentially missing it. There is something I would like you to remember about marketing:

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

Marketing isn't just advertising, it also consists of: 

  • Your internet strategy
  • Your agencies database capabilities
  • Your agencies unique positioning tools
  • Advertising
  • Signage
  • Caliber of furnishings
  • The synergy of the office you select and the networking capabilities locally to your home and throughout Christchurch
  • The quality of your photography and/or video
  • The buyer-centric design of your marketing format

The right marketing structure is essential in ensuring this premium price element is maximized. Along with this, a successful marketing campaign is tailored to each property and 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, as you might see within any field in the business world. Your agents’ crucial function is not to 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 which determines the quality of that information you receive. Before engaging an agent in selling my 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; therefore you should know how they communicate with interested parties up front. When interviewing agents to sell your property 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 a foundation or spring board into the market place supporting this outcome.

Without all the previous elements being covered and maximized 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 – Emotional

The outcome of dealing with an emotional buyer or buyers is they traditionally spend 5-20% more on a property, over what they first thought they would spend.

The key is giving yourself the chance of dealing with more buyers who are more emotionally connected; this is where the magic happens.

The formula for achieving a premium price:  

  • 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.