Smart Move A Guide For Potential Home Sellers
SMART MOVE Congratulations! You have decided to make the move! Perhaps the house is too small, too big now, or doesn’t suit your lifestyle. This guide is here to explain, in everyday terms, some of the stages you will go through and prepare you for the sale. Its' purpose is also to maximise your sales price without hitting some of these “pot holes” on the journey. It’s designed with a process in mind: We’ll discuss: 1. Timing 2. Getting your home ready 3. The appraisal and the role of the Agent 4. Presentation to maximise price 5. Pricing options 6. Advertising and marketing 7. Showings and home opens 8. Re-pricing if required 9. The 'Offer and Acceptance Form' Our next publications termed “Open Home” and “Settle Petal” cover the next selling stages in the selling and settlement process. I hope you enjoy this formative guide. Happy Selling!
Alan Bourke Principal.
16/01/18 SMART MOVE
TIMING “Begin with the end in mind” - Stephen Covey In order to determine when to sell often you have to know the buying / selling phases to calculate when you’ll settle i.e. Get your money.
Offer Accepted Unconditonal Status
On the Market Days 0
Get Ready PHASE
In the Market PHASE
Finance conditon + building / pest checks
In Perth, at present, properties are taking 60-90 days to get an offer (from the time they start marketing). Most offers require buyers then to: • Obtain finance • Have the building checked for structual faults • Have termite / timber inspections done This stage can take an average of 30 days. Once these conditions are met, the offer becomes “unconditional”. At this stage, the Settlement Agent / Conveyancer takes over to do the transfer paperwork (transferring it to the buyer’s name). So, as you can see the time from start to finish can be up to 120-150 days. Having said that, if a cash unconditonal buyer wants to buy and settle quickly, they could be settling in 30 days!
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PRESENTATION If you ever visited a display home you will remember it is always furnished and presented immaculately. That’s the standard you’d like to display your home in order to maximise your price. To do this you need to take a critical eye to your property and ask these questions: 1. What can I remove from each room to make it appear bigger? 2. What should I store (extra gear) to declutter? 3. Do I need to lighten up the house? i.e. take down external blinds, cut back vegetation over windows, or install a sky light (if required) 4. What’s past its “used by date”: • Have the carpets had it? • Are the walls marked? • Are the ceilings marked? • Is the paint colour dated? 5. Smells/pets. We all love our pets but they shouldn’t be obvious in the sales process. Some Nationalities are concerned about pets and this may deter them from buying. Be conscious of dog/cat smells in the home. Here’s a check list to help you get ready: Clean off any dirty marks , removeable scuff marks, finger or food marks etc. Remove cobwebs from ceilings Clean off ceiling mould - particuarly in wet areas Clean dust off light fittings and remove dead insects inside Wipe fan blades and the tops of fittings to remove dust build up Wipe down skirting boards with a damp cloth Remove finger marks from doorways and doors Clean windows inside and out Flyscreens brushed and dusted Screen doors wiped clean Clean stoves (including kitchen rangehood, oven racks Remove pet droppings from lawn Ensure watering systems are free of dog chew damage and are repaired accordingly Remove visible pet hair inside Remove clutter Maintenance – fix leaking plumbing, tighten door handles, replace torn fly screens, seal gaps and joints
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STAGING The growing trend now is to hire / buy furniture to better present your home. This is done: • When a home is vacant • When the furniture is not helping the presentation We have seen many examples where staging a home has resulted a property: • Selling faster • Selling for higher price Discuss these options with your sales representative. The cost stage will be approximately $2500 - $3500pcm. Sometimes owners buy furniture for their next home and use that to present the current home. Others buy and resell the furniture on Gumtree etc.
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THE APPRAISAL Most owners call in one to three agents to give their opinion on values and how they would market the home. This process shouldn’t be about picking the agent quoting the highest price with the lowest fee. It’s about who you feel competent / confident with, who you believe will best market your home and maximise your price.
Its About Process Not Promises Some questions to ask your Agent: 1. How long has your agency been selling in your area? • This shows ability to deal in different markets 2. What Awards has your Agency won? • Have they been recognised by their peers as competent? 3. What number of transations have you done? • Is the sales person capable? 4. What is the size of your buyers database? • Can they show buyers through without the need to advertise? 5. What customer satisfaction relatings do you have from Rate My Agent or other? • An external measure of client satisfaction 6. Can you auction my home (in house) if I need or want to? • So you don’t have to pay for an auctioneer 7. Do you have a Seller Guarantee that I can cancel the contract if I want to? • This makes less risk if the agent doesn’t perform
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PRICING Once you have an idea of what your property might sell for, the next choice is a method of pricing. This is a diagram of your choices:
WITH PRICE 1. 2. 3. 4.
From Price 1. Auction Price Range 2. Expressions of Interest Price 3. Tenders Closing on... Rough Guide e.g. "mid $1M's
If you decide on quoting a price another diagram is important to determine how buyers search the internet.
$2M $1M $500,000
It is important you “fish where the fish are” so we find a drop off in demand over $500,000; over $1m; over $1.5m; and over $2m. So, pricing such as “from $499,000” allows you to get above $500,000 whilst still appearing on the buyers search list up to $500,000. Other pricing options may be “$499-$529,000” or “early $500,000’s”. Talk over which strategy will best maximise your price; whilst still creating demand for your home and buyer compeition. It is also important to look “through the eyes of the buyer.” “If I was a buyer, which of the properties in this competition list, would I buy first?". “What would I buy second?" and "Where does my property sit on this list?" This will determine how long you are in the market for sale.
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THE ROLE OF A REAL ESTATE AGENT The choice you make in appointing a Real Estate Agent will be critical to you in: 1. Achieving the best price possible 2. Having strong communication throughout the process 3. Enjoying the Experience Apart from pricing and advertising suggestions, the Agents' role is to promote your home well to the greatest number of people. Once the buyers have seen your home then to encourage them to submit an offer and to get that offer to as high as possible to an acceptable price to you. The Number 1 rule in choosing an agent is not to choose the cheapest. Invariably the dearest *agent can offer more so that when you sell for more the net proceeds are higher. *So often the dearest agent may end up being the cheapest Your 'Days on Market' is your enemy. This is how long your property is on the market. The longer the time, the more the buyer thinks they can negotiate a lower price. So, your agent must have the strategies to deliver more buyers to your home sooner. They can do this by: 1. Having large data base of buyers in your market 2. Regular contact with those buyers by weekly emails, stock lists etc. 3. VIP viewings or ‘sneek peek’ strategies to invite these buyers to your home before you launch your property to the public. This generates 2 launch opportunities.
The Agents Days on the Market Many agents are proud of their days on market figures (if they are low). This may or may not be a good thing. You want an agent who can sell well but you don’t want to feel that you must sell fast or it may affect his figures. Trust your 'gut feel'.
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ADVERTISING / MARKETING Should I pay for marketing? Most strong agents separate their success fee (commission) away from the marketing costs. If you sell you pay for both. If you don’t sell you just pay for the portion of the advertising spent. This way you know exactly what you’re getting and how much you’re paying for it. Some agents will use the “no sales no fee” basis to get property listing. Often the quality of marketing and frequency is compromised and this may affect your eventual sales price. Unfortunately, often once you have committed to a lower quality you can’t change your mind with this process. We believe in “speculate to accumulate”. Therefore, invest in marketing i.e. insure you get the most of your property. Normally, promotion / advertising would cost $2000-$3000.
PHOTOGRAPHY As agents get 60 - 70% of all their buyers response from their websites, it is vital you have a professional photographer take the photos - not the sales agent. Here is one example of the difference between a professional and an amateur.
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Photographers can shoot: • Day time • Twilight • With drone cameras for elevation • 3D photography Talk to your sales person as to how best to promote your home. Photo Signs In most occasions photo signs are used to best promote your home. This is also where good photography is vital!
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HOME OPENS AND PRIVATE VIEWINGS Agents have made the home open process a vital part of the sales process, so you really should have them rather than wait for a buyer to request a viewing. A crowded home open also shows the buyer his other competitors and will generate more offers. Here’s a checklist for conducting a good home open: Lock up your valuables. Check with your insurance company about coverage. Air out the house (open windows, open house up to as much light as possible) Leave – take the pets with you. Don’t be a 'clingy seller.' Remove pet hair and deodorise furniture, remove litter boxes, droppings. Nice smells, candles, freshly brewed coffee – avoid incense and overpowering air fresheners. Personal touches, flowers, sweets, the human touch.
PRICE CHANGES What if it isn’t selling? Let’s say you’ve been on the market 3-4 weeks with no offers and no second viewings. (second viewings indicate there is buyer interest at your price) There are 3 P’s in real-estate: • Presentation - do you need to improve this? • Promotion - do you need to spend more? • Price - do you need to adjust this? The secret to price is: Often you put your home on the market a little higher in price than the agent recommended. If so... now is the time to go to their pricing recommendation. If it was on the market at a fixed price before, perhaps now look at a price range. e.g. $499,000 - $529,000 or a lower price but a from price e.g. from “$499,000” Or vague pricing: e.g. • “Low 400’s” • “Mid 400’s” • “Late 400’s” It is important to alter pricing to keep your property fresh and avoid it getting ‘stale’.
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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET AN OFFER? Great News! The hardest offer to consider is one that you get in the first two weeks. The temptation is to think: • “Have I under-priced it?” • “If I wait I’ll get my price” A large national real estate company surveyed over 6000 sellers to find that 50% wished they hadn’t been so hard on their first offer because they ended up accepting an offer less than the first offer later.
There is a strong adage: “your first offer is invariably your best”
It’s not about how long you’ve been in the market. It is often about how long the buyer has been in the market. If the offer is still too low, you have a choice of counter offering or rejecting the offer. We always recommend counter offering rather than rejecting, as the offer “stays alive” that way. An offer isn’t binding on either buyer or seller until all parts to the contracts are agreed, signed and initialled. At this point it becomes a contract. Both buyer and seller can withdraw from negotiation at any time before the contract has been fully agreed in writing. Once it is agreed then both parties are “locked together until the conditions are met.”
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CONDITIONS ON AN OFFER The normal conditions that buyers put on their offer can be: Finance Normally they need a bank / lender to lend them the money. This generally takes 30 days. Structual Report The buyer may ask to bring a builder / engineer through to investigate if the building has any major structual issues. This can take up to 14 days and is at the buyers cost. A Timber Pest Report A white ant company inspects your home, roof and floors to investigate if there are any active live termites, plus any deterioration in timbers. This is normally completed within 14 days of acceptance of an offer. Subject Sales Clause The buyer may want / need to sell 'theirs' in order to buy 'yours'. We recommend you never take your home off the market during their selling period but give them the first right of refusal. *Ask your agent about the two-working day clause Once these conditons are all met, then your offer becomes â€œunconditionalâ€? and you can then start planning moving. I hope this has proven to be an informative guide. Please call us on 9474 2000 if we can assist you in selling.
Alan Bourke - Principal
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TOP MOVING TIPS (Courtsey of Direct Connect)
Snap a Photo of your Electronic Device Set Up Rewiring your electronic device set-ups, like your television and surround sound system, can be impossible. The interweaving colourful wires appear to be a labyrinth that not even the Goblin King could traverse, so it's a good idea to snap a photograph of the set-up on your smartphone to use as a reference point when setting it up again in your new home.
Place your Hanging Clothes in Garbage Bags We know it doesn't sound glamorous, but you can save a lot of storage space by sliding bundles of your clothes on hangers inside a plastic garbage bag on moving day. This will not only keep your clothes and hangers in the one place, but it also allows them to be stored flat and protects them from dirt and rain.
Label and Colour- Code Boxes Label and colour-code boxes, so they can be identified at a glance. Correlate different colours with rooms of the home - like green for the kitchen - to make sorting through boxes a breeze. Use clear plastic boxes for items you need first, like the kettle and the toaster.
Store Electronic Cables in Toilet Rolls Do you have old toilet paper rolls sitting around your bathroom? Well, you can use them to store your cables so that they dont wind themselves into a tangled nest while you're in transit. You might even decide to label each roll, so you remember which device each cable belongs to.
Protect Fragile Stemware with Socks If you're looking to protect the kind of stemware that only makes an appearance on your dining table at special occasions, then we have the answer you seek. Protect fragile stemware during your move by storing wine glasses and glassware inside clean socks. This clever life hack will help prevent breakages and scratches in the glass, while also freeing up space in your drawers.
Wrap Drawers with Plastic Cling Wrap Who said you have to clear out your drawers to move house? We suggest that if possible you keep the contents inside your drawers and simply wrap the drawer with plastic cling wrap. This will eliminate the need for additional boxes and all you will need to do is remove the plastic wrap and slide the drawer back into place.
Use Suitcases to Carry Heavy Items If you've recently returned from an overseas trip, then you probably own a suitcase or two. As they will most likely be joining you on your move, but put them to good use and fill them with heavy items like books or kitchenware. You can roll them along the foor using the suitcase's wheels without having to worry about boxes breaking.
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Place Foam Plates and Coffee Filters Between Porcelin Plates When it comes to packing porceline plates, you can protect them from breakage by placing either foam plates or coffee filters between them. This will also save precious moving time, because you wont have to wrap each plate individually. The same holds true for your kitchen knives - simply place them inside an oven glove for safe storage.
Slide Furniture Along Using Magazines Rather than straining your back by lifting heavy furniture like your couch, you can slide it across the floor by placing magazines beneath each corner. If you're looking for something a little more heavy duty, then you can even use a frisbee to ease the physical burden of moving furniture.
Snap-lock Sandwich Bags are your Friend From storing yout favourie jewellery pieces to important screws and nuts for your coffee table, snap lock sandwhich bags will keep small items safely together. Put your trusty permanent marker to work and label each sandwich bag, so you can easily spot the screws and nuts needed to put your furniture back together when the time comes.
More Hacks: • Number your boxes 3,2,1 accroding to "unpacking urgency". Makes sure all the boxes labelled 1 go on the removal truck last so that they comes off first. Or if you are doing more than one run, get them delivered on the first run so the essentials are in place. • Wrap up your dishes in your shirts. Not only are you saving on bubble wrap, you're also packing double the stuff at once. Genius! • Label your boxes on the side as well as the top, so when you stack them you'll always know what's inside. • Put an elastic band around both sides of the door handle so you dont get locked out. • Get the kids involved, make it fun, counting items one by one. Let the kids plan their room, pack treasure boxes and time will zoom! • When you get to your new house, the first thing you should do is make your bed so that you can get into it at the end of the day. • Put all your essentials in one box, that way you don't have to spend hours unpacking every box looking for them. • Start well before the move - get rid of anything you haven't used in the past year. De-clutter your move! • Put the clothes straight on the back seat of the car, still on their hangers, then hang straight in the wardrobe in the new place.
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sales | property management | auctions 272 Canning Highway COMO WA 6152 PO BOX 403 COMO WA 6952 T 08 9474 2000 F 08 9474 2549 bourkes.com.au
Find the latest tips when preparing to sell your property and move house.