One of the most stressful things we do in our lives is to sell the family home. It affects so many core parts of our world.
♦Financial (“will I get enough money?”)
♦Physical (“I have to get it ready and how do I ever start?”)
♦Legal (“how on earth do I go about a contract or finding the deeds to the house’)
♦Emotional (“I have all these memories here?”)
♦Personal Angst (“what if no one likes my house”)
♦Trust (“Oh wow – I am handing this all to a complete stranger and hope they will do the right thing by me”)
You are not alone.
A trusted real estate advisor does more than just rock up to an open house and hold the door open for buyers. The selling process can start several months before the first buyer even hears about the home.
So here are a couple of stories of people, just like you, who didn’t know where to turn, or how to start, and here’s how a real estate agent can help:
♦ 70 something year old couple Mr & Mrs S. had lived in their house for nearly 40 years and were ready to downsize and have a more manageable garden. They had no idea where to start. We recommended a local solicitor to begin the contract of sale. The house was basically in good condition and had recently been carpeted and painted so no tidy up needed. Just some specific advice about decluttering, changing the bedding to a fresher, more youthful style, moving some furniture around to increase floor space visibility. Small changes to increase the saleability. Took down the heavy curtains and the nets. We arranged a photographer to take photos and to also measure the house for the floorplan. We discussed strategy and whether auction or private treaty would work best and some advice about the best, cost effective places to advertise. For these clients, no newspaper and private treaty – an advertised price. We achieved their dream price in the first four weeks.
♦ Mr and Mrs D. had a rental property with a sitting tenant who had given notice. We helped the tenant organise to move out to make it as pain-free as possible for the tenant, organised a pest and building report so the out-of-area owner knew the shortcomings of the home and had the rotten deck repaired. They wanted to paint but we advised it wasn’t necessary. Suggested the massive bush at the front door be cut back to let in more light. Styled with a local company, photos and video done for this one. Auction for this one and lots of internet advertising. Sold in the first week.
♦ Mr. H. owned a small 2 bed rental unit and had some ‘harsh’ tenants. We organised the holes in the doors to be patched, the damaged carpet to be replaced and the walls painted (I even brought my own outdoor furniture and cushions to decorate the patio as the home was now empty of furnishing.) Advised against a new kitchen. The owner wanted a quick sale so we advertised to our extensive data base before the work was even finished. Sold at the first open house.
♦ Mr & Mrs M. owned two neighbouring properties both used as occasional weekenders, both very stuck in the 80’s. We organised a colour consultant, painter, carpets, gardener, tiler, electrician and handy man. Plus, a styling company and four months of careful hand holding later it was ready to go to market. Even though we didn’t recommend big changes, this owner wanted everything done to a high quality and replaced the dishwasher, the stove, the benchtops, the tiles, the toilets and the shower fittings. A big cosmetic freshens up which helped both properties far exceed the original expectations.
♦ Mr T. loved his immaculate cottage which was firmly placed in the 70’s. He had an image of how the house once was and was not interested in changing a thing. We assisted with referrals to solicitor and he let me move some of the furniture around. No paint, no new carpet, no fancy stylists, no video, no signboard, no open houses, he wanted to write the advertising copy. I took my own outdoor furnishings, blankets, cushions for the bed, even a pot plant and lamp to help style the home. After a few weeks of gentle encouragement, he trusted me enough to write the copy for him and invite a few people in to see the home. He was thrilled with the result, as was the new purchaser.
♦ Mr & Mrs E. owned a weekender cottage. Little. Unassuming but crammed with 25 years of holiday furniture. And no closets. We suggested moving out some of the furniture and arrange for a removalist quote, and a tip run. They decided to take everything out and we helped with a styling company to bring in a fresh new look. No newspaper advertising, this one sold at auction for dramatically over the reserve.
So massive remodel on one end of the spectrum, to sweeping the front step on the other end, your agent should be trusted enough to advise you how to maximise your result. Sometimes you don’t need to paint or recarpet because it won’t bring you in any more money. Sometimes you just need to rearrange the furniture a little and trim back that one shrub. But call in the agent even before you think it necessary because that big reno you are undertaking just to sell, may not be needed at all. And whether you need a solicitor, a painter, a landscaper, a handyman, a cleaner, a styling company, a carpet quote, an exterior house washer, or just to think things through your trusted agent will supply all that and more.
And don’t forget, if you are after some advice, do not hesitate to call me on 0438 802 648. I have a myriad of contacts, and experience of course!