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What Will Help You To Sell Your House?


What Will Help You To Sell Your House?

If you have not sold a house in the past decade, brace yourself. Today’s buyers are demanding. They  understand property market dynamics better, have access to so much more real estate data and want to see houses on their own schedule. Buyers want access to your house when it works for them and they do not want to wait for the show house.

Some things in your favour as a seller: Relatively low interest rates are your friend too. Buyers know that the present bond / interest rates cannot last forever. If interest rates start to tick up, there could well be a rush to buy. On the other hand, if rates go up too far, that will almost certainly dampen prices. As a buyer’s monthly payment goes up with rising rates, something’s got to give—and that’s likely your home price. In other words, sellers: If you snooze, you may well lose.

Your Action Plan

Sell first, then buy. The dilemma most sellers face is whether to buy a new place at the same time. In general, it is smarter to sell before you buy—there is nothing worse than having to carry two bonds at once. You may be able to rent your house from the buyer for a few months, or at least find a short-term rental elsewhere. The one thing you do not want to do is try to buy a new place with the contingency that you have to sell your old place first. Nothing kills a deal faster, especially if you are up against other property buyers.

Do not just list your home—market it. Gorgeous photographs, 3D virtual walk-throughs and even perfect floor plans—buyers want it all. You need an agent who can develop a full-blown marketing plan, including social media. “People are doing so much more research ahead of time, going through listings online, and weeding out properties before they see them,” says Benjamin Beaver, an estate agent with Coldwell Banker. That is especially true of millennial first-time buyers, who have grown up with information on demand.

And a top-flight estate agent can help pay for him- or herself. Listings with photos taken by a professional get up to 61% more views, and homes sold for more than similarly priced homes. A drone video tour including views of the neighborhood (parks, restaurants, main street) is another great tool. “If your photos capture an interested buyer, the video can help boost their interest,” says Rae Wayne, a real estate agent. Plus, a video can help drive additional traffic to your property.

Negotiate with your agent. Bernice Ross, the CEO of, has a brilliant method for testing a potential agent’s bargaining skills: Ask her for a reduction in her commission—and then think twice about hiring her if she agrees. “If they can’t negotiate a full commission on their own behalf, how are they going to negotiate the best price for you?” she says.

Don’t “test” the market. Pricing right is an art these days. The last thing you want to do is accidentally list too high out of the gate. Not only does it require cutting the price—in many cases to less than the estimated value—but it also means more time on the market. “It’s not like the old days where you put in a 10% buffer,” says Jacquie Sebulsky an estate agent. “People are savvier, and many agents won’t even show a house if it’s overpriced.” A house that is priced right will sell in about half the time of one that is overpriced.

Another reason to price right: traffic. In the first week a listing goes on the market, it gets four times as many visits as a month later an USA estate agency Redfin found. Moreover, if you do end up dropping your price it sends a signal to buyers that you will come down more – creating a ‘blood in the water” scenario and attracting overly aggressive buyers.

To help you arrive at a price, your agent should show you up to 10 comparable active, pending, and recently sold (in the past three months) listings and sales. The most recently sold and the ones that are pending are the best; six or even four months ago may not reflect today’s market. There are a variety of property market data available- something which an estate agent can supply to the seller. They will show you how quickly houses are selling in your market, how close they are going to asking price, and more. But data can tell buyers only so much. “The computer can’t see the inside of the house,” says Ross, “and it can’t see if your house has a view.”

Author / Sarah Max & Daniel Bortz
Published 25 May 2018 / Views -
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