By Andrea Sophocleous, ninemsn Money
Don't get stuck with a house nobody wants to buy. Here are some tips for a quick and easy sale.
Selling your home can be an emotional roller-coaster sadness for the memories you are leaving behind, excitement for the new beginning you are making elsewhere, anxiety over securing the right price. Once you decide to sell however, you want to do it fast and for the best possible price.
Horror stories abound of properties stuck on the market for months, sometimes years, unable to generate even a modicum of interest from buyers. Forget the stress; the cost of being stuck with an unsellable house can run into thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, there are proven ways to sell a house quickly.
Get the price right
In any property sale, the main goal is to attract as many people as possible to view the property. The basic laws of supply and demand dictate that more viewings leads to more interest, which leads to a quick sale at a better price.
Listing your home at an unrealistically high price can seriously slash the number of people walking through the door.
"If a home is priced only 10 percent above what the market values it at, 50 percent of people looking in that price bracket won't come to see it," says estate agency Chris Wilkins, director of Ray White Drummoyne in Sydney. "Why price yourself out?"
Getting the price right can make or break a sale, argues property stylist and former real estate agency Kerie Hurst, of Sunshine Coast-based Property Presenters.
"The most common reason a property doesn't sell is because it's overpriced and by the time the seller realises unfortunately it's too late," Hurst says.
"The home begins to suffer from the all-too-familiar stigma of being on the market for too long and people begin to assume that there is something wrong with it."
Show your house at its best
Even at the right price, bad presentation can stall the sale of a house.
"A home must be clean, presentable and decorated in neutral colours to have the best chance at achieving the best possible price," Wilkins says.
Hurst agrees: "Neutralise colour schemes, consider the best use of every space and clear away items that people may find distracting or offensive. Ensure the property is clean, well maintained and odour free."
If you have pets, ensure they are not present at viewings. Even better, send them to stay with a friend or at a kennel. "This is a big one because there are people who are allergic to animals or just don't like them," says Georgia Cleary, an agent with Bradfield & Pritchard in Sydney's Double Bay.
Presenting rooms in their intended state can make a big difference, Cleary adds. "We've shown three-bedroom homes being sold by couples who used one room as a study and another as a storage room, and people walk out saying "that was a one-bedroom house''," she says. "People tend to take a space as it''s set up."
Finesse your marketing
Unflattering photographs, insufficient advertising and poor follow-up by real estate agents can harm the chances of getting your home sold. An experienced real estate agent should be able to market your home at the right price to the right market, but it is also important to get the marketing mix right.
"There's a big perception in the market that no- one reads newspapers anymore and that's not true," Wilkins says. "Yes, 60 percent of people first see a home [advertised] online, but you need a good mix of both online and print to attract buyers and generate interest."