Selling Tips

Tips to help sell your property

Get a better price for your property when selling with these tips from BQNRE.

With over 50 years of real estate experience in Newcastle and the Hunter, Borrelli-Quirk Newcastle Real Estate has learnt a thing or two about selling property. We've put together this list of our top tips to sell property to help you achieve the best result when it comes time to sell your property. 

As soon as you make the decision to sell your home, you need to look at your asset in a different way. No longer just the place where you and your family live, your home is now a product that you need to market and present to your potential buyers. Showcasing your home is all about highlighting the possibilities. The more people who see your home as desirable, the higher the price you’re likely to sell it for. Here are 10 tips to help you put yourself in the shoes of your buyers and ensure you get the best possible price for your home

1. Understand your buyers

Different kinds of properties suit different kinds of buyers. What a young professional couple is looking for is unlikely to be the same as that which appeals to a growing family. Empty-nesters have different needs again. If you can second-guess the kind of people who may be attracted to your property you can:

  • Craft your marketing accordingly
  • Better understand how you can go about preparing your home for sale
  • Decide which real estate agent to choose to handle the sale

A good real estate agent can give you insight into likely buyers based on his or her experience of the market.

Talk to friends to get their ideas about who they think may be interested in your property, and what they might be looking for

2. Remove personal clutter

Your first step in preparing your home for sale is to pare down your furniture and belongings. Remove any ornaments that are too personal. As a general rule, take down family photos and children’s drawings — although you can leave a couple of the more artistic ones, especially interesting older photos.

Another benefit of carrying out this step of culling and de-cluttering early on is that it means you can more easily see what needs to be done in terms of cleaning and any repairs.

Home buyers are looking for a place they can imagine themselves being happy and proud of.  So, when you come to sell your home, your job is to ensure that nothing gets in the way of your home “communicating” with potential buyers. Leave room for buyers to visualise themselves in your home.

Start by clearing your property of anything that isn’t absolutely essential to the functioning or the aesthetic attraction of a room. Clean out and tidy storage cupboards. Cull pictures and as much personal effects as possible without making the home seem sterile.

Ask a friend with a discerning eye to help you be ruthless about de-cluttering your home for sale

3. Add value with cosmetic changes

Space, freshness and light are probably the most sought-after aspects of a property (apart from storage, more on that in a minute). Many properties that have a lot to offer in this regard are overlooked by buyers because sellers have failed to carry out simple and often inexpensive improvements.

  • A coat of paint can freshen up both the interior and exterior of a home and is likely to add probably twice its cost to the value of the home. Stick to neutral colours, and ensure the paint job looks professional.
  • Can you lift worn carpets or lino to reveal floorboards that you can polish to create a clean, modern feel. If you don’t have floorboards consider replacing with a medium-quality floor coverings
  • Replace tired cabinet doors and door handles in the kitchen and bathroom for an inexpensive and worthwhile lift. Re-grouting bathroom and kitchen tiles can make old tiles look new again
  • Create an outdoor entertaining area close to the house, and buy an inexpensive outdoor furniture set. You can do the same with an apartment balcony by adding some cheerful tubs of greenery and a barbecue

Leave larger-scale structural improvements to the new owners. You’re unlikely to get the money back you spend on upgrading the infrastructure such as re-wiring or re-blocking (replacing the foundations of your property).

4. Build more storage

One of the biggest complaints of home owners is lack of storage. Having a spacious open-plan living area or three bathrooms can be cancelled out if there is nowhere to store sheets, the vacuum cleaner or family memorabilia. Wardrobes are also often all too scarce — especially in older homes where people relied in the past on a big, old, freestanding wardrobe.

Here’s how to make more space for storage:

  • Rooms: Ensure each room in your property has some form of cupboard, cabinet or shelving. Even if the storage isn’t built in, you can show the room’s potential for fitting in a wardrobe or bookshelf
  • Linen cupboard: Everyone needs somewhere to store their sheets and towels. Perhaps you can sacrifice a section of a hallway, laundry or bathroom to install a freestanding cupboard or build one in. Make sure, though, that it’s made of material that can handle moisture and humidity. Bamboo, glass and chrome are good options
  • Shed: If you don’t have a garage, buy a garden shed big enough to fit a few tools and a bike or lawnmower

5. Find an enthusiastic and professional Real Estate Agent

You need to rely on a real estate agent to bring in buyers and get them interested in your home. Make sure the agent you choose understands your property’s good points and has the skills and commitment to market them with enthusiasm.

Think about whether an agent is the type of person who can communicate well to the kinds of people you’ve determined are likely to be interested in your home:

  • Does she dress appropriately?
  • Can she talk authoritatively without being intimidating?
  • Is he the kind of person who is likely to win the trust of your potential buyers and encourage them to make a good offer?

The key here is finding someone you trust  Real estate has changed a lot, the days of walking into your local agent to buy or sell a house are well and truly done.  Buyers now have all of this information at the end of their finger tips, they are savvy, have set up property alerts and have their finger on the pulse. 

The top 3 things you need in and from your agent is:

  1. Trust – Do you trust them to do the best thing by you
  2. Marketing ability – Do you trust that they can market your property effectively
  3. Negotiate – Do you they have the experience to negotiate you the best deal

If you look for and focus on the above 3 traits you will have a great experience usually in the shortest fuss free time

6. Target your marketing

Real estate agents often encourage you to spend thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing that may not even be appropriate for your property. Big glossy advertisements don’t necessarily result in bigger prices. More important is your digital marketing campaign, along with a well- designed and worded signboard outside your property that attracts and informs drive-by home-seekers. 

A good agent will guide you on where to spend your marketing budget for maximum return based on what is best for you and your property, not what is best for them or their profile.  Speak to us about our tried and tested marketing campaigns that will showcase your property without costing the earth

7. Price your home properly

List your home at a price that is likely to target the right buyers. Too high and you’re narrowing your potential buyer pool, too low and you’re only going to get the opportunistic bargain hunters.

Refer to your CMA (current market analysis) which must be provided by any listing agent called into your home.  Your CMA will contain a list of recent comparable sales that relate directly to your property.  Upon inspection of your property an agent will then essentially compare your properties position, character, condition and potential against that of actual recent sales and you will then agree on a suitable method of sale and an achievable price.

8. Dress to impress on inspection days

The repainting, polishing, cleaning and de-cluttering are all done. On inspection day, make sure your home is fresh and welcoming. Sweep the front step,  fill the entrance with light and put fresh flowers in strategic spots around the property.

Get rid of the kids and the pets — and all evidence of them, including toys, animal hair and smells. Clear the sink and kitchen bench, and put fresh towels in the bathrooms. Burn vanilla or peppermint essential oils no less than an hour beforehand. Have soft tasteful music playing in the background, and make yourself scarce.

9. Be prepared to negotiate

You may get an offer from a buyer that may be lower than you would like, you are under no obligation to accept an offer but take guidance from your real estate agent about the demand from buyers to date and over the course of your campaign.

In an auction sale, if the property is passed in at a price lower than you like, have some negotiating points ready to offer the under-bidder. Can they offer you a better price if you volunteer a longer settlement period, for example, or if you leave the collection of large, potted palms behind?

10. Ensure a smooth transaction from contract to settlement

A contract isn’t binding until each of you has a copy signed by both of you. If you’re selling via private treaty sale:

  • Make sure your agent can contact you immediately when she receives a good offer.
  • Have your solicitor/conveyancer on call to be able to get moving on the conveyancing, to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

For settlement day, make sure you:

  • Vacate the property (unless the sale goes through with tenants in place).
  • Leave it in the same condition it was in when your buyer signed the contract — otherwise the buyer has the legal right to delay or pull out of the settlement.
  • Organise the disconnection of all utilities.
  • Hand over the keys to the new owners.


Thinking of selling your home or investment property? Click here to get a Market Appraisal from an experienced and friendly BQNRE agent. We'll be sure to get you the best result for your Newcastle or Hunter property. 

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