How to get serious about selling

When the time comes to sell your home, you may find that you have feelings of severe anxiety, regret or being under pressure to move – and because there isn’t much legal provision for sellers to change their minds after accepting an offer, it might be better to wait a while until you are really sure this is what you want to do.

“However if you can’t bring yourself to accept an offer and the house lingers on the market for an extended period, prospective buyers will naturally start to wonder why you haven’t sold it or think that there must be something wrong with it,” says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterLife Home Loans, SA’s biggest bond originator.

“And this means you will probably end up getting less for it than it is actually worth, so the best advice is that you should actually only put your home on the market once you are certain you are ready to let go of it.”

A step-by-step selling strategy

  1. Make sure you have a good idea of where you’ll be living next

You should also plan to rent or intend buying a new home. Having a good reason for relocation – like a new job, or living closer to family – can also make you more motivated to sell your home, and make it easier to clean, paint and get it ready for sale.

  1. Be business-like when choosing an estate agent to market your home.

You should ask more than one reputable agent to value the property and present you with a marketing plan. You should also ask them for recent references and check these before deciding who to work with.

Rademeyer says: “Try not to be sentimental, and be certain to eliminate any agent who estimates a much higher selling price for your home than the others, as he or she is probably just trying to butter you up to get the mandate, and is clearly not really in touch with the market.”

  1. Price your home for a fast sale.

Once you’re ready to sell, you don’t want the process to take months and months while you keep rehashing the decision. Consequently, you need to try to find your buyer within the first two to three weeks of listing, which is when most properties for sale attract the most interest. However, you will lose this interest if your asking price is too high at this point, and then it will become progressively more difficult to sell.

“So make sure you get a proper comparative market analysis (CMA) from your agent and then work together to set an initial price guaranteed to get maximum attention from prospective buyers,” says Rademeyer.

  1. Put your game face on.

“It’s really worth spending some time and money to get your home looking its best before you put it on the market – and to keep it in great condition while it is being marketed. Not only will it sell faster and probably for a higher price, but you will also have a better selling experience, as buyers are more likely to be able to see and appreciate what you love about the property. What is more, if you have to clear and declutter your home before it goes on show, you will be well on your way to a much easier moving day.”