So you’re ready to list your property for sale and you want to have the best possible chance of a quick sale for top dollar.

Whether you are selling an investment property or your well loved home, you will need to have the confidence to spend money in areas that will make you money and to know what can be left alone.

By finding answers to the following questions you will be better equipped to make confident decisions on where to direct your resources prior to selling.  

1. Is the real estate market in the area hot or cold?

Due diligence is the buzz phrase for savvy purchasers.  Yet vendors often don’t realise that due diligence is equally as relevant when selling a property.

Knowing whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market will determine how you spend your renovation dollars.  Here are some clues that you are in a seller’s market:-

  • Homes are being snapped up during the first home open
  • People are flocking to view properties
  • Houses are being sold close to asking price
  • The number of houses for sale is low, creating a buyer perception of scarcity

In a buyer’s market we experience little to no competition for properties resulting in more discerning purchasers who hold the negotiation cards in their hand.

So how can this knowledge determine how much you spend prior to sale?

When experiencing a seller’s market, the fear of missing out will be more prevalent in a buyer’s mind than whether or not there is a cracked tile in the bathroom.  There is no need to go overboard on fixing everything when buyers are riding the scarcity wave.

On the other hand, during a buyer’s market make sure everything looks spic and span.  Perception is again the key.  Spend money on minor repairs, fresh paint and modern furnishings to make your home stand out from the competition.

2.  Who is your ultimate buyer?

The second step in a vendor’s due diligence process is to discover the target demographic for your home.

Questions you can ask yourself are:-

  • Is your end buyer more likely to be a family, a professional couple or singles?
  • Does the location appeal more to retirees or Gen Y’s?
  • Is there a particular cultural or ethnic group likely to be interested in this type of property?

If you’re end buyer is a family, make sure the living areas are fresh and appealing and the garden looks spacious.

For a Gen Y target market, it would be beneficial to spend pre-sale dollars on highlighting entertainment options like big screen tv’s, games and alfresco party areas.

Money spent on ensuring free flowing feng shui will be recouped if you’re targeting Chinese immigrants.

Knowing your target market is an important piece of the puzzle when deciding where to direct your pre-sale funds.

3.  What does your competition look like?

It is easy to view homes for sale online and see how well they are presented.  If possible though, physically view comparable homes yourself.  You will glean a much better feel for properties, making it easy to decide where money needs to be spent.

For example:-

Do other homes have new kitchens while yours has a dated one? 

Whilst your kitchen will need attention, it’s not necessary to undertake the installation of an entirely new kitchen.  Adding new cupboard doors and splash back can create a similar feel at a fraction of the cost.

Does your home have a pink or purple 70’s bathroom while the competition is modern?

You will need to bring your bathroom into the 21st century but you don’t need to go to the expense of having everything brand new.  Consider a combination of new floor tiles with painted wall tiles and bath.  The perception of freshness will be similar to the feel of a brand new bathroom without the additional expense.

Do neighbouring homes have neglected gardens?

Carrying out some low cost landscaping at the front of the house will create the perception of a well maintained property before a purchaser even enters the door.

What next?

Whether or not you feel confident with your due diligence, speak to three local real estate agents and gain from their experience in the area.  Give them the respect they deserve and you will be rewarded with valuable information and insights that can not only save you hundreds but potentially make you thousands.

Do you have any questions, comments or success stories?  We’d love to hear your comments below.