Tips for “private sale” owners

investSummer, the busiest property selling season, is upon us and many owners are considering moving without using a real estate agent.

Of course, being a real estate agent the first thing I’m going to tell you is to talk to an agent in your area and get on as most homebuyers are starting their search on the Internet and is the most trusted source for consumer Real Estate information.

However, if you simply can’t afford the commission or have your own reasons for not working with a Real Estate professional, there are some things you can do to make your house more attractive to buyers and to expose it to more of them.

THINK LIKE THE PRO’S – Don’t try to save money by taking photos with your digital camera or putting up a sign you created with a felt pen.

For about $200 you can get a professional photographer to take high quality photos and a good signboard should cost you a similar amount.

CLEAN YOUR HOUSE – Get it so clean your in-laws wouldn’t recognize it.

Polish all shiny surfaces, hardwood floors and granite are especially impressive when they sparkle.

Hardwood and granite polish can be purchased at any standard retail store like Mitre 10, Hammer hardware, Place Makers etc.

Bathrooms and kitchens need to be spotless, no dirty grout, no dirty dishes, no food sitting out, no dirty clothes or towels or dish rags in sight.

Vacuum and mop your floors, no dust bunnies or scuff marks should be visible. Dust displays and trinkets on shelves, a dusty house makes people sneeze and frown.

Rely on the fresh smell of a clean house, don’t over-perfume with candles, sprays or plug-ins. Many people are sensitive to perfumes and will wonder what you’re trying to cover up.

MOW THE LAWN – The first thing a potential buyer sees is the view from the street, make sure it’s a nice one.

Mow your grass, weed your flower beds, prune dead foliage and trim the hedges.

Do not leave toys, trash cans, tools or other distractions lying out.

DECORATE TO SELL – You want your potential buyers to see their future home, not your stuff.

Take personalised pictures and hangings off the walls, remove fake plants or sculptures and other personalized art, minimize furniture, get a storage unit if you have to.

Make sure an implied flow of traffic is present so that when potential buyers walk through the front door they feel compelled to make their way through the whole house.

This is achieved by arranging furniture and light in a way that is inviting.

From the 1973 Bloomingdale’s Book of Home Decorating (Source nadja.robot at Flickr)

PUT THE HOUSE IN THE PUBLIC EYE – Advertise your home for sale.

The most effective ways are on well-known and frequently visited websites.

Be sure to emphasize important features like the floor area, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of the section the house is on, new additions and benefits (new kitchen appliances, new roof, recent bathroom remodels).

Refrain from wasting readers’ time with long narratives or overly-descriptive “flowery” words.

GET YOUR REPORTS DONE EARLY – Get a home inspection, Then advertise that the inspection has been done.

If any of your report notes a problem with a particular system in the house, get an additional inspection done by a specialist and fix whatever may be wrong (ie If the builder notes missing tiles on your roof or evidence of water damage in the attic, have a roof specialist assess the integrity of the roof and have it repaired or replaced if you can afford it).

Remember, if you have knowledge of any material facts affecting the property or its marketability, you MUST DISCLOSE THIS TO A BUYER.

A LIM report from your local council will be appreciated by prospective purchasers and may save you time in the negotiation and conditional contract periods.

A QV e-valuer (estimate of market value) valuation is an affordable way the may help you underpin your asking price.

I would like to wish you the best of success in your selling endeavors and hope to service you as a buyer when you finally sell.

If you ever need assistance please remember I have helped many private sellers in the past so feel free to contact me.

Good luck with your sale
This post is based & adapted with permission from a post by Jessica Murr. Jessica Murr is a Realtor in Far Northern California specializing in luxury homes, ranch properties, real estate sales consulting, social media and networking, first time homebuyers, and real estate investment planning.