Some people choose to sell their home at different times outside the highly competitive spring selling season (September to December). Timing wise the real estate market in Sydney tends to shut down between Christmas and the end of the school holidays, so the next alternative time to put your property on the market is ahead of the Easter holidays.
The months of February and March are great months for home sales. You get to enjoy the warmer months in your current home, and take the little bit of extra downtime you might have over summer to get your property looking its best.
If this timing suits you and your property plans, then here’s our tips for getting your home ‘campaign ready’. We’ve outlined all the planning activities that you should put in place ahead of listing your home for sale.
Working backwards, these are the things you need to be aware of;
10. Super Saturday: In Sydney there’s been a tradition of property campaigns that end with an auction on what is affectionately known in the real estate industry as ‘Super Saturday’. This is the Saturday of the Easter long weekend. What happens is that local home sellers and prospective buyers are encouraged to come together and have their properties ready to sell or their finances in order with loan pre-approvals to buy and sell homes with greatest ease.
9. Easter home sales: As Easter falls at different times each year, between late March and mid April, the number of weeks that a home seller has (from Christmas to Easter) to get their home ‘listing ready’, and actively promoted, ranges from approx 12 to 15 weeks.
So what should you plan to do during this time?
8. Min four week promotional campaign: The standard time you should allow for a property marketing campaign that uses an auction is four weeks. You might want to increase this by a week or two for a home sold by private treaty (private negotiation).
- The first two campaign weeks are crucial for ensuring your marketing activities builds as much awareness as possible. We want everyone actively looking for a property to buy, located in the 2101 postcode, to see your home and determine whether it’s a great fit. This is when we use signage, real estate portal listings, our exclusive database and social media advertising to get as many people as are actively looking, plus local residents, to see your home and take an interest. Open homes are arranged mid week and on the weekend, allowing interested parties to come inside and look around your property, along with private inspections if requested.
- The final two to three campaign weeks are where the negotiations start. Whether you are selling by auction or by private treaty, as soon as buyers start to show interest in your property and ask your agent questions, this is when your real estate agent’s negotiation strategies and ability to read people comes into play. It’s at this point that we want prospective buyers to liaise with their solicitor or conveyancer. We want them to arrange building inspections or request contracts and strata reports, as these are sure signs that we have serious buyers that are fully engaged. We also want people to come back to inspect the home a second or third time – perhaps even with other members of their family in tow.
- Final week of the campaign: Whether you are selling via a public auction or less publicly using an expression of interest date, by this time your agent should have a clear idea as to how many serious buyers you have. Some but not all buyers may have made offers. It’s at this point that your agent can determine the best course of action to draw out all the bids and negotiate a final sale price for your property. One that you will be happy with and most importantly a price that has not left any money on the table. The agents with the best negotiation skills have honed them over many years, dealing with a multitude of people and selling scenarios. Some home buyers might be using a buyers agent and that’s where relationships between sales agents and buyers agents can help get a sale over the line more smoothly.
7. Private off market inspections: Ahead of publicly promoting your property for sale, your agent might suggest that they take several known buyers through your property to help gauge the market feedback and price point. By sending details of your home out to their buyer database they can find a handful of prospective buyers to take through the home. This feedback is vital to ensuring your advertised price is on point. You only have one chance to hit the market, and put your best foot forward. Unfortunately, homes that are set too high or reduce in price throughout a campaign signal to buyers that either you’re not ready to sell or you’ve not had enough interest. It’s important to list and sell quickly as homes that sit advertised for too long can fail to sell altogether. Hence, real feedback from active buyers ensures you can get straight out the gate with the right pricing strategy.
6. Marketing materials: Ahead of promoting your property, your agent will arrange for a professional team of videographers, photographers, copywriters and a floorplan draftsperson to visit your home to develop marketing materials such as brochures, signboards and online marketing. Your home will need to be looking its best at this point in time. So all major or minor works should be completed both inside and outside the property.
5. Home styling and landscaping: Sometimes it’s best to book the professionals – people that know how to take a regular home and help it look like a home seen in a magazine. Living in a home and selling a home are two very different scenarios. When we use our home every day, we have plenty of items in use and on display. However, when we open our homes for people to view them, we want their attention to be on how beautiful and functional the home is, with perfectly positioned furniture. We don’t want buyers to see piles of washing or paperwork that we’ve yet to do, or have difficulty navigating their way from room to room. With so many homes on large blocks in our 2101 suburbs, with gardens and yards, it is more time efficient to have a professional gardener or landscaper get your outside areas looking their best too.
4. Decluttering and deep cleaning: Unless you are able to live up to the benchmarks set by the likes of Marie Kondo, then most of us accumulate ‘too much stuff’ over time. For every bag of new belongings and homewares that come into our homes, garages and man sheds over the year, we should remove a bag. But alas that never happens and when we do decide to do a tidy up we have to remove items by the truck load. So hire a skip, book a council clean up or buy yourselves some large bins to help with reorganising and decluttering. And don’t forget to donate items to local charities or shelters. Once that task is out the way, you should then consider hiring professionals to do a deep clean of your home. Both inside and out. You’ll be surprised how good carpets, tiles, brickwork, sandstone and driveways can look after a professional polish or pressure wash. You’ll almost consider staying put as your home begins to look spotless again!
3. Repairs, maintenance or minor renovations: This is often the longest phase in the preparation for a house sale. We’ve all got a ‘rainy day to do list’ with a number of home improvements or repairs that are needed. And often, it’s only when we put our property on the market, is the time that everything on that check list is completed. Yes, that’s right, our homes look their best just before we hand them over to someone else to live in! Typical. In our experience it’s less stressful and far more time effective to get experienced tradesmen to come in and do the repairs and enhancements all in one go. And, we can help give you the numbers of professionals we know and trust, that support our property management team.
2. Talk to your real estate agent: Last but not least, the thing you should do ahead of any of the above, is to contact your favourite and most trusted real estate agent and ask them to pop around and discuss your property, its current marketability, where to put in the effort with home improvements before listing the home for sale. A skilled agent will be able to tell you straight where to put your efforts and how to ensure your money is well spent. They will tell you what current home buyers have on their must have checklists and what they can live without. They will give you an indication of what price point your property sits within, which will help you better plan your next move, whether that is upgrading or downsizing.
1. Start following the property market: It pays to become familiar with local properties that are being listed for sale, and what prices they are selling for currently. The real estate market has been on a bit of a roller coaster ride in recent years, so it pays to get to grips with the current status quo. You might also consider attending some open homes. We’d love to have you come to see the properties we sell at Hunter Estate Agents. We can then help you understand how your home compares to others in the local 2101 postcode.
If you are considering a February or March home sale, then you really want to touch base with your real estate sales agent ahead of Christmas, as after that time the weeks will disappear rapidly and before you know it, Easter will have arrived.
If you’d like advice relevant to your 2101 property then please do not hesitate to talk with me, Duane Hunter, or my team at Hunter Estate Agents. We’re always happy to give you tips and home sales advice, specific to your home.