Profiting from a sale
The following tips will help you cash in when it’s time to sell
your home, says Jane Drew
1. Buy to sell
You are in a good position to sell if you thought ahead when you first bought your home, taking into account its up-and-coming location or the lack of supply of apartments of its type. But even if you didn’t, selling at a profit shouldn’t pose a problem if you adopt the right strategy.
2. Know the market
The first thing you need to do is price your home competitively. Do a little research, your own comparable market analysis, to establish approximately how much homes like yours in your neighbourhood are worth. This kind of knowledge can be invaluable during the negotiating process.
3. Make improvements
It goes without saying that you need to repair anything that needs it, but you also need to think carefully about additional, larger-scale improvements. Concentrate only on those that will substantially raise the value of your home. Research shows that buyers look first to the service areas, so remodelling kitchens and bathrooms can pay dividends, as can finding room for a second bathroom preferably an en suite.
4. Stand out
The first few days after a property is listed are very important, so make sure your agent plans to maximise that time. The more exposure your home gets, the more likely it is that buyers will view it, and quickly submit a satisfactory offer.
5. Get it in writing
All too often, home sellers sign a listing agreement with a real estate agent without knowing much about his services and marketing plan. Your realtor should be able to provide you with a basic outline stating how he intends to market your house, regardless of your price range or your agreed upon commission.
6. Be available
Make sure your home is as easy to show as possible. This typically means being willing to vacate the premises, at a moment’s notice, when a prospective buyer asks for a viewing. Agents pay attention to showing instructions, especially when their time is limited: don’t put any obstacles in their way.
7. Befriend your agent
The commission you offer to a real estate agent needs to be competitive; find out how much other sellers with comparable homes are offering. If you are trying to decide between offering a competitive commission or a non-competitive commission with a bonus, choose the first.
8. Involve us
It’s worth paying for a detailed listing, which includes photos of the exterior and any great views that can be seen from your home, as well as interior shots of key rooms. It goes without saying that www.squarefoot.com.hk is your best marketing resource, so make sure your property is listed with us both in print and online. If you are working without a realtor, check out our Owner to owner section on page 72.
9. Set the stage
There is no getting around it, a home that has been cleaned, decluttered and freshly painted prior to being placed on the market will generate a faster sale and a higher sale price. Think about putting the bulk of your furnishings into storage, so buyers are looking at a comparatively black canvas. In addition, invest in a professional home inspection report, as this will alert you to any potential ‘negatives’ buyers may find.
10. Seal the deal
Making money in real estate can be as simple as holding on and waiting until the time is right, but if you are looking for a quick sell, provide enticing concessions that won’t break the bank long-term. These can include paying the first couple of mortgage payments, providing credit for new carpeting, appliances or necessary repairs, and covering closing costs.
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