Serious about sales: It isn’t all about the money

Written by Jade Kilpatrick

Property Sales: Why you need to get serious when it comes to selling.

The decision to sell your home is likely to have been made over a long period of long time, particularly if you have an emotional connection to it. From raising a family to celebrating Christmases, birthdays and countless milestones, the walls will have no doubt been witness to many events over the years.

Being mentally prepared to sell can be challenging, particularly if other aspects of your life are also undergoing change. Investors, however, will have a different type of motivation when it comes to selling, one which is usually more financially driven.

Whatever your reason to sell, it is a serious time and it’s important you are across all steps of the process. From correctly listing your home, to the cooling off process and what happens on the day of settlement, turning to an expert is likely to save you a lot of stress.

Selling a home is time consuming.

It can be tempting to sell your property yourself to avoid investing in a real estate agent. This, however, is usually a false economy. From setting a price, negotiating the deal and working through the minefield of administration, there is a lot that goes into a successful sale and ultimately, the commission you will have saved, will probably have been lost through time spent working your way through the legalities or worse still, achieving a lower sale price than you could have got from a good agent.

You will no doubt have seen the ‘for sale by owner’ listings and this can indeed work for some people however, it should be approached with caution. It can be off-putting for potential buyers who would rather deal with a professional for their own peace of mind.


Most of us will have gathered a sizeable amount of ‘stuff’ over the years, all with the best intention to put it to good use in the future. Moving house is the perfect time to take stock of everything you own and go through your belongings ruthlessly, passing on those which no longer serve you to others, or perhaps selling them if you’d like to boost your financial situation.

Not only will this improve the presentation of your property, but it will also save you money when you come to move. The cost of moving with a professional company is calculated in part on volume so therefore, the less you have to move, the less you have to spend. You’ll also feel a lot better after you’ve decluttered.


First impressions count. Make sure your home looks amazing from the outside so you can attract buyers. Often people will drive past before a home open and base their decision on whether they are interested in an inspection, on how they felt looking at the property from the kerb.

Don’t just focus on having everything in order for the open home, you will need to be ‘show ready’ for photography too. This includes the garden, particularly as aerial drone footage is now a common marketing tool in real estate.

Fixing defects

Every home has little defects which can end up becoming part of the furniture so much so, you may not even notice the broken kickboard under the sink anymore. A good tip is to ask a friend to walk around your home and point out anything obvious that can be quickly and easily fixed. For example, dripping taps, grubby walls, dents in the plasterboard etc. Make a list and then tick each item off as it’s completed.

Now is also a good time to give a fresh lick of paint to the walls to bring them to life. This will also help you detach emotionally should it be a sentimental home.
If you need to get a handyman in to assist, make sure you organise this in advance as good ones can be booked ahead for many weeks. Avoid the temptation to make any major decorative changes and stick to neutral improvements so the new owners can visualise themselves moving in. If too much of your personality is present, this can make it hard for buyers to form a connection, which is why keeping personal items such as family photographs hidden away during inspections, is wise.

Selecting the right agent.

Agents vary massively in personality, experience and results so choosing the right one for you for you, is vital. Take the time to visit their website, read their reviews and ask for recommendations from friends (or even via social media). Make sure you shortlist agents who have a strong track record in selling homes in your area and price range. If possible, visit them at their offices so you can get a sense of the company culture.

No two agents are the same

Make sure you meet more than one agent before making your choice, even if you think you’ve found the perfect match. When it comes to selling your most valuable asset, you can’t afford to cut corners or make snap decisions.

Having a genuine connection and feeling of trust is essential. An agent who was great for your friend for example, may not be the right person for you.
Qualities to look for in a good real estate agent include:
A positive first impression
Strong sales track record
Passion for their job
Great communication skills
Excellent negotiators

Negotiation is key

Being able to negotiate can mean the difference between an average sale price and a great sale price. A good negotiator will work hard to make sure you get the best price for your property and isn’t afraid to stand their ground if they believe the offer is too low.

Make sure you discuss their negotiation experience and approach before you engage an agent. There is a lot to be said about someone who wants a quick sale to get the commission, over someone who wants to work hard to get the maximum true value for your property, even if it does take a bit longer.

Speaking of time on the market, it is important that a property is priced to sell so it doesn’t become ‘stale’. Potential buyers will assume there is something wrong with it if it has been for sale for more than a few weeks.

It isn’t all about the money

Whilst getting the best price for your property is naturally one of the key outcomes of selling your home, other factors sometimes take priority. When sellers are in a chain, need to relocate, or have other life changing events such as a break-up, factors such as timeframes and the removal of unwanted stress play much bigger roles in the sale. Choosing an estate agent who can take you through different sale strategies to ensure the experience of selling your home meets your specific needs and circumstances, is vital.

When you have the right estate agent in your corner, not only will they respect your wishes, but they will also protect your investment.

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