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5 top tips from sellers in the current market

By Mo Zeitouneh

Vendors and agents are ideally placed to share real life insights into the property market.

From fixing up your home, negotiating offers, adjusting your expectations and more, we asked vendors who have listed or just sold about what you need to know about the process.

Plus, we checked in with the property experts at Master Advocates and Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) to find out what makes all the difference on auction day.

Here’s their top tips for navigating the property market this spring.

1. First impressions count

Minor renovations, repairs or cosmetic upgrades will improve your property’s value and help increase the chances of a quick sale.

Freddy Grant, who has just sold his home in Footscray, VIC, advises doing all the necessary little fixes before listing your property.

“First impressions are important — the majority of buyers want a property that’s ready to move into,” Freddy says.

A fresh coat of paint is one of the best bang for buck upgrades to make before selling. Picture: Getty

Mark Errichiello, Independent Buyers & Vendors Advocate at Master Advocates, says interior styling can make a big difference for creating a good first impression. It could be worth getting a pro to help spruce up your home.

“A home for sale that has been well prepared by a professional stylist can dramatically improve first impressions for all buyer types,” Mark advises.

“Owner occupiers may fall in love emotionally, and the investor is likely to prefer a well maintained home that can be rented out quickly.”

“An unkempt home could give the impression that the property requires additional cash outlay for repairs and upkeep.”

Quentin Kilian, CEO of the REIV says, “Remember that a buyer does not have the same emotional connection with your home that you have. You need to make them fall in love with it on the first viewing”.

2. Get your documents in order

Elizabeth Johnstone, from Newrybar, NSW, recently went through the process of selling her home. Her advice is simple: make sure you are as prepared as possible — it will make the entire process far easier.

“Give potential buyers a building and pest report, a survey and any council approvals” Elizabeth says. “If your agent has all this information and is able to answer questions, all the purchaser needs to think about is price.”

Mark also says it’s wise to engage a solicitor and/or conveyancer early to prepare the Contracts of Sale and Section 32 Vendors Statement.

“Ensure this is ready before the agent launches the advertising and marketing campaign. Too many times it is a great property being advertised and contracts are not ready.”

3. Be patient and flexible

Vendors need to be realistic about market conditions, Elizabeth says. Last year was one of the hottest property markets ever, but sellers need to adapt their expectations to the current climate.

“It’s a buyer’s market at the moment and you can’t expect the same level of sales prices that boomed during the pandemic,” she warns. “Don’t focus on how it was last month, last year or what the future may hold. Focus on the best price you can get now.”

A good real estate agent can help you work out what a realistic price is in the current market. Picture: Getty

PropTrack data shows that while buyer activity has picked up ahead of the spring selling season, so too has the number of listings. This has led to homes being on the market a bit longer before selling and lower auction clearance rates, relative to last year when the market was very hot.

Jenny Powler, who sold her Kensington apartment in Sydney last month, says potential sellers may have to be patient and flexible with your asking price.

“Rising interest rates have impacted borrowing capacity which means buyers have become more discerning.,” she says.

“If you’re willing to adjust your price to meet buyer expectations, it will help you achieve a quicker sale.”

Quentin says, “It’s so important to engage a good agent you trust and then listen to their advice and guidance on what is happening in your market”.

4. Know how to negotiate

Whether you’re weighing up an offer, or negotiating if your property passed in at auction, you’ll need to negotiate with the buyer to achieve the best price possible for your home.

No matter how hot the market is, you have to know what price you’re willing to sell for. Picture: Getty

Mark says work with your agent to understand the market and achieve the best outcome for you.

“Start the consultation process with sales agents early, it’s free advice to consider and put into action to help make an informed decision based on your personal risk appetite,” he says.

“Invite agents in to provide appraisals and advice at least a season before you anticipate selling, which may help you consider different perspectives from people in the front line of the industry and give yourself time to prepare and make improvements to the property.”

5. Auction expertise counts

Spring is auction season! But for sellers, putting your home under the hammer can be a nervous experience.

Auction day is the most important part of the sales process, says Quentin. Having highly trained and experienced agents and auctioneers in your corner can help you get the best possible price on the day.

“You want to ensure you have an experienced and well trained auctioneer — they can add thousands of dollars to the eventual sale price,” Quentin says.


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