I mentioned “Presentation” above as one of the 3 “P”s.
If you and your real estate agent are in agreement that the asking price is still right after spending some time on the market, there may be other levers you can pull to boost buyer interest.
It can be therefore helpful to view your home as a critical buyer.
Have you received honest feedback from people who have viewed the property about what they think the faults are? Have you talked about this with your real estate agent? This may be your dream home but it’s also likely that you’re oblivious to the issues that are putting people off your property.
Should I fix issues then?
In the current property market, buyers aren’t willing to pay a premium for a home if they see that it requires serious refurbishment and therefore they are taking on significant deferred maintenance. Maintenance is not capital improvement at all. In a boom market, escalating land prices hide the cost of the work required and buyers often pay over the odds to bet on capital gains (i.e. the price of land going up). (By way of historical background, they used to have depreciation for buildings which tells you all you need to know about the value of buildings.)
When the market softens, and the FOMO (fear of missing out) disappears amongst buyers, buyers look for reasons not to offer or to beat you down in price. And guess what? They certainly will exaggerate (either to you or in their minds) the amount that they need to spend in bringing the property up to standard.
Therefore you should consider whether it’s worth it to be fixing these issues (click here to see how you can renovate on a budget) and if your agent is highlighting to new and old buyers about such fixes? It’s always nice as owners to hear positive, glowing feedback from real estate agents on your home. But if you are not receiving any offers, then is your property really that ‘perfect’? Do you only want to hear the good stuff, or are you serious about selling your house after putting in that much effort?
More thought also needs to be given to the pre-market preparation, discussions and marketing approach (as outlined above).
Take the time to prepare your home for your target market. Basics involve having a good street appeal (first impressions!), a well-groomed section and clean, clutter free surfaces. This all works wonders when it comes to making people fall in love with your home. But don’t let your hard work go to waste.
And unfortunately, these days, getting it wrong upfront (i.e. picking the wrong salesperson for the wrong reasons (for e.g. friendship, ‘letter drops’)) could be the difference between selling, sitting on the market for long or not selling at all.
Consider your advertising copy and budget
And in this current property market, a lot of thought needs to be given to advertising copy. The advertising of your home makes a world of difference between a buyer coming to view and make an offer, or not coming at all. You will want top notch photography that can flag the key features, a well-considered photo sequence and solidly-written advertising copy that is bereft of grammatical errors. Unfortunately, many agents do not bother (or lack the expertise/ability) to change online advertising as this is controlled by third parties.
Throwing money at the problem (aka spending thousands on The New Zealand Herald or Property Press – sounds familiar?) also doesn’t guarantee anything – when not properly integrated with online advertising or the return on investment is ill-considered, these advertising mediums are more or less money pits.