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10 Hot Tips When Wanting to Sell a Residential Property for a Top Price

Experienced vendors already know these tips but they are worth repeating so those less experienced can gain from their knowledge.

The following are buyer turn-off’s that vendors should avoid at all costs or run the risk of losing a buyer and worse having the property on the market for a longer time than necessary. Properties on the market for a long time are known to sell for less money with the market assuming there is something wrong with the property or the ownership that is negative.

If you present your property correctly using an experienced broker, the property will hopefully only be on the market for a few weeks, not the months and years that is normal in some less sophisticated South American markets.

10 Hot Tips When Wanting to Sell a Residential Property for a Top Price

1. Cleanliness
Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a dirty or smelly property. No experienced broker will represent a property that is not been previously cleaned and presented properly.

Vendors need to go the extra mile, from steam-cleaning tiles and grouting to replacing old carpets or removing them and polishing the floors if they are wooden.

2. Smells 
Buyers, it’s said, buy with their noses. Make sure your home smells fresh and inviting.
“Odours are a big one, especially kitchen odors,” Do not to cook fried food, Indian Curry, Chinese,  fish or greasy food while the house is on the market.”

Some pet owners mistakenly believe pet smells to which they’ve become accustomed help make their abode homely. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you’re a doggy person, you may believe everyone else is a dog person. But the truth is, 50 percent of the population hates dogs and doesn’t want to be near them.

Eliminate all traces of roaming pets, not just the pet odors. It’s important to get rid of pet toys etc and have a “pet plan” to make sure the animals are not around when the house is shown.

A lot of times, people will leave pet items out – dog dishes, cat litter boxes, etc.  That immediately turns off a potential buyer because they wonder, ‘What has that animal done in the house?’ Also, many people don’t like dogs in a house. The minute they walk in and see a dog bowl inside, they immediately like the houseless.”

The same rules hold true for smokers: Remove all ashtrays, clean all curtains and upholstery, and consider smoking outdoors while your home is on the market. Don’t leave the butts lying around outside.

“Interestingly, next to the kitchen, the smelliest room in the house is actually the living room, That’s typically the room that has the most fabric, so that is where odors get absorbed.”

3. Old fixtures and Fittings
Want buyers to roll their eyes? Leave old out of period fixtures on your doors and cabinets.

“You need to change out old fixtures in your house unless they are in keeping with the period of the property ie antique.

The same holds true for dated ceiling fans, light fixtures, Air conditioning and kitchen appliances.

Homes that have old fans, lights, ovens, microwaves, ranges, and dishwashers can really turn a buyer off.  Vendors might say, ‘Oh, the buyers can take care of that.’ Well, yes they can, but it’s going to impede you from getting the highest price possible for your home.”

4. Wallpaper or Patterned Walls
Your grandmother may have had it in every bedroom. Your mom may have loved it as a room accent. But today’s buyer wants no part of your wallpaper.

Wallpaper is a definite no-no. Wallpaper is a pain to remove and simply adds another chore to a buyer’s to-do list.

Wallpaper is often extremely personalized. You’ve spent hours looking over books to pick out the wallpaper you want what are the odds that the person walking in the door will also like that same wallpaper that you picked out?

5. Too many personal items
Psychologically, when buyers tour a home, they’re trying it on to see how it fits, just as they would a skirt or a pair of pants. If your house is cluttered with too many personal items, it’s like the buyer is trying on those clothes with you still in them. A fit is unlikely.

“Anything that makes your house scream ‘you’ is what you don’t want,”  How we decorate to live and how we decorate to sell are completely different, and right now, we’re decorating to sell.”

Vendors should try to eliminate personal items, including family photos, personal effects, and even unique colors.
“As soon as you have family photos, large nudes etc, buyers get very distracted. ‘Oh, did I go to school with him or her? What do their children look like?'” she says. “Suddenly, you’re selling your family, and you’re not selling the home.”

6. Vendors who stay in the home while it is shown. – A big no-no.
Brokers and buyers alike generally bristle when the vendors greet them at the door for a showing. Vendors will want to walk around with the potential buyer and put in their two cents’ worth. It’s only natural but not good for selling. Normally, there are only one out of 50 sellers where it’s OK to have a vendor there, and that’s because they know what is up with the property and how everything works.”

“They like to think they know what they’re doing, and that’s fine, but when you’ve sold thousands of homes and you have a system and you know how to get people the maximum value for their home it bad practice. That’s why you are the broker, not them?”

7. Misrepresenting your home
Misrepresenting your house online is a sure way to really upset buyers.

Sellers are going to paint the best picture they can. For example, photos taken of view without a reference to the property are worthless to a cynical market. When you get there, you wonder why didn’t they just be upfront?

8. Poor Roadside Appeal
Much is made of curb appeal, and for good reason: It’s your home’s handshake, the critical first impression that lasts with most buyers.

“You have to totally trim and edge your yard to get it into the most immaculate condition you can, “It’s a big mistake to not freshly mulch the flower beds and trim the trees. Every little detail counts.
“To not steam-wash the exterior or leave mud and wasp and bird’s nests in your eaves and above your doors?

9. Clutter and Junk
Whether inside or out, less is more when it comes to furnishing. Too much furnishing makes a property feel smaller than it really is.

Start in the wardrobes. They should be half-full with nothing on the floor. Why? Because most people looking for a house have outgrown their previous house. Showing them that you’ve still got room to grow gives them a reason to buy.”

Kitchens and built-in bookshelves should showcase spaciousness by following the rule of three. For kitchens, there should be no more than three countertop appliances. Meanwhile, bookshelves should be divided into thirds: one-third books, one-third vases and pictures, and one-third empty.

The home office/ study should be very generic so any type of professional can imagine using it.

10. Contact us direct for the most important item of all.  A selling plan.

www.gatewaytosouthamerica.com

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Gateway to South America

About Gateway to South America

Gateway to South America was established in 2006 as a single office in Buenos Aires. The company has since expanded into a vibrant regional network, servicing the Southern Cone clients in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay with professional real estate marketing services. If you enjoy reading our news site please share it on your social media below.

Comments from our readers

1 Comments
  • 16/04/2012

    I am often asked why transaction fees are so high and properties are so slow to sell in our markets. To me the answer is simple. The two issues are related. A mostly informal market means there are people acting as sales people who normally have another vocation and never have invested the time in learning the skills of marketing and selling property professionally. Many of these opportunists rely on luck to find a buyer and then due to lack of training and experience lose the buyer delaying the process. GTSA spend a very large amount of time and money training our people to use modern selling systems like vendeRAPIDO which we have now licensed.