With Whanganui's property market remaining buoyant, there are plenty of buyers out there and they're quickly snapping up properties.
But if you're selling your home, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, especially in a sellers' market. Here are some tips for sellers to avoid common mistakes and get the best price for your property.
Get into presentation mode and make the best first impression
• Weed the gardens, mow the lawn, remove rubbish, spruce up the front door and entrance, plant some greenery if you don't have it already.
• Do all the DIY jobs you kept putting off. Buyers love to inspect everything so if they see something wrong they'll suspect other faults. You don't need to get into full scale renovations though.
• Declutter - and when you've done it, do it again. Rid your home of junk. If you think it's cluttered, buyers will too. Pack away family photos and kids' gear. Clean like the in-laws are coming to stay. But keep enough accessories to make your home feel homely, not sterile. If you don't declutter enough, the professional photos will look cluttered.
• Relook at the layout of your rooms. There may be changes you can make that won't cost much but will make a big difference to the look of the room. Pulling chairs and sofas away from the walls makes the room appear bigger. If the room has a focal point, arrange the furniture to make the most of that.
• Stick with a theme. Don't chop and change between shabby chic, Scandinavian and modern boho - stick to a theme throughout.
• Accessorise. Use a natural palette for walls and floors and add colour with accessories, cushions and artwork. Use real plants in every room, including herbs in the kitchen.
Your agent can also give you advice on how to present your property.
Choosing an agent
• Make sure you get several appraisals.
• Work with an agent you like and trust.
• Check the package you're being offered and make sure you're getting bang for your buck. The details can be hidden within lots of enticements to get you to sign up.
• Get professional photos taken of your property.
• Understand the competition. Know what's happening in the real estate market in your suburb or area so you get your own sense of the value of the property compared with others that buyers are looking at.
• Understand your property, warts and all. You know your property's good bits – that's part of the marketing plan - but you also need to honestly assess the problems. You need to disclose these to agents, so that they can disclose to potential buyers – if you don't both parties may be in trouble. Even though a buyer does due diligence, if you hide known faults, you and your agent could be in trouble.
Timing. The right timing for a seller is when they are ready, with the homework done and clearly understand the market, their property and the process.
Remember it's a business deal
• Don't get emotional. You have an emotional attachment to your house. But the minute you're selling a house you're in business: you have a product to sell; you need to present that to as many buyers as you can; you need to work prices and marketing with experts; you need to close the deal and move on.
• Sources: Annie Gilroy, Tall Poppy Real Estate Wanganui; OneRoof.