Overview
In a strong property market, real estate seems to sell so easily but in a poor property market the whole process can be frustrating and expensive.

There is nothing worse than having a property just sitting there not selling while the marketing costs rise and the offers get lower.
Many are now taking control themselves and deciding to dump the real estate agent, saving the commission and selling their house themselves.

Using a traditional agent means you are using a professional and someone who should be objective.

But for those with an eye for detail and the patience and time to do the job themselves, there can be big savings if you follow the right steps.

Beware of Over-Capitalising
Of course, you need to be cautious about “over-capitalising” when preparing to sell. Replacing a bathroom and renovating a kitchen are expensive and, depending on the property and its location, may prove counterproductive in the effort to achieve the best price.

For example, if you were to take a quality home on a lot worth $800,000 in a suburb where the median house price was of that same value, then investing in a new kitchen and bathroom that cost, say, $100,000 may not be the best idea, as it is probably more difficult to sell that property at $900,000. This is partly because it is already above the suburb’s median house price.

Conversely, an original cottage in a well-established affluent suburb is more likely to benefit from renovations when preparing to sell due to the higher demand for “finished” properties in those sought-after areas.

Getting Your Asking Price Right
The price can’t be too high to discourage potential buyers, nor do you want to sell it for too little. The aim is obviously to maximise the sale price.

The asking price should be a starting point for negotiations, so it is advisable to leave some room for that.

It is generally unwise to accept the first offer but our view is if you get the price you want, then grab it.

Vendors should do their homework and base the asking price on comparable sales (of properties with a similar size, quality and location) obtained from local councils, the property sections of the newspaper and online.

Selling Tips
• The following tips can be of use:
• Fresh flowers in the house.
• Tidy up outside and add some fresh pot plants.
• Clean the windows.
• Turn on garden lights during night inspections.
• Remove pets during inspection times.
• Have lots of natural light with blinds open to maximise the home’s space and light.
• Remove junk and clutter.
• Ambiance still counts for a lot, so the smell of freshly brewed coffee and soft background music contribute to a “homely” feeling.

The Inspections Process
Inspections can make or break a private sale. Getting a potential buyer through the front door is an opportunity too good to miss. Be courteous and helpful with any queries but don’t be intrusive.

Stay in the background as much as possible and only get involved to answer questions or to point out attractive features.

Most visitors want to wander through the property at their own pace and see the areas of most interest. They don’t want to be badgered or feel as though they are imposing.

Ensure inspection hours are convenient and that you note the name, address, email and phone number of visitors so they can be followed up.

Hope the above helps.