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Selling Your Home Yourself: Part 6 – What if it just doesn’t sell?

2423 forsalebyowner
2423 forsalebyowner

Selling your home is a tricky business. It’s hard to see the bad points in a place you’ve lived in and loved, maybe for years. But if your home has been on the market for four or five months with no result, it might be time to change your strategy.

Take a good hard look at the property. Do a really thorough audit of your home’s negative points. If you can’t see any, invite an opinionated friend over and tell them to let rip. You never know what might be getting in the way of selling your home. If your home has really tired interiors, it might be worth suspending open homes for a few weekends and sprucing things up. Likewise, if your garden is an eyesore, a few days of hard digging and planting some potted colour might make all the difference.

Be realistic

If your home has serious downsides, research them as thoroughly as you can. If your home is near a proposed motorway site, for example, make sure you know everything possible about the construction, and timeframe etc. Have all the council information on hand if people ask about it.

Target your market

If your advertising has been quite generic, now is probably the time to get down to specifics. If your home is a do-up, push that angle. If it would be ideal for renters or flatters, push that too. If it’s a candidate for a major renovation, be frank about it. You want to get people who are interested in what you’re selling through your door, not people who expected something else and will be disappointed.

Increase your advertising. It might be time to do more print advertisements, add more images and details to your TradeMe account or look for other and better ways to advertise your home. 

Think about price. Your home may be too expensive. It’s a tough realisation, but an important one in the current market. Even if you’ve had an independent valuation and have priced accordingly, you might need to review this to ensure the house at a price point the market will accept.  If your house is priced on a cusp, such as $403,000, I would strongly suggest getting the price under the nearest hundred-mark, even if it’s only by a few thousand. So you might price it at $398,000. When I used this tactic with my home, there was a surge of new interest in the property.

If you are becoming overwhelmed, it might be time to think about hiring a good agent. A major advantage with using an agent is that they have access to marketing avenues that you don’t, such as the Property Press, and websites such as open2view. Your home will therefore be exposed to a whole new group of people. Also you’ll have the relief of handing over control of the whole process to someone else. You will have to pay the commission and advertising costs though, so keep that in mind. And choose wisely – ask friends for recommendations of agents they’ve used, and ask the agents themselves for references