Even if you are lucky enough to live in a market with low inventory versus high demand, the following steps are still necessary to get properties ready for sale – even in booming markets (um, think Dubai). Whether you are listing property as a” for sale by owner” or are an agent representing a seller pay close to attention to the following hints.
Price it right. Where do housing prices come from? The market and not someone’s dream price. Sellers- all those memories are of value to you, they do not have any direct impact on the market value of your property. The only real way to set the price is to look at the competition.
If you are an agent, you need to ask your client what they think their property is worth. If they think it is worth a lot more than it really is, show them a similar property to theirs that is priced at fair market value. As an agent, your job is to be gentle with them but set realistic expectations and to make sure they understand how you arrived at the price you have.
Stage the property. While still in its infancy in the Middle East, staging gets results. What is staging you ask? It is presenting a house in the best possible way. That means: free of clutter, minimal furniture, neutral walls, spotlessly clean and manicured gardens. Getting rid of the clutter can sometimes be difficult. Mary may love her ceramic cat collection that is displayed in curio cabinets located in every room in the house, but to potential buyers this can be a real distraction. Be sensitive when you tell Mary to place her ceramics cats in storage. If need be, take her to a beautifully staged property so she can see how this makes a difference.
Make necessary repairs. Some repairs cost much less than potential buyers may think. If a kitchen needs updating, you might be able to get away with a fresh coat of paint and new pulls and handles. In this case, the seller needs to undertake this low cost solution as a potential buyer may assume the repairs are much more costly than they really are.
Prepare the Seller to Negotiate. So the house is priced right, the market is booming but there are no serious buyers. Have the seller ready to negotiate. Negotiation can be anything from offering to upgrade appliances to throwing in the flat-screen TV that is in the living room or the high end barbeque on the patio. Make sure your seller (or you if you are selling as an owner) is not going to lose a sale over something that is relatively small and easy to offer.
Keep that property impeccably clean. If the seller needs to have daily maid service then arrange it. It is much easier to sell a clean property than one with dishes in the sink or unmade beds.
Photograph the property properly. People people people, we see it all here. People submit property listings with photographs of dirty kitchens, beds that are have no linens on them and oddly sometimes piles of dirt just piled up in a room. It is 2014, the internet is not in its infancy. Marketing a property online without quality photos and great descriptions is not going to compete against the listings that are photographed well, staged properly, and clean, etc. So make all necessary repairs, stage the property, photograph it professionally, keep it really clean and be prepared to negotiate. And most likely you will have a sold property in no time flat.