6 mistakes to avoid as a first-time seller

Selling a property for the first time can be a big learning curve. It can also be an emotional time, as you prepare to part with a home that is likely to hold many happy memories.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reported there were 7,576 unconditional residential property sales in November, with many of those vendors being first-time sellers.

Before your property hits the market, here are six mistakes to avoid.


1. Being in a rush

Give the place a spring clean, declutter, make any small repairs and decide whether you’d like to hire a furniture staging company. It’s a good idea to wait for a sunny day before getting the professional photographer and videographer around to shoot your property. Ensure your advertisements are well-written, include as much detail as possible and tell a story about your property. All this happens before your home even hits the market, so don’t be in a rush.


2. Not hiring professionals

Listings that feature professional photography receive a much greater rate of views on realestate.co.nz. Professional photography ensures your home looks its best. Having access to beautiful high-res images of your home means you can advertise in print, digital and beyond. Ideally, you want at least 20 quality images of your home. A video (not a slideshow of pictures) that is no longer than two minutes in length will help transport potential buyers to your home.


3. Not spreading the word

Once your property is for sale, you should be shouting it from the rooftops. You want as many potential buyers as possible to cast their eyes over the place. Ensure your agent has a multi-pronged marketing strategy in place, including local property magazines, newspapers, online property websites and social media. Finally, let all your friends and neighbours know you are looking to sell – you never know where your buyer might come from.


4. Too high an asking price

Serious buyers are looking at property after property as they knuckle down to find their perfect home. After weeks of searching and dozens of open homes, these buyers become experts in what is on the market at that time for a particular price. If your asking price is too high, serious buyers may be put off and not even enquire. To ensure you are getting the right people through the door at your open home, speak frankly with your agent about the asking price.


5. Not being open home ready

Buyers want to see a property that is well cared for, so make sure your home is clean from top to bottom and tidied throughout before an open home. Buyers will look inside your cupboards and under the bathroom sink – will your place impress house hunters? Be sure to de-personalise – potential buyers want to picture themselves living in a property, so get rid of your family pictures and children’s ballet certificates.


6. Spending too much before hitting the market

Too many buyers get carried away with pre-sale repairs or renovations. You should look to fix all the small things on your DIY to-do list, like that broken latch on the front gate, but don’t go so far that you’re spending thousands on a renovation you might not see a return on.


Read more: 5 renovation tips to improve the value of your home

Read more: 6 reasons for apartment living

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