Ready to move up in the world? Time to sell the old house then, and buy something with a pool, gym, and pretentious neighbour. But don’t rush into it; there’s a lot of wiggle room when it comes to resale units. Property is meant to be an asset, and after years of loan repayments, you deserve a decent profit. In this article, I examine some ways to raise your valuation:
1. Patience is Everything
It’s about holding power. If you’re in a rush, you need to jump on the first offer. But if you’re in no hurry, you can just set an asking price and wait. Sooner or later, a willing buyer will turn up.
Think about that before buying your new property. If you need to pay for your new home immediately, you’ll have all the holding power of a toddler restraining a bulldog. Whenever possible, wait till you’ve secured the best price for your home before shopping for a new one.
As an alternative to price, consider setting a timetable. For example, plan to sell by a certain date, and when that deadline is reached, sell to the best buyer. Either way, plan so that you sell when you want to, not when you have to.
2. Make Home Improvements
Planning to sell in two to three years? Start making home improvements. True, these cost money; but no one will buy a house that looks like they filmed Saving Private Ryan in it. Some home improvements have a pay off that’s much higher than their cost.
Cheap improvements to consider are:
- Hanging mirrors to visually widen hallways and brighten rooms
- Repositioning furniture away from windows (it looks more spacious)
- Polishing wood and marble surfaces
- Smoothing curled wallpaper or vinyl flooring
- Change cracked or stained shower heads / taps
Since you’re going to move out anyway, throw out or e-Bay your unwanted stuff. It makes your place look less cluttered, and it you’ll save on moving costs.
3. Multiple Agents
Don’t listen to the first property agent you meet, and always leave friendship out of it. The most common mistake is picking an agent who’s a friend or a nice guy, and not consulting others.
Even if your buddy has the best intentions, no single agent has perfect knowledge of the market. The property market is like bowling blindfolded after a 12 bar binge; it’s as much luck as skill, as much hope as actual aim. Try to meet with at least three or four property agents, to get a feel for the right asking price.
Sometimes, sheer luck will net you a fantastic profit; even if the agent is not better connected than the others, he may know someone who just happens to want a house like yours.
4. Be Involved
An agent can handle the selling, but you should stay involved. Every showing, ask what prospective buyers were interested in, then take action.
If buyers complain about the noonday heat, for example, consider putting up some blinds. That’s a $150 expenditure that could result in a $50,000 profit. Likewise, tracking the feedback will alert you if your asking price can be raised. If buyers crowd your showings like it’s free coffee day at Starbucks, you know you can ask for more.
Don’t assume agents will, on their own initiative, advice you to raise your price. While agents stand to gain from a higher commission, a more expensive house takes longer to sell. The agent might rather close multiple, cheaper deals in the time it takes to close yours.
5. Co-ordinate With the Agent
Make sure you and your agent are on the same page. A serious buyer will be talking to both of you at some point; picture what happens if you say “there’s nothing wrong with the pipes,” when your agent just explained: “the plumbing needs minor repair.”
That would be a hiccup. Imagine the same thing happening with regard to price. So unless you want your property sale to resemble the plot of a Phua Chu Kang episode, please you co-ordinate your answers with your agent. Remember that property buyers are a nervous bunch; many have never handled that much money in their lives. They’re jumpier than a hamster in a python exhibit, and the slightest discrepancy will panic them.
As a general rule, always rehearse answers with your agent. Do it before meeting buyers.
How did your last property sale go? Comment and let us know!
Keep updated with all the news!
Get the latest personal finance tips and tricks delivered to your inbox!
We promise never to spam you!