It is important you are totally committed to sell your apartment. This may seem like an odd tip but throughout a sale process there are critical moments when you may need to revisit your commitment to sell your apartment, which will help guide you through your decisions.
If you are 100% committed to selling you will invest in the best marketing and presentation which will maximise the sale price. The additional cost will be recovered many times in the higher sale price and faster selling time.
“If you are 100% committed to selling you will invest in the best marketing and presentation which will maximise the sale price.”
The first thing to remember is a house agent is different to an apartment agent, but many try to do both. Just for a moment, imagine you are a real estate agent with a $4,000,000 house for sale as well as a $400,000 apartment for sale. Which one would you spend the most time on? Correct, the one that pays you the bigger fee and brings you the most kudos. And if you run that real estate agency, which salesperson are you going to dedicate to the St Kilda apartment? Your most experienced person or the one still learning the ropes? Correct again… the less experienced one.
Two things many sellers ask a real estate agent is “how much? …and how much?
“How much is my apartment worth?”, and
“How much is your fee?”
These are two important questions, but they are not the best criteria on which to select your apartment agent as some may suggest a high value to attract your interest in hiring them.
Of course, it’s about the money, but the best agent will get you the best price by implementing a high quality marketing and presentation strategy. The agent’s job is to advise you on how to optimise the presentation and marketing so they can negotiate the highest price whatever that may be.
The second “how much” question relates to the agent’s fees. This is also not a very good criteria to select an agent. Fees are negotiable and are best discussed once you are satisfied you have found the best agent for you and your apartment. Any small difference in fees between the agents will be repaid to you many times in the price achieved, the advice provided and the service delivered.
The net cost of the best agent will always be the cheapest. In other words, the best agent will get you the best net price (sale price less the fee) making them the cheapest as a lesser agent may cost you much more in a lower sale price or selling time and/or poor advice.
Do I sell by auction or private sale? It’s a key question and the answer will depend on how you and your apartment rate on the following questions.
a. How special or unique is your apartment?
b. How strong is the market for this apartment?
c. How committed are you to present it in the very best way?
d. How realistic are you on the acceptable sale price?
e. How comfortable are you with the theatre of auction day?
The higher you score in each question the greater the case for an auction. Your agent will advise you specifically but it’s worth a good discussion as it is an important issue.
An auction works best when two or three people compete and bid the price up to meet or exceed your reserve price. For this to happen you must have an apartment that is highly desirable, and a buoyant market (or the marketing power of a reality TV show!).
If you’re an investor and have a tenant living in your apartment you may have a decision to make. While you can’t ask a tenant to leave if there is a lease in place, if the lease has expired (or will in the next few months) the question is… do you leave the tenant in your apartment while you sell it, or do you ask them to move out?
If you ask the tenant to move out you lose a few months’ rent, but the difference in the presentation, sale price and speed of the sale, easily outweigh this cost or lost rent.
If the tenant stays in the property during the marketing, you can’t control the quality of the presentation either in person or on the web. The photos used on the web listings will be taken while the tenant is there and will almost certainly not show your apartment off in its best light. This will limit the number of people engaging and inspecting your apartment. If it doesn’t look good online people may not inspect it so your sale will miss many buyers.
Even if a tenant looks after your apartment beautifully, once they hear their home is being offered for sale their life is disrupted and they may vacate during the marketing. This means buyers can suddenly be met with removalist boxes and mess at open for inspections.
Unfortunately, lost rental income is just a cost of sale and you should always ask your tenant to move out prior to the marketing commencing if you can. Just remember if your tenant is on a fixed term lease (i.e. not monthly) you cannot ask them to move).
This is where you need to dig deep into your commitment to sell the property for the best possible price because marketing and presentation costs can be steep, but it is super important to do it well.
The correct presentation and marketing depend on your specific apartment and your apartment agent will advise you to the best plan. It is often considered expensive to promote an apartment for sale especially as (unlike the agent’s fee) it is money spent that is not conditional upon the apartment selling.
Here is a summary of the main areas of marketing.
This is pretty self explanatory but your apartment presentation must really pop and shine.
It is often difficult to know how much to spend on marketing other than to take you agent’s advice.
A premium internet advertisement costs the same for every property regardless of its value. For a $700,000 – $900,000 apartment, the marketing budget would be about $5,500 (plus furniture hire for staging / styling of $3,500).
A $450,000 apartment will cost about $4,500 (plus staging of $2,200) as most costs are fixed regardless of the apartment’s value.
Your apartment agent will advise you on best marketing mediums for your apartment.
Here is a summary of the usual components: