You have decided to list your property to sell. However, being unprepared can lead to you wasting precious amount of time and additional headaches before you begin opening the door to your house for prospective buyers.
You may also wonder what went wrong even after listing your property for weeks and showing to multiple buyers with no results and zero offers.
I would like to share with you 9 simple and effective tips which I have used to help some of my home owners to sell their properties faster!
#1 Start with a fresh coat of paint
A fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceilings can work wonders to a house!
Typically, a house that has not been given a paint job for a few years tend to look worn off, darker and sometimes even dirty.
A simple paint job is a small cost to spend right before the marketing of the unit for sale. It is best recommended that you either keep the choice of paint colour neutral or otherwise white paint is usually the best option.
#2 Get rid of unnecessary clutter
Back in 2015, I met a retired couple who were looking to downgrade their 5 room HDB to a smaller 2 bedroom condo unit in the East. The 5 room HDB they were looking to sell had a sizeable 1184 sqft squarish layout. It was however lacking in proper walking spaces and looked extremely dark due to the amount of big old furniture and household clutter they have accumulated over the years in the house.
After my first visit to the house, my advice to them was to part and get rid of the clutter, so that we can free up as much walking space as possible and make the entire house look brighter with a new coat of white paint.
The couple were a little reluctant at first to dispose so many items which they have kept and used for many years, but they soon realised the benefits of doing so as their unit eventually took less than 2 weeks on the market to receive an offer from a buyer.
Decluttering the house affects the overall appearance and gives the buyers a positive perception of the unit. Getting rid of unused, unnecessary and bulky furniture allows more spaces to walk around during the viewing, while also giving the prospective buyers the perception that the space looks bigger.
However, one major disadvantage of removing bigger items in the house is that sometimes they will reveal moulds and dirt underneath or behind them. This brings me to my first tip to give the house a fresh coat of paint.
You may also consider staging your house with newer furniture and prioritise on areas you wished to let the buyers focus on. For example, simple add on touches such as table cloth on dining, vases or paintings on the walls improves the overall visuals to the house.
#3 Pay attention to lightings
Unfortunately, some units will still look a little dark even though they just had a new coat of paint and/or after removing all the unnecessary clutter. This can be due to the overall positioning and facing of the house such as having its windows blocked by building, trees or structures right in front or near it. This causes the lack of natural light to enter the house even during day time.
What I would usually recommend for the seller is to update their lightings in the house. They can try changing the interior light bulbs to brighter white lights instead of warm ambient lights.
Also, I would often ask them to draw up all the curtains/blinds and open up the windows before any viewings so as to allow as much natural light to enter the house as possible.
#4 Clean the house regularly
Marketing the unit for sale does not mean you stop maintaining the cleanliness of the house. Especially for vacant units, it is advisable to visit regularly to wipe down the floors and furniture to remove any dust and maintain its overall cleanliness.
A clean unit gives buyers a positive impression during the viewing while also making sure there are no pests such as cockroaches or lizards lying around when they stepped into it.
#5 Fix up visible minor repairs
Before you are ready to showcase your property to buyers, you will need to fix up any visible minor repairs such as leaks taps, blown bulbs, broken curtain hooks/rails or loose door handles or knobs etc.
This creates a positive first impression of having good maintenance of the house by the home owners.
Minor repair works usually does not cost much and you can easily engage a handyman to fix up these defects within a single day.
#6 Capture good photos for the marketing
Once your house is listed on the market, you will be battling for buyers’ attention with the best marketing advertisement on PropertyGuru, 99.co, SRX and many more. Having well taken and beautiful photos of the listing is extremely important for capturing these buyers’ attention and to gain more exposure.
Referring to my first 3 tips above - repainting, decluttering and changing the lighting effects will improve the overall images of the house. The use of wide angle lens on your camera would help to make tight spaces look more spacious and a tripod ensures images are captured at a right height without any blurring.
The use of wide angle lens to capture a small living room space
Move around the house and stand onto different corners to take different angles before selecting the best shots for marketing. It is also important to use as much natural lighting as possible especially on a bright sunny morning and avoid taking these photos during a rainy or gloomy weather.
More often, you may wish to leave the job of capturing good images of your house to your agent for marketing.
#7 Setting the right price to market
I would usually prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) report of recent and past transaction prices for the same and neighbouring projects for my clients before they decide on the prices to list for their properties to sell.
It is crucial to get the price to market your property right as you do not wish to list it below what the market is currently transacting. Also, buyers are better informed these days about how/what are the prices transacting in similar projects they are interested in. Over pricing the property will turn away buyers and reduce the enquirers and viewings you get for the unit.
You may wish to refer to HDB Resale website for past HDB transaction prices.
For private residential properties, the records will be available on URA website.
Otherwise, always seek a consultation from your agent to run through throughly the transaction prices before you put it up on sale in the market.
#8 Engage a good agent
A competent real estate agent will be able to serve your interest in marketing and selling the property. Seeking a professional agent’s advice is strongly encourage as he/she will be able to assist you throughout the marketing, negotiation, paperwork and procedural processes.
Look on the Council of Estate Agencies website to make sure that the agent you are engaging is registered on the public register and licensed to practise any real estate related work.
Occasionally, I have met with sellers who have tried to market and sell the properties themselves before contacting me. The reason being was that it took a much longer time for them, coupled with much hassles from conducting the viewings themselves, uncertainties to handle negotiations with buyers and understanding the paperwork for the resale process.
#9 Listing your property with the right tools
An agent equipped with the right marketing tools will be able to market and sell your property effectively. This brings me to my last important tip!
The last few years have seen a surge in buyers accessing property listings and real estate data/information via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin etc.
Also, home buyers have easy access to search for property listings through online property portals such as PropertyGuru, 99.co, SRX, EdgeProp etc. However, to advertise on these property search portals usually requires a paid subscription which only most full time practising agents in Singapore would have signed up and have access to.
Engage an agent with the digital knowledge and access to up to date marketing tools to market your property is essential for any property listing.
Thank you for reading this article!
Since 2009, I have actively been transacting private properties in the prime districts and East Coast while building my team of managers and associates.
I have assisted many of my clients with their property wealth planning needs.
People who have worked with me know me as a driven, reliable and trustworthy person who takes care of the people around me.
Feel free to drop me a Whatsapp message for a non-obligatory discussion on your property wealth planning needs!