Expert Advice with Ahmad Imam
It’s such a disheartening scenario.
After weeks or even months of open homes, with strangers traipsing through your property every Saturday, and spending hours on the phone to your selling agent – you don’t get a single bite.
It’s hard not to get despondent and feel like it was all for nought.
You had high hopes of buyers gleefully flocking to your door with cash in hard, ready to make an offer, and all you can hear is crickets.
Your home just won’t sell – so what’s next?
Unless you want to spend the rest of your life in this property – or in the case of an investment, continue being a landlord – you’ll need a Plan B.
That’s why we’ve put together some helpful strategies you can implement, if buyers are thin on the ground.
In my experience, whether or not a home attracts qualified buyers and a good price tag always comes down to the three P’s: presentation, promotion and price.
It goes without saying that presentation is paramount when you’re selling a home. Of course, the property must be clean and tidy, but beyond that there are lots of tweaks you can make which don’t cost a lot, but that could boost the appearance of the dwelling considerably.
Curb appeal is important, so consider spending some time or money refreshing the front of your place. A lick of paint on the fence, a new letterbox and some strategically placed pot plants can freshen up a dull exterior, without breaking the bank.
The other key areas are the bathroom and kitchen, because buyers perceive this as being big expenses they’ll have to face if they purchase your home and need to factor in a renovation.
That doesn’t mean you need to fork out for a big overhaul, though. Cupboard doors and tiles can be painted, benches and baths can be resurfaced relatively cheaply with a spray, and even simple touches like new light fittings or door handles can make a huge difference.
If you’re on a budget, channel your cash towards these areas and opt for cheap styling hacks to freshen up the bedrooms and living areas.
It certainly pays to reassess how the marketing of your property is going, both during the campaign and of course, in the event of it failing to sell.
The internet is a fabulous tool, but many buyers still stumble upon properties thanks to large, bright sales boards with enticing photographs, displayed prominently out the front.
And don’t forget about social media either. Facebook ads can be targeted towards users who are most likely to be interested in your property – be that by age, gender, location or even search history, so your listing gets more views from the people you’re trying to reach.
It may also be worth refreshing the photographs of your property, or considering hiring some furniture so you can get the styling right. Check out similarly priced listings in your area for tips and to see what is selling. What inspiration can you glean from them?
Now, before you start panicking, I’m not about to tell you to drastically slash your asking price and walk away from the sale with nothing but loose change.
There are other ways you can make your price more attractive, and lure in those potential buyers.
One trick is to drop your price just a little, so your property falls into a different bracket of search results. For example, if it was previously priced at “offers over $800,000”, then anyone who is searching online for properties up to $800,000 won’t even see your listing. So, try dropping the asking price to $799,000.
Even better, instead of going for a predictable, standard number, you can do something completely out of the box and choose a quirky figure that will capture the buyer’s attention.
We’re used to seeing prices that end in zeros and nines, so why not go for $798,256?! That will make people stop scrolling and wonder, why the odd asking price?
It’s also possible that after addressing the presentation and promotion of your property, you could even bump the price up a little. You’d be surprised how many buyers don’t even look at properties under a certain value, assuming they couldn’t possibly have all the bells and whistles they’re after.
Check with your agent, and discuss the possibility of taking the home off the market for a month for some breathing space, then upgrade both the presentation and your price, to attract those more discerning buyers.
With these tips and tricks and a clear marketing strategy, you’ll hopefully be on your way to seeing that ‘sold’ sign in no time.
Ahmad Imam is a director of Metropole Properties in Sydney, is a highly skilled wealth strategist and a passionate property investor. He has a degree in Commerce, is a licensed estate agent in both NSW and QLD and has personally coached and educated hundreds of clients to create wealth through property.
He is a regular commentator for Michael Yardney's Property Update.
Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.