Demystifying the Sales Process

As a real estate agent, I’ve sold a lot of property over the years, but I realise that’s not usually the case for a homeowner. Most people sell property once, maybe twice, in their lifetimes, so they usually go into the sales process without a very clear picture of what to expect, which can sometimes make the experience somewhat daunting. But selling your home should be exciting! It does, after all, signal a new chapter in your life, whether you’re upgrading, downsizing, or otherwise.

I thought I’d try and demystify the sales process a little bit, by sharing this case study of a property I recently sold in Cammeray. I’d also like to point out that this sale was achieved during the first quarter of 2016, when the media, property observers and other real estate agents were reporting that the property market had weakened significantly. But, as I’ve pointed out previously, the lower north shore property market is still as resilient as ever.

Background: 10 Lytton Street

I first met the vendors of 10 Lytton Street, Martina and David, at an open home across the street from their property in 2013. Like a lot of homeowners at that time, they were curious about the property market, as the media had been reporting quite favourably about the market conditions at the time. Nevertheless, they still weren’t ready to sell, so we decided to keep in touch until the timing better suited them.

In January this year, Martina and David got in touch and we met up again, this time to discuss putting their home on the market. In particular, they wanted to know whether they should have any work done to the property, or whether they should sell it in the condition it was in. I suggested that, having sold a number of other properties in the same street, they should have some work done first, in order to achieve the best possible result.

Preparing the Home for Sale

With Martina and David in agreement, I had my team make the necessary arrangements to carry out the following:

  • Repaint the home’s interior
  • Landscaping for front and rear yards
  • Replace carpeting downstairs
  • Fix leaky ceilings
  • Replace entire front balcony
  • Fix a well in the backyard

It took about two months for all the repairs and maintenance issues to be taken care of. I then arranged to have the property photographed, we confirmed the date for the auction and began advertising it online. Again, being familiar with this street in Cammeray, I knew that demand for the property would be be high, so I advised against a more expensive print marketing campaign, sticking with online instead.

On the Market

After the first open, we had 45 groups through the property, issued 7 contracts and had one offer. The property was opened twice more, during which time we received another offer which I negotiated upwards; we then received a third offer of between $1.9 and $2 million which Martina and David accepted prior to auction.

Result: Between $1.9 and $2 million

Time on market: 12 days

No. of opens: 3

No. of groups: 108

Contracts issued: 24

Why We Chose Auction

Although I had a strong feeling going into the campaign that, due to the type of property we were selling and its location — Lytton Street, a highly sought after street in Cammeray — the property would sell prior to auction, we nevertheless continued with an auction campaign. Auctions can effectively hasten the sales process by encouraging highly motivated buyers to act quickly to make an offer that will take the property off the market prior to auction day. As predicted, this is exactly what happened.

This result shows that, not only is the lower north shore property market still as buoyant as ever, but it’s well worth the time and money it takes to prepare your home for sale. And in the end, the vendors were as thrilled with the result as I was.

Vendor Feedback

Hi Derek

It is with pleasure that I write this note of appreciation for your excellent work selling our property and the wonderful result you achieved. Feel free to use this note as you see fit.

We had been watching the property market and your work for over 18 months, from the time David and I started thinking seriously of selling. For us, you were the first choice and, frankly, we didn’t have a second or third choice.

We thank you for your valuable guidance and experience, and for your calm, efficient and good-humoured approach through the whole process — from renovations to exchanging contracts. We are grateful for your resourceful, swift and confident answers to our questions and problems, and for taking a few worried and stressed calls so good-naturedly.

This note of thanks would not be complete without mentioning Charlene and Kiel, who were always available and took very good care of our needs.

With our best wishes and warm regards,

Martina & David

If you’re thinking of selling your property, contact me for a confidential market appraisal of your home. Alternatively, to learn more about selling property on Sydney’s lower north shore, subscribe to receive access to my series of educational videos, or continue reading my blog.

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