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‘Break Up’ With Your Home

Being confident in the property game is easier said than done. Some people like to play mind games, others are nervous of screwing up, and others are far too confident that they will make a mint off you.

Because the competition is so stiff in a buyer’s market (more people want to sell their homes than people are willing or able to buy them), you do have to understand and work to win the hearts and minds of prospective property owners.

So here are some basic approaches to getting buyers into your corner and an offer on the table:

Say goodbye to your home

You have made the decision to move, so accept it and leave the emotional attachments for when you’re finally moving out. You need to be dispassionate and analytical about selling your property — accept the changes you have to make, the things you need to get rid of, the appearance outside and inside that needs improvement before you can sell. That’s your own psychological battle, but you have to win it before you win others over.

Trust no-one

OK, yes, I want you to trust me as your real estate agent, but you can’t leave everything to me. Take control of the changes you need to make, the look of your home, and everything else. I’ll guide you and answer questions, but you are ultimately in the driver’s seat, so help me sell your home.

Don’t assume a buyer sees the potential

If your home needs improvements, it is easier for you to fix them and sell, than to cut the offer price and leave it to someone else to imagine what the property should look and function like. If you want to win buyers over, the only thing they should need to consider is wall colour and where to put the couch. Make life easier for buyers.

Know your enemy

You don’t really have an enemy, but your competition is your competition — see what they’re offering, look for their mistakes, and correct your similar ones. This can be a learning process but every lesson helps with the first impressions of your home that are so vital.

Win the heart and mind

As appealing as your home might be, a buyer will be practical. You can make it seem like home, but it has to tick the boxes for a good purchase. Consider both the little touches that make a property a home, and the functionality and the quality that answers the inevitable questions of a buyer and their agent. Again, seeing what your competition is offering helps you understand how to get to the emotional and sensible sides of a buyer. If you break up with your home, it’s easier to make a buyer feel like it could be THEIR home.

It might seem from this week’s column that I’m urging you to play mind games. I’m not. But the reality is that your choices affect the perceptions of your property by others, and that influences the chances of success or failure. The more you know about your competition and the market, the more you appeal to the buyer — and the easier it will be to win the competition for a successful sell.