Posted on 04 JUL
Q: We are moving out of town and selling our home of the past 9 years. It’s a little shabby and could maybe do with a bit of work. We have had two appraisals from agents, but they both have given us a value below what we need to sell it for, and below what it’s worth. What should we do?
Try another agent or spend some money tidying it up? Janice W.
A: Many people think that what they paid for their home, or even what size mortgage they have on it, makes it worth a certain price. You may try another agent and that agent may well give you a price that is close to your number, but don’t be fooled: At the end of the day, it’s only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it and a reputable real estate agent should never give you a price just to get the listing.
If your property needs “tidying up” then by all means give it a tidy and a declutter but don’t go down the renovation road because in most cases you only get back a percentage of what you spend. Different improvements offer different returns but in general these improvements will make your home easier to sell, but not necessarily increase the sale price.
Finally, remember that everything is negotiable. Don’t focus just on the sale price – for example you can perhaps negotiate the price using some of the chattels that are not normally included in the sale (maybe include the fridge that fits perfectly in the kitchen – it may be worth just $1,500 to you, but maybe more like $5,000 in convenience to the purchaser). The settlement date can be used as a negotiation too: Perhaps you can settle early to suit the purchaser and save a few thousand on your mortgage even though their offer is a little below what you really want.
As above, at the end of the day your house will be worth what a willing buyer is prepared to pay, and that buyer will be found by a good agent who reaches as many potential buyers as possible via a good marketing plan.
Good luck with your sale.