What I've learned across three decades of selling property in Palmyra


Across three decades now, I've been selling property in Palmyra.
In fact, I've probably played a hand in the sale of a fair proportion of all the homes in the suburb (3000 of them). Certainly a fair proportion of all that have been sold!

Aside from knowing that Palmyra was named after a city in the Syrian Desert following a naming competition in the district, I've learned a lot about the area. After all, I've spent a fair chunk of my life walking and driving its streets, and sitting in its houses!

I'm more than confident to say that in through the 22 years that I've been selling in Palmyra, I've sold more properties than any other salesperson. One six occasions, I've either been awarded the Top Selling Salesperson in the state or finished in the top three. The vast majority of all these sales have been in the Palmyra area.

I say this not to boast, but to say that I know Palmyra very well. More specifically, I know plenty about selling property in this area.

It's what I want to spend most of this blog talking about: some of the lessons I've learned and the mistakes I've seen made when it comes to selling property in Palmyra.

So, let's get moving: 7 mistakes I've seen made time and again when selling property in Palmyra.

As with any selling transaction, the vast majority come down to one word: expectations.

Mistake #1: Getting too emotionally involved.

Let's face it, it's hard not to get emotionally involved. It mightn't be flesh and blood but, over time, your home becomes part of you. Unless it's an investment property that you're able to hold at arm's length, the chances are that there are memories you've created in your home that make you attached to it.

Whether the history you've made in your home is positive or negative, both have the potential to sabotage the best result in the sale of your home.

So, here's my thought - as tough as it might seem. When you make the decision to sell your home, you need to start thinking of your house as a business owner rather than a homeowner. Start viewing your property through the eyes of a potential purchaser rather than being wrapped up in all of the added emotional value it might have for you.

As much as your home may reflect your style, tastes and preferences, you have to pull back and start seeing it as the valuable asset that you are in the process of selling.

If you can't emotionally distance yourself from the process of selling, this will get tough at some point. It will also lead to the next mistake: unrealistic expectations.

Mistake #2: Having unrealistic price expectations

I am committed to acting on behalf of my client to negotiate the best possible result. There's never been a time when I haven't. What I have seen from time to time, however, is that a seller can have an expectation informed by either financial necessity or a lack of understanding of the market. They believe that their home should sell for a particular price - a price that is not determined by the prevailing market but by unrealistic expectations.

Here's the other problem with an unrealistic expectation: you become attached to that expectation and so anything less than this seems like a negative result or compromise.

My tip? Make sure that your price expectations are driven by market conditions, rather than uninformed optimism. Yes, there are times when a house fits a person or family like a glove, and a premium is paid. More often than not, though, a house sells for what the market says that it's worth. For the duration of your sale, you need to work hard to view your home through the eyes of the current market.

Mistake #3: Having a crack and going solo

It shouldn't surprise anyone that the proportion of home sellers in Australia using an agent to handle the transaction approaches 100%. Having sold properties for many years only convinces me all the more: this is something you don't want to leave to the inexperienced!

While some take a look at the commission rate and either opt for a cheaper alternative or consider having a crack themselves, it's a plan that's fraught with financial danger.

An agent will help you with setting the price based on their experience and success in the market. The greater the success and experience of the agent you appoint, the more informed their advice.

An agent will help you prepare your home for sale and is familiar with the legal elements and documentation required for your transaction.

Most significantly, though, when it comes to securing the best possible financial result for you, an agent will negotiate the sale. It's fair to assume that most agents will have had greater experience negotiating property sales than you!

Mistake #4: Not talking it up

There are some brilliant homes around Palmyra. Some real gems. Perhaps the greatest changes I've seen in our industry over the past couple of decades, though, is the manner in which we market properties. The selling and negotiation skills will always be the trump card, but the level of information expected on a property prior to a physical inspection is far, far more than every before.

Showing your home in the best light is a key to gaining the best possible price for your home. Preparing your home well and having it professionally photographed is a short term investment that can deliver a short-term windfall.

Good photos will not only be well staged but shot in the best possible light - the time of day when your home is at it's best.

Speaking of when your home is at its best...

Mistake #5: Not showing a home in its best light

Here's where our combined local know-how comes together. Most likely, you know the time of day when your home is at its best. The best light to make it sing. It's not only your home that people come to see, though. People purchase a home and a location. The nearby streets and parks are all part of what's for sale when people go home shopping.

Do your best to stage your home opens at the quietest times of the day and the time when your home looks at its best. Try and avoid possible objections over location by avoiding the times when they're at their worst. The 30 minutes of noisy traffic each day mightn't bother you much, but why have a home open at that time and create a problem that is of little consequence.

Mistake #6: Not making the effort

It's obvious for most, but if you're selling your most valuable asset, you want it looking its most valuable. Not just in your eyes but, more importantly, in the eyes of potential purchasers.

Basic preparation such as cleaning, tidying, decluttering, paring back, garden maintenance, minor repairs, and maintenance can pay off handsomely. Better still, and only if it can be done at minimum cost, toning down some of the more extreme stylistic preferences in your home can be the difference between a turn-off and a genuine interest.

If you're painting (and it can be a good idea), choose neutral colours. It makes it easier for purchasers to imagine their furnishings in the home.

Whatever you do, make sure that the money you spend preparing your home for sale is spent in the places where you get the best bang for the buck. Remember: it's not about what you want, it's what will make it more attractive to a potential purchaser for the minimum additional investment. Spend well, spend wisely.

Mistake #7: Settling for second best or less when you could be selling with One

If you're going to start a shopping list of agents to call in, what criteria would you use to make your list? Experience in the area? Prolific results? A strong reputation for success over the long haul? Or strong negotiation skills that deliver the highest sale prices in the area? Perhaps all of those.

Most wouldn't flinch at compiling a list like this, but it's not unusual for some to second guess themselves when selecting an agent based on factors that never made the list.

Resist that urge and stick with your most important criteria. Time and again I've seen properties stagnate on the market because the seller was promised the impossible (in the given market). Or, they were given unrealistic expectations and kept holding out in the hope that they those assurances were real.

It's never a mistake to appoint an agent that has consistently outperformed any other agent in Palmyra.

I guess this is where I blow my own trumpet for a moment. I am that One. My experience over three decades has shown me that there are very few shortcuts to real estate success. And few shortcuts when it comes to achieving the best result when selling your home.

When it comes to selling your home, I'd love to help you achieve the best result possible in whatever market we're dealing with. I think that through avoiding these pitfalls and mistakes, that's entirely possible!

Michael ForzattiAll the best,
Michael Forzatti

Category: Sales

Coopessia Pty Ltd.Trading as One Residential (ABN: 29 183 764 542) | 329A Canning Highway, Palmyra, WA 6157.
Thurzatt Pty. Ltd. Trading as One Residential Management (ABN: 85 732 822 462) | 1/333 Canning Highway, Palmyra, WA 6157.

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