Tips on how to Sell Your House in a Down Market!
Everybody knows that it is not easy to sell your house in a down market. Mumbai’s real estate market has been slow. This has been true for few months now. Buyer sentiment is horrible. Every buyer I come across always says the same thing that the market is down. Sellers who have sold their home narrate how difficult it was to sell their home. They talk about how long it took them to sell their home.
Frankly speaking, it’s just not true. I don’t think the market is down. There is always a market for home buying. I was watching discovery channel recently and noticed every creature is territorial – from lions, tigers, bees, spiders to even meerkats. Human beings are no different. We also dream to buy a home. Have you ever heard of someone saying, “I just want to rent a home for the rest of my life.” Never! Among, all the constant complains, that’s one thing I have not heard from anyone.
This blog is for all the sellers who want to be pro active and wish to quickly sell your house in a down market.
Give Your House A Facelift
This is the single most thing that you can do to sell your house in a down market. Give it a make over! By this I mean that you need to do the things that you have been putting aside for the longest time. Yes! You need to do basic and simple things such as a fresh coat of paint. Choose a neutral color in your apartment. No flashy colors like pink, purple or green. Neutral means beige, cream, off white. A color that reflects light and not absorbs it. Repair the cracks in your ceiling. Paint the window sill. I am not asking you to spend a million dollar.
If your bathrooms are old, then fix them. Make sure the running tap is not running anymore. Put a plug on the leaking shower head. Remove the months old soap scum. Spend some money and update the taps and faucets. You do not have to spend a fortune. Just basics. Don’t go ahead and buy from the top shelf. Buy something reasonable that looks good.
Remember you are a seller. And just like you there are thousands of other sellers in the market. Do some research and see what other sellers are asking for similar apartments within the vicinity. Compare your home to their home. Don’t ever think that your home is better than your competition. Every mother thinks that their child is the most beautiful child in the world. BE PRACTICAL! Don’t think that your home is the most beautiful one in the entire complex. Price your property LESSER than your competition. That’s sales 101. Most sellers make a common mistake of pricing it the same or sometimes higher that their neighbor.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want you to price your property in such a way that you will lose money. Just so much that you are ahead of the competition. Price it in such a manner that you can sell your house in a down market.
I am sure you are thinking, “What do you mean Staging? I am not Shakespeare and my life is not a stage”.
Staging is an important concept in the western world. Smart realtors can’t live without it. Yet, real estate agents and property sellers in Mumbai have no idea what staging means. It means presenting your home in such a manner that you feel like living in it. Developers spend lakhs of rupees to make their sample apartment unrealistically beautiful. They want you to be ENAMORED with the apartment in such a way that you feel like your current home is a PREHISTORIC CAVE. That’s the beauty of staging.
Don’t get me wrong! I don’t want you to spend anywhere close to that. In Mumbai staging has to be modified. Buy or rent some beds, wardrobes, living room and dining room furniture for the apartment. Stage your apartment such that people can visualise themselves living there. When a prospective property buyer walks in the bedroom, they ALWAYS think the room is small. Property buyers think this because
a) either the room is actually small
b) they are visualizing their existing furniture in the room or
c) they simply do not have the vision
If for whatever reason you do not have the funds for the furniture, then at least give your home a facelift.
Clean Up Your Apartment
Yes! You read it correctly. I am a broker and I do not want to see your washed laundry drying in the balcony. I know I am being extreme, but I have seen it and I cannot UNSEE it.
If you are unable to paint your apartment or stage your apartment, then at least clean your apartment. Make sure your kitchen is clean. The utensils are kept away from sight. The kitchen counter and the platform has to be clean. Remove the dirty clothes from your bathrooms. Keep the toilet lid down. Unclutter the bedrooms. Remove your clothes from the bed. Ensure the living room doesn’t have newspaper piled up. The chairs on the dining table are lined up. Small things matter! It impacts the buyers mind. The buyer should see that the property has been maintained well by the existing owners. These are basic things that you need to do to sell your house in a down market. It leaves an impact on the every buyers mind.
Choose A Real Estate Agent
I know, you are probably thinking this is not required. You have NO IDEA how wrong you are! You are on a real estate broker’s website reading a blog on his experience. Wouldn’t you want that experience in your favor? I have seen one gentleman place an advert in the newspaper for the last 3 months. Guess what! He is still giving those adverts. Money wasted! Imagine the time wasted entertaining all those disingenuous phone calls followed by the frustration of not selling. And then I hear the same story – Market is down. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!
Any reputable real estate agent will go to the world’s end to sell your property in a down market. Work with him on the price, on the presentation of your apartment. He wants to make the deal happen ESPECIALLY in a down market. He has vested interest. He will not get paid, till you don’t get paid. Moreover, as a seller you cannot call the buyer again and again. You will fall in the category of a desperate seller. Do you really want to your gorgeous property to be known as a DISTRESS SALE?
As a broker, I use my network vigorously. I leave no stone unturned. Every marketing channel, offline or online, is used. I follow up incessantly, I hound, I want to close the deal, I NEED to close the deal and I DO NOT let a genuine buyer go! You shouldn’t either.