Tips for owners when selling their home

Here are four things homeowners can do when selling their home to give themselves the best chance at a great result:

1. Choose the right real estate agent.

You will want to look for a real estate agent that is great at marketing and negotiating, especially if the property market is slow. If homes are selling quickly then it’s a lot easier to choose an agent with less skills in those areas, as the home can almost sell itself. However, whilst a home might sell quickly in a buyers market, are you sure you’re getting the best possible price?

That’s where an agent with a great marketing program can really work, as you’ll attract more interested buyers, and that means more competition to push the sale price higher.

One thing you might want to do is to attend a few open homes and then see if the agent follows up well with you afterwards. After all, if they don’t follow up when you’re a buyer then it suggests that they won’t follow up for you when you’re the seller.

Here’s an interest experiment conducted by Australian real estate trainer Glenn Twiddle. He visited open homes and tracked the effectiveness of the real estate agents – you might be surprised by how poor these agents performed:

You can see a full analysis of another ‘mystery shop’ by Glenn here. And if you’re a homeowner looking for an agent, it’s good to know some of this stuff beforehand so you’re well prepared when talking with an agent about the marketing of your home.

2. Price your home right.

Your real estate agent should know more about this than you will, so heed their advice. Too many homeowners feel that their home is priced unrealistically high, and that leads to their property sitting on the market for longer than it should.

For more on pricing, watch this video on what you need to know, the importance of taking pricing advice from a range of sources, and why you should be careful of the real estate agent who suggests a sale price that is significantly higher than anything else you see:

3. Put together the best marketing campaign using high quality professional real estate photography.

You might have a great real estate agent, and a home that is perfectly priced and beautifully presented,  but if you or your real estate agent use low quality photos then all of that hard work will go to waste. Almost all of your potential buyers will first see your home when looking online. And what do they see when they look at your home on the internet?


Do you think those photos might influence whether or not they proceed further, or just leave your home on the scrapheap? Of course they do! So you need to make sure you have the most stunning photos you can get. If your real estate agent tells you that they can take their own photos (assuming they are not a trained photographer), or if they let you know that they’ve got a really cheap photographer, put your foot down and let them know that you want the best real estate photographer in your area, and you’ll accept nothing less.

As they say at Real Estate Insider Magazine:

“A professional photographer sees the world in a different way through a lens, and that amazing talent that the photographer has will make a tremendous difference with potential homebuyers. You cannot sell a house to someone who doesn’t contact you, and you will be contacted more often with professional photographs.”

And if you really want to see some examples of what some real estate agents do when they take their own photos, check out this gallery of actual real estate listing photos:

4. Present your home perfectly for the open home.

When it’s time for your open home, that’s when you want your open to look absolutely perfect. This is not the time to be lazy – this is what really counts, because this is when potential buyers are going to decide whether or not your home offers them the best value for the money they want to spend. If your home presents as a home that should be valued a lot higher than other homes, then that will work in your favor.

So what do you need to do to have your home ready for the open for inspection?

Here home stager Tori Toth guides you through the things you need to do prior to the open home. Her suggestions are:

  • Make sure your lawn is cut, and any bushes or trees are tidy. Also look for any garbage or items lying around and put them away.
  • Give the inside of your home a full clean the day before the open home.
  • Make sure all beds are made on the day, and store all pet items away.
  • Turn on all of the lights and lamps in your home just before the open home begins.

In this video from Coldwell Banker, they present some helpful tips for sellers preparing their home, but also some great suggestions for buyers and what they should do when going through an open home: