The Biggest Seller Mistakes

  • 18.June 2014
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Valuing Your HOmeThroughout the time I’ve worked in real estate in Malta, the property topic has come up in several conversations I’ve had with many acquaintances, friends, business partners and so on. Inevitably, these acquaintances always know someone, heard of someone – or sometimes even refer to themselves – who have had their home on the market for quite a few months but are unable to even obtain any offers, regardless of how luxurious their home may be. This leads to the question “What are we / they doing wrong?”

And no matter how often I hear this question, I always have the same answer. A majority of homes remain on the market for any one of the following three reasons.

The first feature any buyer looks at, automatically, is the condition of the property. Of course, people are looking to buy property that needs as little renovations as possible (unless they’re specifically looking for a renovation project) – which puts luxurious properties at an advantage. A buyer that walks into a property that needs renovation is mentally calculating the costs s/he would incur to restore the property, and whether s/he can afford it at all. This mental distraction means that they’re hardly noticing the pros your property has to offer.

Property viewingAnother disadvantage to people trying to sell their home is the limited marketing most owners undertake. It’s easy to pass by your local store and purchase a “For Sale” sign to attach to your property, and some home-sellers will even place a couple of adverts in the newspapers and perhaps share a couple of posts on Facebook in their limited free time. The question is: how can you be sure you’re targeting the right people? Is there a market you’re overlooking? Do you have the necessary experience (both in marketing, and sales) to find a potential buyer and close the deal? Facebook advertising allows its advertisers endless opportunities – setting a daily budget, targeting specific ages, countries, genders, interests, and so on. It can be extremely effective to those who know how to use it, and a complete waste of money to those who are unsure. As it stands, there are currently 162,000 Maltese Facebook profiles aged between 20 and 50 years old – are you reaching them?

However, the last factor is so important that the above two reasons are completely useless if you haven’t gotten this one right: Price. We say this repeatedly to almost everyone – your property is worth no more than what someone is willing to pay for it, and no one will be keen on paying more than the market value. You may have memories associated with your home and perhaps be including a bit of sentimental value in the price, but a buyer will always see the property for what it is. Our best advice to you would be to price it right the minute you place it on the market – don’t bother trying your luck with a high price because this will actually work against you in the long run. Your potential buyer will hardly glance at it if it’s out of their budget. When they come acrosPrices it again a few weeks or months later, they’ll notice the price has been reduced and automatically deduce that there must be something wrong with the property. Each price reduction hammers home the idea that there are problems with that particular property – which means you’ve lost some good chances for a sale. Similarly, under-valuing your home will result in the same misconception, so it’s important to have your home valued by a professional and put on the market at this value.

Keep in mind that the above three factors are all important for a quick sale at the right price. Our Exclusive Added Value Listings are selling homes within an average of 35 days. Check out our webpage which clearly explains the process, or contact us directly at [email protected] for more information.

Jeff Buttigieg
Post by Jeff Buttigieg

Jeff Buttigieg is Co-Founder and COO of RE/MAX Malta and JK Properties Ltd. He overseas the marketing, PR, IT and business development of the company. He has a vast experience in real estate having been an associate and manager himself for several years.