In real estate, there are no fixed prices, so with the right approach you can sell your property for 5-10% more. Understanding how to sell a house in NZ is not always intuitive – even if you’ve been through the process before, you may be able to walk away with a better deal this time by following a few simple guidelines. This article will cover some key tips for selling your home in NZ – for the best possible price.
Property owners that sell for a great price use the advice and expertise of a top performing local real estate agent. To find a top agent to help you along the way, enter your address above or on our front page. Otherwise read on to learn about the process of selling a house, the best practices for preparing a property for sale and achieving a top sale price. We’ll cover 5 steps to selling a house in NZ:
- Identify a target buyer profile for your property
- Prepare your property for sale
- Identify the top performing method of sale in your area
- Choose the right marketing plan
- Hire a top performing real estate agent
With the knowledge gained you can make better informed decisions throughout the sales process and ultimately achieve a top price for your property.
Step 1: Identify a target buyer
Who is most likely to pay a premium for your property?
A target buyer is important to consider when getting ready to sell your home in NZ and creating the right marketing plan with your agent.
Investors, first home buyers, downsizers, ladder climbers and developers all have different needs and motivations.
Once you know which buyer profiles will be interested in your property you can present your property in a way that maximises the appeal to the premium buyers.
Here is an overview of the four major buyer profiles:
Buyer profile: Ladder Climbers
Ladder Climbers are buyers that already own a property or have owned properties before. They are moving up the property ladder and are seeking a new home that better meets their evolving needs and higher living standards.
What Ladder Climbers look for in a property
Ladder Climbers are upgrading to a larger home, a higher quality home, a better school zone, a better suburb or a more convenient location.
What Ladder Climbers pay a premium for
Emotions play a role when Ladder Climbers are buying property. So professional home staging may be a worthwhile investment. Declutter ruthlessly and consider interior painting if you have dark wall colors, yellowed ceilings, damaged paintwork or dated wall paper.
Buyer profile: First home buyers
First Home Buyers are those new to the real estate market, not having owned a property previously. Most are under 40 years of age and are looking to buying property with a partner, around half of these with children.
What First Home Buyers look for in a property
Historically First Home Buyers mostly bought stand alone houses but recently they’re buying apartments and townhouses too. First Home Buyers are more prepared to undertake renovations and repairs than other buyer profiles. They are more likely to buy in less popular locations with a view to future development of the area. Outdoor space is also important for buyers with children.
What they pay a premium for
- Potential to add value
- Capital gain potential
First Home Buyers are motivated by the emotional benefits of home ownership, so can be more likely to pay a premium for a property. So professional home staging may be a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, declutter ruthlessly to create a more spacious and neutral feel — this will make it easier for buyers to imagine living in the property and applying their own personal style.
Buyer profile: Investors
Investors are buyers that already own one or more properties and are seeking a financial return from a real estate investment, obtained through rental income and capital growth.
What Investors look for in a property
Investors are looking to purchase low maintenance properties that return a high yield and / or offer good capital gain potential. Investors may also look for properties with potential to add value through renovation, extension, subdivision or adding a secondary dwelling.
What they pay a premium for
- High yield
- Capital gain potential
- Occupancy rate
- Development potential
Investors want the property to appeal to high quality tenants so it pays to present a clean, healthy and warm home. Ensure all required maintenance is complete and the property is compliant with local council rules and tenancy regulations. Obtain an independent rental appraisal to demonstrate the potential yield to buyers. Since investors are not planning to live in the property emotions play a smaller role in the purchase decision. Accordingly, professional home-staging is less likely to be an effective tactic.
Buyer profile: Downsizers
Downsizers are buyers that already own a property or have owned property before. Their reasons for down-sizing may be due to a life-stage event like children moving out of the family home, imminent or recent retirement, a relationship breakup or a change in financial circumstances.
What Downsizers look for in a property
They are looking to buy a smaller, more affordable or more easily managed property than the property they owned previously. Downsizers are often well established financially, due to equity from previous homes, savings and / or investments. However, they are cautious with money and are unlikely to pay a premium for aesthetics or prestige, but more likely to pay a premium for quality, privacy and a convenient location.
What Downsizers pay a premium for
- Low maintenance
Ensure any due repairs and maintenance are complete to a high standard. Present the property so that it is ready to move in. Ensure any security features are in good working order — such as exterior door locks, alarms and security lighting. Consider blinds and / or external screening for additional privacy.
Step 2: How To Prepare Your Property For Sale
How to get a house ready to sell
To ensure your property appeals to your target buyer and sells without complications or delays, it is important to prepare your property correctly.
Here is a summary of the main categories to focus on:
- Repairs and maintenance: For the best results ensure your house is in a condition that is ready for the new buyer to move in right away. This means all renovations are fully completed and signed off, any maintenance issues have been addressed and all appliances, taps, doors and windows are in good working order.
- Deep cleaning: Buyers will look in every corner and cupboard, behind furniture and curtains, inside wardrobes and showers – so it really pays to get a very thorough deep clean before you sell.
- Paintwork: Clean and tidy paintwork gives a home a fresh feel and is an inexpensive way to enhance the presentation your property. Repairing any chipped or scratched paint, re-coating bathroom ceilings and replacing dark colours with lighter neutral colours are all worthwhile paint jobs.
- Exterior: Consider washing your house for an immediate lift in appearance. Clear gutters, sweep paths and remove any moss or grime on patios, decks and driveways.
- Furnishings: Declutter and remove any surplus furnishings to maximise space and help buyers to imagine their own possessions in your property. Repair or replace worn furniture and bed covers or consider a professional home staging service.
- Gardens and lawns: A well maintained garden and lawn gives buyers confidence that you have taken care of the property. Trim trees and hedges to maximise sunlight and ensure lawns are mowed regularly through the marketing period.
- Electrical: Ensure all electrical items are in good working order, including appliances, fans, switches, interior lighting, exterior lighting and alarms. Use a licensed electrician for any restricted works and ensure you get a Certificate of Compliance.
- Entrance and lobby: To ensure a positive first impression pay special attention to your entranceway and lobby.
- Interior presentation: Prepare interior spaces to appeal to your target buyer and showcase the best features.
- Choose the best time to sell your house. In general, data shows that selling towards the end of the year will, on average, help you get a better price for your home. However, this effect can vary a lot from region to region and property to property – you should discuss your individual circumstances with your agent.
Step 3: Choose The Right Marketing Plan
Reaching potential buyers
When you hire a real estate agent in New Zealand you will typically pay for the marketing costs up front, so it is important to know which tactics are a worthwhile investment.
Most buyers start online, so your advertising campaign should focus on digital channels, no matter which buyer profiles you are targeting. A listing on TradeMe and RealEstate.co.nz is essential. Great photos are critical to advertising online too – so use a professional photographer. Print advertising is less effective and likely not justified unless there are special circumstances.
Consider professional home staging and video footage if your target buyer is planning to live in the property. These tactics can help buyers to create an emotional connection to the property, increasing the perceived value and price expectations.
Step 4: Choose A Top Performing Method Of Sale
Method Of Sale – Selling By Auction, Tender Or Deadline Treaty?
Choosing the best method of sale is an important part of achieving a top price. The right choice encourages buyers to offer their full budget and the wrong choice can leave money on the table. If you’re asking yourself, “What’s the best way to sell my house?” – here are a few insights that may help you decide.
The highest performing sales methods are those that:
- Generate a sense of competition among buyers,
- Set a deadline for offers,
- Market the property without a price.
Selling by auction, tender and deadline treaty can all achieve this result.
Marketing without a price allows each buyer to determine their own value, based on their individual circumstances and how closely the property meets their needs. Alternatively, marketing the property with a price tends to anchor the buyer’s expectations and can result in offers converging around your asking price.
By setting a deadline, you’re giving buyers a single chance to submit their best offer (or bid) on the day. Otherwise they will miss out on the property altogether. This is a powerful way to encourage buyers to offer their full budget, but it is only made possible when there is a deadline.
Step 5: Hire A Top Performing Real Estate Agent
Hiring the right agent can make all the difference when your goal is to sell for a top price.
If you want to know how to sell your house fast and how to sell for more – choosing the right agent is the most critical decision you’ll make. Your chosen agent should have a deep understanding of the needs and expectations of buyers in your area and price bracket. This will help when setting the right sales strategy, preparing an accurate appraisal, creating a marketing plan and preparing your home for sale.
Verifying an agent’s experience will also help you narrow your shortlist. An experienced agent will be familiar with a wider range of potential issues and can resolve them quickly if they arise. They’ve had more opportunities to learn which home presentation options, marketing techniques and negotiation tactics work best.
When inviting agents to conduct an appraisal, ask about their approach to valuing your property and look for signs they follow a thorough and systematic process. Be wary of outlier appraisals that look too high compared to recent sales or that reference properties that don’t seem comparable.
Lastly, check feedback from previous customers. A large collection of testimonials and ratings is strong evidence of consistent performance and results.
How AgentIQ Can Help You Sell Your House For More
If you’re looking to sell your property AgentIQ can help you find a top performing real estate agent to work with you and these tips into practice. Enter your address above or on our front page to get started.