The selling season is here

If you put your home on the market during winter and have been worried about a lack of buyers then now is your chance to start a-fresh. Summer’s almost here and so is a whole new set of buyers. So it’s time to get your home sold.

Nick Lyus of Ray White in Auckland has been selling real estate in New Zealand for 11 years and says a refresh can begin with a new set of photos and perhaps even changing to a different agent.

“Sometimes the energy levels of the existing agent goes, and selling is really a transfer of energy,” says Nick. “You’ve got to go with the agent with the best track record, the most enthusiastic, the one that’s going to be excited, they’re going to know the product, they’re going to call people back…”

As for pictures, if you had your home photographed during winter then Nick recommends getting a summer set done featuring blossoming flowers, leafy trees and ideally a blue sky. A marketing make-over.

“You’ve got to give it a new a new lease of life,” says Nick. “Rather than strip things away from the marketing budget, you’ve actually got to spend money – you need to present your product really, really well.

“Buyers will have already seen it online; so you can’t just change the order of the photos on your listing. You need to put some new life into it, just as if you were bringing a new product to the market.”

Lucy Clements of Ray White Karori in Wellington agrees saying that taking your property off the market for a few weeks and then relisting with updated photos and a fresh write-up can do wonders.

“The savvy buyers will see it has been on the market before but a refresh of the marketing material can attract a new pool of buyers,” she says.

“I would recommend taking it off the market and putting it back on again a few weeks later as it will then sit at the top of the new listings.

“But don’t forget the basics. I recommend sellers go to town washing their home down, remedying any issues that developed over winter, and getting the garden ship-shape. Cut the lawn, trim the edges, clear away all signs of winter.

“With any Wellington home it’s all about maintenance. The gutters and spouting need cleaning out, moss and mould cleaned away – you can’t let buyers see that – the home has got to be brought up to a standard that is fresh and presentable.”

As a matter of course Lucy would also contact all the buyers who visited the home during winter and encourage them to have another look.”

When a property is unsold for months some buyers will try their luck by making below-market offers.

“These need to be countered,” says Lucy. “I’d point to recent sales in the area and demonstrate the value of the home. Plus summer is on the way and the market is really going to heat up.

“Right now it is the calm before the storm; once Labour Day is over it is going to get very busy as we rush to Christmas.”

And because buyers want to be in their new home by the end of the year it means giving them a clear run come moving day.

“All that deferred maintenance and minor remedial work needs to be done,” says Nick.

“If buyers see little things need to be done they will wonder why the owner didn’t do them. Do them now and you will certainly get the money back. Make it feel easy to just move straight in.”

House points

Started marketing your home during winter?

  • Have new summer photos taken
  • Clear away all signs of winter in the garden
  • Take the home off the market and relist (this might even trigger casual watchers to take action due to a fear of missing out)
  • Start a new marketing campaign
  • Ask your agent to invite previous viewers to have another look
  • That thing you keep meaning to fix…do it today
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Steve Hart

About the author

Steve Hart is a specialist freelance writer covering all aspects of real estate.