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8 questions to ask yourself before you sell your home.

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8 questions to ask yourself before you sell your home
Posted 01 September 2016

Selling a home is one of the biggest decisions you make. Do your homework.

Here's a scary situation, tomorrow morning you hand over the keys to your real estate agent - and they let a whole group of complete strangers wander around your house. A whole group of strangers in your house, no security checks and no accountability for their actions. They spend anywhere from five to fifteen minutes in your home, before letting the agent know if they are even considering buying your home. This is definitely a scary concept, so let's look at it from a couple of different perspectives - buyer and seller. 

1. 

The Open House 

Do you know where all of your valuables are? Maybe you've got some embarrassing medications in your bathroom cabinet, or skeletons hiding in your closet. Whatever it may be, these prospective buyers will be able to have a great look into not only your home and personal possessions, but also your life. You wouldn't give a complete stranger the keys to your house, so why would you let a real estate agent allow just about anyone into your home? Many real estate agents don't bother to check out potential buyers before inspection, and nor do they get them to pre-register to look at your home. As a buyer, you are given free-reign to look around a house and if there are a whole group of buyers, you probably won't get a chance to have an in-depth conversation about your potential new home. When there are so many people, the buyer does not receive enough attention from the agent, instead of looking at the water pressure and the foundation of the house - you are left to your own devices and don't get a chance to look for exactly what you want in a new home. 

While an open house means that the agent only needs to come once a week (so you only need to clean once a week), it also means that you could be attracting all of these people who could easily be wasting your time for a variety of reasons; i.e. they know the house is out of their price range, or they know that they're not looking for a home without a balcony. Next Address wants to match you up with the perfect agent who has your best wishes in mind, rather than one who is just out there to make a commission and then leave you in the dark. At Next Address, we believe that your security, and the security of your home is a major key. We strive to find matches based on our strict criteria, we don't want to waste your time or ours. We make sure that all potential buyers are screened via our online security system, and we make sure that they are looking at a house that is realistically in their budget. 

2. 

Old Methods 

"Our homes are our castles" is definitely an over-used phrase but applies very well to the motto of Next Address. We know that people don't always look for the perfect agent, but rather for someone who will get the highest price, regardless of the steps they take to get there. We know that there are so many more choices out there for our sellers and buyers, including DIY peer to peer platforms, which are amazing online systems that you can utilise. It's as simple as booking a flight, a hotel, or even a taxi - now you can use these to buy and sell a house. 'Significant financial decisions' Selling and buying a home is one of the biggest and most significant financial decisions a seller and buyer will ever make. Not only does choosing the wrong agent mean that you won't get the best results for you but most buyers report that poor service on behalf of the agent and lack of follow up are the worst issues facing home buyers in this day and age. 

As a buyer, you want to be able to ask all of the important questions, and you need to be able to experience a certain degree of customer service. Choosing the wrong agent is the easiest way to lose up to $30,000 of your hard-earned cash. It's important to understand that all agents come with agency commissions and advertising budgets and all of these hidden extras that you didn't realise until you're about to sign your house away. When you sign up with Next Address, you won't pay thousands in agent commissions, or waste money on unnecessary print and advertising campaigns, and you will have complete control over the sale of your house. We believe that most people are capable of buying and selling their homes directly rather than going through an agent that only has money on their mind. 

3. 

Customer service 

It's important to keep in mind that most people will only buy and sell a home, on average, once every seven years - and for some, it's even longer. You're not waiting in line for a $2 burger at McDonald's, you're trying to buy a house that costs in the hundreds of thousands. So this is why you want to have the best customer service available. This is why, as a buyer or seller, you need to do your own research and not follow hype. Have a look at any popular real estate agent's Facebook page: it is full of pictures of them with a cheesy grin because they just won an award for most sales/highest revenue. They don't care about customer service and satisfaction, the real estate industry does not award agents with plaques that say "100% Customer Satisfaction" or "Happiest Customers Award". 

4. 

Advertising and Marketing 

Imagine meeting someone online and looking through their photos, you are absolutely infatuated with the way that they look and immediately set up a date. Then you meet them and they look nothing like their photo, sure they shaved and wore clean clothes, but that doesn't change their height or weight or even the colour of their eyes! Advertising and marketing works the same way with houses! Not only will the buyer be expecting something amazing, but the seller will be trying to sell something that doesn't quite live up to the pictures - meaning that everyone's time is wasted and everyone is disappointed. Keeping in mind that many buyers may come from out of town to visit your open house, only to leave early when they realise that the bedrooms are barely two metres in width and look nothing like the images on the website. Poor advertising = angry customers = wasted time Another thing to keep in mind that some agencies will use advertising to advertise themselves more so than your home! Next time you drive past a for-sale sign, note down how big the agency advertisements are and if they've put a photo of the agent on the board. These are all unnecessary things done in order to slowly suck the money out of your wallet. 

5. 

Property Preparation 

To make this very clear, if you are considering selling your home and want the best price, the most important aspect, and most time-consuming, is preparing your home for sale. This could mean, weeding the garden and planting big and beautiful flowers, repainting wherever necessary, and buying a thousand new throw pillows to style your couch, bed, and ottoman - pretty much every surface in your home! For some sellers, this can take up to six months, or even longer. A real estate agent won't come into your home wearing their old sweatpants to help you paint your feature wall, nor will they have the expertise to help you get your home in the best shape possible. 

There are so many resources out there to ensure that your home is in tip top shape. Home property conventions, lifestyle and home magazines, Pinterest, and even our blogs and links to property stylists can help you out more than a real estate agent. A buyer wants to walk into a home that is free of clutter and feels like a home, they want to be able to imagine themselves living there and feeling cosy. Next Address has partners who are the best in their fields in regards to home styling, and we can help you create the best space to attract the best type of buyers. 

6. 

Negotiation Skills 

Okay, so now you've made it through the open house phase and starting to settle into negotiations - I know, you are absolutely scared as hell about this part. Sure, you go down to the market and haggle down the price of a kilo of apples, and you know that you single-handily knocked off a few thousand on your wedding dress - so why do you think that your negotiation and haggling skills will fail you when selling or buying a house? The truth is, you have all of these skills and more, and truth be told, real estate agents probably have the same amount of successful negotiation training as you do. In order to be able to negotiate and haggle, you need to find your inner confidence - because it doesn't matter if you're a buyer or seller, this is your home or your future home and you love every aspect of it and only want the best and most out of the sale. 

As a buyer, you question while already having an ideal answer in your head, and as a seller, you have answers to all of the questions. You are the best person to negotiate the buying and selling of this home. Next Address has a document called "Offer to Purchase" which is a simple and effective tool for the negotiation stage. Both parties are able to go back and forth with this document until everyone is satisfied with the final outcome. You can email, scan, fax, photograph, Instagram, snapchat, and even Facebook this document. You don't need to be sitting at the same table to negotiate, you don't even need to be in the same state in order to get a result that makes both parties happy 

7. 

Control Choosing to work without a real estate agent means that both buyer and seller are in control of the situation. You know exactly who will be coming to your house to have a look around, and you know exactly where you are going and what you're going to see. Next Address wants to put control back into the buyer and seller's hands. The best part of this feature is that both parties can follow up with each other, rather than waiting for a real estate agent to call you up when they're busy trying to sell twenty other properties at the same time. We know that one of the biggest complaints is poor communication - and that is why Next Address wants you to have control of the process so you can have all of the answers when you need them. 

8. 

Choice For both buyer and seller, the next step is to manage inspections, get the right price, and enter into the negotiation process. At Next Address, you are provided with a DIY system that is easily explained and you are provided with all of the best tools in order to get the exact result you need. The home is castle, it's the biggest investment you'll make in your life. So you want to make the right decision from the get-go. Plan out your time and do as much research as possible in order to give yourself the ultimate freedom to make the choices you want. Do you need an agent? Or do you want to do it yourself with Next Address? Do what is right for you and your needs. The internet is giving back the people control of their lives and their futures. You get to find your next date on Tinder, your next recipe on Pinterest, your next event on Facebook, and even your next holiday on Tripadvisor - so why not find or sell your next home on Next Address. 

Next Address connected real estate buyers with real estate sellers - we match you up with no third parties or middlemen involved. Take control of your future and your life with Next Address. Next Address is DIY solution to buying or selling your home yourself. We've developed all-inclusive seller and buyer guides for you to download, info blogs and resources to guide your every step, educational videos to view, as well as an online help service and access to industry professionals should you wish to get some support for some of the elements of the process. 

If you are selling, our low service fee will link you directly to motivated buyers and we can arrange for your home to be listed Domain.com.au at a fraction of the fee charged by a real estate agent. If you are buying there is absolutely no charge to sign up and let our property match-makers find you the properties that best suit your needs. 

Next Address is the Tinder of homes - without the fake photos and bad matches. 

 

Julie O'Donohue
Founder
Next Address.

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