Neighbourhood Watch: A Home Sellers Journey
June 5th, 2017
Posted in: Success Stories
The residents who stand to make the most from a home sale, outside of the immediate owners, are the neighbours. If you get the best price you can for your home at sale, it will nudge expected prices in the street upwards. Yet well-meaning neighbours can be the most vocal opponents of your home presentation efforts.
Sabrina and Kevin
Our home sellers lived in a sleepy cul-de-sac in a close-knit community. They were moving interstate for a work opportunity and Sabrina had a two-week deadline to get their home market ready. Kevin had already started a new job interstate. The need for speed coupled with a small budget meant that she had to rely on their immediate neighbours, friends, and a team of tradespeople for support and assistance.
Weather predictions of ten days of torrential rain left her doubting they could meet the deadline but their agent said, “You can do it!”
Opinion in the street was split firmly down the middle on the subject of home presentation prior to selling. Half of the neighbours in the close-knit enclave became fully involved in helping Kevin and Sabrina transform their much-loved mid-priced family home. The other half of the residents, in a well-meaning way, decried our fearless sellers’ efforts as ‘misguided’, ‘time wasting’ and ‘throwing money away’.
Everyone was in for a surprise…
The owners started packing and storing boxes in the garage. Once the torrent of rain subsided, windows were washed and the front of the house and pathways were pressure cleaned. Landscapers tidied the grounds and pruned trees; painters touched up the exterior of the house; the wooden decks around the pool area were-varnished. Meanwhile inside, cleaning and painting had prepared the home for styling.
One Day Makeover
On the designated day, Presentation Sells’ Founder Tracey McLeod worked side-by-side with the small group of residents who supported the project. One neighbour supplied flowering plants and furniture, one ironed the bed linen, one supplied drinks and refreshments. A close friend of Sabrina’s helped to decorate and style the rooms. She had a special reason for being there after losing her own home in a natural disaster one year earlier. Sabrina and Kevin had given her and her husband a home during the long months of rebuilding.
The long spell of wet weather meant that all of the work had to be done on the last two days before the photo shoot, including the interior styling. Under Tracey’s guidance, the amateur styling team focused on finding the gold in the home’s presentation in a One Day Makeover.
The well-travelled couple had some unique art and accessories which would enhance the rooms for the target buyer perfectly. They used mainly their own furniture and furnishings. Additional accessories and furniture items were generously loaned to Sabrina by the members of her styling team.
Not everything went according to plan. Sabrina still had to keep her home show-ready for a couple of weeks until the contract went unconditional. On one day in particular, a bidder insisted on coming through her home with a building inspector and loudly pointed out all of the faults in the home she loved in a bid to talk the price down. This was wrong for her on so many levels. She wanted to sell to someone who would love her home and fit in with the existing community.
Her efforts paid off big time! The property had four offers in four days and sold on day five for the clients’ desired price. Upon hearing the news, half of the neighbours cheered, while the other half were completely silent (but happy for their friends nonetheless).
The owners’ on-the-market campaign was short lived. Less than two months after deciding to sell, Kevin and Sabrina were leaving for their new home and new life in another part of the country.
- Not everyone will agree with how much effort you’re putting into presenting your home for sale. It’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they lack experience in home presentation for sale. Let them have their say and do your own thing anyway.
- This one may be harder. Embrace the neighbours and accept offers of help especially if you’re on a tight budget or time frame. They stand to gain the most from your sale.
- Not everything will go according to plan, just stay on course and know that it always works out all of the time.