One of the most challenging things on a property agent’s to-do list is getting viewings and potential buyers for a new property listing. This is a responsibility that is entrusted to me by the owner and I take it very seriously.
Last year, I was approached by a homeowner who was looking to sell his unit at Kovan Residences. He was planning to retire and wanted to cash out. Over the past few years, his unit has appreciated and he believed it was time to extract the gains.
However, his belief was that his unit was very hard to sell due to the price he was asking for.
Other reasons include:
- partial afternoon sun
- no confidence in the market
I took photos of his unit on 27 August 2017. You can see based from my iPhone screenshot here.
The high price quantum being asked by the owner means:
- having to attract qualified buyers who would have the budget,
- likely smaller pool of buyers and
- who are interested in a larger unit size.
In this case, my strategy was to do targeted marketing to both agents and buyers who were interested in this location.
As an agent, I have to understand the flaws in the unit that might make a potential buyer uncomfortable. For example, the partial afternoon sun might be a turnoff for some buyers.
Thus it is my job to present the unit in the best light – despite the flaws.
Home Staging Tips
Many people believe that their place already looks good especially if they pack up everything nicely.
But certain blindspots will always exist. For example:
- where you dry your laundry
- where you have your breakfast and display your jam & bread
- maybe a LEGO display created by your kids that you feel you should show off
The truth is that all these might be a eyesore to the eyes of the buyer.
They will start to think – Wah, this house has no place to dry their laundry.
Of course, we are not able to make the whole place look perfect. After all, someone is still staying inside.
But to in order to get the best price for the house, we must put in a certain amount of effort to showcase the unit’s best potential – clearly.
This ensures that we get potential buyers who come and view the place to become willing to put up the maximum genuine offer they are comfortable with.
I proceeded with my marketing strategy and attracted a number of qualified potential buyers.
Within 21 days of taking the photos, an offer came in on 18 Sept 2017. The buyer signed the Option To Purchase (OTP) which was due to expire on 2nd Oct 2017.
The selling price was $1, 9XX, XXX.
For private property, the transaction process is relatively painless due to lesser restrictions when compared to HDB flats. As long as there is a willing buyer and willing seller, the transaction can proceed.
What Is the Option To Purchase (OTP)?
The OTP is the first document the buyer signs to indicate interest and gives a black and white offer to the seller. It is called an “option” because it allows the buyer 14 days to contemplate and think through the purchase – essentially for the buyer to cool off. Usually a non-refundable deposit is paid as well.
At the end of 14 days, if the OTP is not submitted to the seller, this means the seller can keep the deposit and proceed with other potential buyers. But if the OTP is executed, the seller will be obligated to sell to the buyer.
The truth is for a successful transaction to take place, many other factors also need to fall in place.
- skilled negotiation
- high quality marketing
- being able to zoom directly to a unit’s flaws
- experience of the agent
In my years as an agent, I realised that no unit is perfect. There will always be flaws and buyers’ objections will always be there.
But with the right preparation and a commitment to adding value to both buyers and sellers, it is possible for both parties to be satisfied with the outcome.
The longer your property is on the market, the tougher it becomes to sell.
If you are currently facing challenges with selling off your unit – whether is it HDB or private property – I invite you to contact me for a free assessment.