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14 Golden Rules for Selling Your Home at the best possible price

14 Golden Rules
for Selling Your Home at the Best Possible Price

You are about to learn a few pearls of wisdom that your Wanganui real estate agent might not want you to know…


You may be familiar with some of these ‘Golden Rules’ and less familiar with others, but these ‘Golden Rules’ have stood the test of time and have been formulated by real estate experts with many years of experience in the real estate industry.


Some of these ‘Golden Rules’ may possibly be something you have never ever considered, but I can assure you they do work! These ‘Golden Rules’ have been valuable to many of my clients and will hopefully be of value to you too. After all, your home is probably the most valuable asset you will ever sell. Make sure you visit our blog. As well and also our latest issue is packed full of new property listings.


© 2021 Whanganui Mansions. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the copyright holder.













Golden Rule #1

Play your cards close to your chest.


Never, ever, ever, tell a real estate agent what price you are expecting to get for your home when you have asked them to give you an appraisal. While most real estate agents are honest and diligent, there is the occasional unscrupulous agent that might use that information to their advantage. Especially when the property is worth a lot more than what you were expecting to get. On top of that, you do not want to influence the appraisal price because your listing price needs to be realistic if you don’t want your home to sit on the market forever.


Golden Rule #2

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.


Always, always, always get at least 3 different real estate companies to give you an appraisal on your home. While intentions may be genuine, salespeople do not always get the price right (even registered valuers can vary in price for the same property) and by getting at least 3 appraisals you can quickly see if there is disagreement. If there is a wide variation in appraisal prices then just perhaps your property might be suited to auction or tender. That way you can let the market tell you what your home is worth. In a hot real estate market a competitive auction can achieve a much higher price, but if the market is saying less than you expect, a reserve price protects you from selling the property for less than you are prepared to take. And who knows, it may be worth a lot more than what you, and the various real estate agencies, think it’s worth!


Golden Rule #3

Never let anyone know if you are desperate to sell your home!


If you are selling because you HAVE to sell, never let on to a real estate agent that you are desperate or your reasons for selling. Even if you are desperate to sell, your response is always that “it’s time for a change.” If some agents even get a whiff of desperation, they can unwittingly pass that on to a buyer and you can be assured of getting less than what your property is worth—even in a hot market.


Golden Rule #4

Don’t be so quick to use a real estate agent just because they quoted the highest appraisal price.


Some real estate agents won’t take a listing from a seller who wants more than the market will bear, and others will tell you what you want to hear so they can secure the listing. But that can come back to bite you! That’s because your home will sit around on the market longer than it should, and then the agent finally advises cutting the price to what it should have been in the first place. While a real estate agent’s goal should be to get you the best possible price in the shortest possible time, reality and current market conditions must come into the equation. So don’t let agents buy a listing with an overvalued appraisal.


Golden Rule #5

Be a thoughtful negotiator.


When you receive an offer, don’t be too quick to drop your asking price. Very few buyers come in with an offer they aren’t prepared to improve upon (but it does happen). Test them out by dropping just a thousand or two and see what the response is. If your real estate agent asks you if you will go lower than that, then tell them that’s for you to know and them to find out!


Golden Rule #6

Never get greedy when multiple offers start arriving.


If multiple offers start rolling in on your home, it’s easy for you to get carried away. All sorts of numbers can be flying around the place and expectations can get inflated. Don’t let this get to you. You need to keep your head about you and think rationally because sometimes the highest offer isn’t necessarily the best offer. Think through all potential outcomes... have the buyers inflated the price of their home so they can buy yours? Can they really raise that much of a mortgage? During a bidding war, emotions are running high for buyers too, so keep in mind that it’s possible for some offers to fall through, and often, a cash offer in the hand may be better than a conditional sale in the bush... a sale with a higher price that may never eventuate.


Golden Rule #7

Choose the right real estate agent.


When choosing a real estate agent to sell your home, people have a tendency to deal with people they like and feel comfortable with. That’s only natural, but even the nicest guy/gal in the world may not have what it takes to be successful in the real estate business. Look for someone that is confident without being cocky and someone with a bit of enthusiasm, because often it is enthusiasm and hard work that makes a successful real estate agent. It is also important to find a real estate agent who is tech-savvy and embraces technology because the real estate business has changed over the years and is now driven by online searches and online real estate listings.


Golden Rule #8

Presenting your home for sale.


One thing that every buyer looks for in a home is good light. It may be a good idea to take down the net curtains to let in more light or make sure the drapes are tied back as much as possible and that the windows are clean. Maybe even increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside your windows to let more light inside. Try to make your home bright & cheery by adding a splash of colour to lift the atmosphere as well. Something like a colourful throw-over on the couch or a feature wall.


Golden Rule #9

Hide those cats, rats & dogs.


You might think little Rover, Mickey Mouse & Mr Tiddles would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but often that is not the case. Not everybody is an animal lover. Buyers don’t want to walk into your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the stinky kitty litter or see pet hair all over the carpet and furniture. This will give buyers the impression that your home is not clean. So your real estate agent is planning open homes in Wanganui, perhaps it might be best to take Rover, Mickey Mouse or Tiddles out with you when you leave.


Golden Rule #10

Make the effort to declutter your home.


We all love the stuff we treasure that has accumulated over the years but that is your stuff and not the buyers. Make an effort to put as much of your stuff as possible into storage so the place feels open and spacious and ready for the potential owner to imagine where their stuff would go.


Golden Rule #11

Always be ready to show your home.


Your home needs to be "ready to show" at all times—because you never know when your real estate agent is going to walk through the door. Always expecting your real estate agent to call before they come can be rather difficult when everyone has busy schedules these days and buyers can be quite demanding at times. Most real estate agents do their best but you don’t want to limit your opportunities by demanding they give you 24 hours' notice before arriving. It’s simply not always possible.


Golden Rule #12

First impressions count.


Buyers often drive past a home before calling a real estate agent, so always keep your section clean & tidy—grass mowed, edged, weeds pulled, leaves raked. Clean the outside of your home and make sure that gutters and drains are cleaned and working properly. If needed, rent a water blaster to clean your footpath, other concrete/brick surfaces or the front fence. Make sure your letterbox is presentable and in good condition. Buy a new one if necessary!


Golden Rule #13

Spread the word around.


Don’t let your real estate agent do all the work—let your neighbours, friends, and workmates know that you are selling because they may know someone who is interested. You could even consider posting your home on your Facebook page or other social media sites.


Golden Rule #14

Are those expensive glossy brochures and publications worth it?


These days, most properties are sold after an enquiry from an online search by a buyer. Advertising in your main local glossy real estate magazine that is usually widely distributed can be worthwhile, but most other publications and brochures simply don’t have a wide enough distribution to be worth the money. Some real estate agents are quick to spend your money if you let them!

Golden Rule #15

Find your next mansion or sell your old mansion with Whanganui Mansions.

Whanganui Mansions is a great place to find a house for sale Wanganui, or a house for sale in Waverley, or a house for sale in Marton or a house for sale in Bulls. We list all properties for sale free of charge and we have properties for sale in all price ranges. It's not just mansions you know! You can do that here.

About the Author


Steve Baron is the Founder & CEO of Whanganui Mansions. He is a former successful real estate agent and property investor when based in Auckland and formerly the Managing Director of Baron Marketing Ltd, an advertising company he founded and ran for over 20 years.


He is a past mentor for Business Mentors NZ and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Waikato Majoring in Economics & Political Science. He also holds an Honours Degree from Victoria University of Wellington in Political Science.


He is a published author of three books and a prominent guest editorialist for newspapers throughout New Zealand. In his spare time, Steve is the Clerk of the Scales for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, is a Bridge Grandmaster and enjoys walking, running and cafes.

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