Everybody wants to get the highest possible price when they list a property for sale. But just what strategies or approaches should you deploy to achieve this outcome?
One proven way to push up the selling price is to engage a professional agent who is highly skilled in “team-based” methods of selling. As the name suggests, team-based marketing means that a group of agents and support staff work in a coordinated way to handle everything from open-for-inspections and property presentations to the micro-targeting of potential buyers through e-mails, phone calls and social media.
Senior Auctioneer Jayson Watts, a Partner with Nelson Alexander who focuses on selling properties in Flemington, Kensington and surrounds, says team-based marketing maximises results for vendors.
He says there are a lot of “time under pressure” considerations when putting together a real estate sales campaign. “A stand-alone agent may not have the ability to service the prospective buyers in the way that a team can,” Mr Watts notes. “This certainly is a strength at Nelson Alexander that we use when we are pitching against other agents in our area.”
Historically, the auction sales method has been strongly favoured by Melbourne homeowners. That’s partly because an auction creates urgency and sets a deadline for buyers to act and make decisions.
Auction campaigns typically run for four weeks. They often work to produce above-reserve prices because bidding at an auction often involves an emotional response by the buyer – something that’s less evident in private sales or Expression of Interest campaigns.
Mr Watts works closely with co-listing agent, Liz Brettell. The two are mature agents–both are parents, who specialise in the family home market and have been responsible for recent major sales of $2 million-plus double-fronted heritage properties and other larger homes.
Backing up this core team are support workers, who concentrate on the pre-marketing work of campaigns, as well as buyer-focused selling agents, who source and qualify would-be buyers. The support staff works to ensure the property is presented well and advertised in the way the vendors are comfortable with in the run-up to the marketing launch.
“When a marketing campaign for a home commences, our team of real estate professionals work hand in hand to ensure we don’t leave a stone unturned,” Mr Watts says. “But a lot of work first goes into preparing a property for sale. In any property I go into, I look at how I can improve it by spending a dollar to get three or four dollars back.”
He says it’s quite possible for owners of well-located double-fronted houses who invest $50,000 in a modest renovation to increase their selling price by $200,000-plus: “Presentation is a big part of any sales campaign. We don’t rush taking a property to market.”
“We will often push back the start date for a campaign to get the right four-week sales strategy, with time included to make sure the home is presented in the best light. Generally, the vendors will get a better outcome by doing this, but I see that a lot of competing agents with Nelson Alexander are happy to quickly list a property online and hope for the best because stock levels are low.
“We don’t rush that process–you get one shot at selling. You’ve got to make sure that it is a rewarding outcome at the end.” For sellers anxious to get a top price, it’s also critical to consider the pros and cons of using a real estate agency that wholly owns its office network compared to using a franchised agent.
Nelson Alexander doesn’t operate as a franchise-we work together. Our business is structured in a similar way to a large law firm, with active partners owning a share in our business.
This ensures that our 15 office network operates on an equal field and our offices share sales and buyer leads with one another, each having a part in one another’s and our customers successes.
Franchised agents, by contrast, have strict sales territories and are less likely to refer a buyer to a property located in an area outside the agent’s territory.
This is an important consideration given the “portability” of buyers in Melbourne today. The fact is that more and more buyers, looking to purchase a home in one suburb, end up buying in a different area because they’ve found a property that better suits their needs.
Nelson Alexander Director Nicholas West says buyers are showing a greater preparedness to purchase in a new area that wasn’t on their original search list if they find a suitable property. Often these “postcode jumps” occur because of leads given by an agent to a buyer. “Buyers across the board are showing greater readiness to move postcodes after a few weeks spent searching for a property compared to when they first started looking,” Mr West says.
“Our agents have built up relationships with buyers who may have been looking in Carlton North for six months. They will then often advise clients that a property in North Melbourne will tick a lot of boxes for them.” According to Mr Watts, a key benefit for vendors listing through Nelson Alexander is that buyers are introduced to comparable properties in a variety of suburbs, not simply in one preferred area.
“We will match buyers to properties on value,” he says. “If there are comparable value properties on offer in Northcote, Brunswick or Carlton, and the buyer is looking around Flemington and Kensington, we offer buyers a variety of options. That is one of the benefits of buying through Nelson Alexander’s 15-office network.
“There is more stock to show buyers, compared to the amount of stock that’s available from a single-office agent. We ask qualifying questions of buyers and get an understanding of exactly what it is they are after so we can match them to homes as best we can. Flemington and Kensington buyers are very portable – they could look in Brunswick, Ascot Vale, Fitzroy North, Parkville and North Melbourne.”
He says A-grade properties that are well-presented and well-located, are doing particularly well at the moment: “The days on market for those properties is the lowest I have seen for a while. A-grade properties are selling within 10 to 14 days, which is back to the selling times that we saw during the COVID pandemic and just after this period.
“For these properties, we are having two inspections and getting a lot of people through our network of offices and also through our buyer management processes. A-grade stock is selling very competitively and selling within 10 to 14 days.”
If you would like to discuss listing or purchasing a property in greater detail, please contact any Nelson Alexander office.