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How to ruin a sales campaign: 6 mistakes that sink property prices

Melbourne’s Spring property season is upon us and many vendors will be gearing-up for their sales campaigns.

It’s typically a time when market activity is at its most lively and buyers are out in force – so often it’s a good time to sell for vendors.

But, even in the most frenzied of Spring markets, a badly run sales campaign can see the strongest of properties fall flat.

So let’s ensure your listing shines and delivers its optimum sales price. 

Don’t ruin your sales campaign and avoid these crucial mistakes.


1. Selecting the wrong agent

Choosing the right or wrong agent can make or break your campaign. And it’s difficult to recover a campaign once things go awry. 

Due-diligence, research and a strong interview process are essential before selecting an agent. They are a lynchpin; advising, guiding and overseeing the campaign, so any ineptitude will quickly permeate and sabotage the whole endeavour. 

Unfortunately there’s some very common mistakes that see vendors choose an ill-suited agent.

It may be that the agent has come recommended by a friend. While the agent might have been great for your friend, it doesn’t mean they are the best fit for your property and location.

Another example; often vendors will simply meet an agent at an open for inspection. The agent offers to appraise the property and soon after they have it listed. While it might seem seamless and convenient for the vendor, there’s a strong chance the agent isn’t the best fit for your property and sales market.

Others decide to automatically use the same agent who sold the property to them. Just because you bought through them, doesn’t mean they are the best agent to sell it.

Perhaps the most tricky is when they become friends with the agent and thus feel obligated to use them. While it might sound a little cold, it’s the agent’s job to be-friend and keep in contact with you; even send you Christmas cards – all ultimately to convince you to sell with them. While they might come across as affable and charming, it doesn’t mean they have the skills and know-how to get you the best price for your property.


2. Choosing the wrong sales method

Whether it be auction, expressions of interest (EOI) or private sale, you’re unlikely to maximise the price of your property if you select the wrong method of sale.

For example, auctions are most effective when the demand for a property exceeds its supply. If your property is in a market segment with strong supply, but limited demand, choosing to go to auction might result in a disappointing showing. On the other hand, opting for a private sale in a heavily supplied market often grants you more control and aligns better with market expectations.

Another example is choosing an EOI approach when an auction might have been more suitable. First home buyers may be overwhelmed by the EOI method and not fully grasp its process or nuances. Even though auctions can be intimidating, they are clear and transparent. For many an EOI may feel confusing and opaque, seeing them less committed to the process.


3. Too high/low on the market quote

Setting the wrong price for your property means you won’t engage with the right type of buyer profile, resulting in untapped demand that could otherwise push up the price.

It’s important to realise that the method of sale directly influences your market quote. In a private sale, the quoted price usually serves as a target. Although it’s desirable to achieve this price, you often need to negotiate, potentially settling for less. 

In contrast, auctions typically start at the lower end of the quote and can increase based on interest. If things go exceptionally well, the final bid might even surpass the top end of your quoted price.


4. Messing up the timing

As the old saying goes, timing is everything, and it holds especially true in property. ‘

If you have the flexibility to plan, it’s worth evaluating the unique attributes of your property when determining the best time to go to market.

While Spring is definitely a robust sales period, it can also mean heightened competition. If your property is common and abundant, selling during this time might expose you to intense vendor competition and oversupply. 

Your property may well be better showcased in other less competitive periods. For example, regions in Victoria might see higher demand during winter. If your property boasts features like great northern light, showcasing it during cooler months can underscore its appeal. 

Conversely, a beachside property or homes with outdoor entertaining areas, such as a pool or deck, might be more enticing during the summer months, like February or March.


5. Slap-dash property presentation 

Presentation has become an increasingly important factor in driving successful sales results. 

Vendors that are unwilling to invest in enhancing their property’s appearance risk leaving large amounts of money on the table when they sell.

Failure to optimise property presentation can leave prospective buyers disengaged, uninspired, or put-off; resulting in lost sales opportunities. Many buyers lack the vision to imagine a property’s potential without the important visual cues that a well presented property offers.

Spending on presentation is not just about styling or furniture, it includes aspects like painting, carpeting, landscaping, and even updating kitchens and bathrooms. It’s also important to understand the expectations and needs of your target buyers.

For instance, first time buyers are often drawn to properties with new kitchens and bathrooms. They typically prefer move-in-ready homes over those requiring immediate renovations. This preference has become even more pronounced given the rising costs and scarcity of tradespeople.

Updating your property not only increases its appeal but also potentially draws a larger pool of interested buyers. It’s crucial to understand the expectations and needs of your target buyers and ensure the property meets them.


6. Mucking up the marketing campaign

Many overlook the significance of marketing. Selecting the right marketing campaign and then ensuring it’s well executed is critical to the final sales outcome.

For example, some agents suggest off-market campaigns, which rely heavily on their existing databases. While this approach might suit vendors seeking discretion, privacy, or expedited sales, it’s often limiting. 

By solely focusing on an agent’s database, vendors may miss out on potential buyers new to the market or unfamiliar with that specific agent. Even if these new prospects aren’t the ultimate purchasers, they can help drive up the final sales price by bolstering competition.

A broader marketing strategy typically reaches more prospective buyers. Platforms like realestate.com and Domain remain essential. Print media, although less popular now, still holds value for some properties; targeting dormant buyers who might not regularly scour online platforms, but still browse through the paper’s property listings. 

Whatever the marketing strategy, it’s essential it is purposely chosen, so it hits as many potential buyers as possible. Thus, creating competition, pushing up prices and delivering a strong end sales result.


Take home message

Don’t ruin your sales campaign. While many elements of campaigns might seem obvious, even minor oversights can prevent you from achieving the optimal price.

Depending on your situation, time may be of the essence, but do not rush or be pushed into a strategy or decision you are not comfortable with. 

Partner with the right experts, and ensure you remain planned, strategic and purposeful throughout the process. 

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