Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Mums Are Taking On The Local Real Estate Agents:

How mums can make money from real estate
By Expert Tips
Date: June 10 2016
Editor Rating:
Your-hot-property-cover

No one knows how to run a tight ship better than a mum. They’re used to the challenges of balancing a work and home life, organising the kids for school or sport activities and finding some ‘me’ time amongst all of that. So it’s no surprise that they’re now deciding to take the reigns when it comes time to selling the family home. After all, if they can run a household with all its demands, then selling their home can’t be that difficult.

Here are 6 reasons why being a mum makes you the best person to sell your own home:

1. Who knows your home better than you? You know that property inside and out, you’ve more than likely made a few improvements to it too. You’re certainly the best person to answer any questions potential buyers may have about it.

2. You know your local area just as well, if not better, than your local agent, after all you’ve probably driven thousands of kilometres taking the kids to and from school and sports, shopping and family outings.

3. You know how to say No and you know how to hold your ground. If anyone was ever going to wear you down and make you give in it’s a persistent and unrelenting child. If you can manage to stay strong with them, you’ll have no trouble when it comes time to deal with a prospective buyer.

4. Mums are known for being shrewd negotiators, especially when they want something badly. How many hours have you spent shopping around for the best deal, or getting the salesman to knock off just a few more dollars?

5. You can think on your feet and can justify almost anything. Think of the countless times you’ve told your partner why you needed those new pair of shoes. You won’t have any problem chatting with buyers and selling the best features of your home.

6. Lastly, you‘ve got your family's best interests at heart. You know the difference an extra one or two thousand dollars on your sale price will mean to your family and you’ll work damn hard to get that.

Your Hot Property Co-founder Daniel Baxter, says “Out of anyone I deal with, the mums seem to be the toughest negotiators. They secure prices for their home that even surprise their local agents”.

Sally is a perfect example of what a young mum can achieve when you set your mind to it. Sally, along with her husband Ryan, ended up selling their 3 bedroom Caringbah townhouse themselves, but it took some convincing on Sally’s part. Ryan was skeptical about them doing it themselves and almost gave the property to a local agent.

Well it’s lucky he didn’t, as Sally ended up selling their townhouse for $30,000 more than their local agents told her she could get and she also saved around $20,000 in agent commission too. Needless to say they were pretty happy. “With the money we saved I got to put in a brand new kitchen in our new home, I thought I’d have to wait at least 2 years to do that”, says Sally.

Baxter, believes homeowners are missing out on a lot of extra cash when selling their property and they are more than capable of doing it. He states, “more than anyone, mums know the impact that extra money can make on the family and I think that’s one of the main reasons why they achieve such fantastic results”.

We asked Your Hot Property some questions about their new platform and a couple of tips they have for mums when selling a house:

1. How did Your Hot Property come to be? 

We started Your Hot Property after a less than favourable experience with a few local agents. We were selling our house at the time and it felt as though they were working their hardest when they were trying to secure our listing. We were talked into an expensive auction campaign, which in hindsight, wasn't necessary at all. 

After it didn't sell at auction, they weren't really that interested and they started trying to knock us down in price and accept lower offers (much lower than they told us they could get us in the very beginning). It felt like all they wanted was their commission and they didn't really care about trying to get us a great price. 

When it came down to it, we just didn't feel as though they had our best interest at heart so we took the listing off them, pulled it off the market and later sold it ourself. 

After we sold, we noticed that the process wasn't actually that difficult and we thought there had to be other homeowners out there who were having similar experiences as ours. We hated seeing people get ripped off and waste thousands of dollars when they didn't have to, so we decided to start Your Hot Property so we could help them do it themselves, achieve better results and saves thousands in commission. 
 
2. What are the biggest challenges encountered by Your Hot Property?

The myths out there about selling your own property. Agents try and convince people that it's a very complicated process and it should be left to professionals, some of them even try to tell people that it's illegal, which is not the case at all.

They call themselves professional negotiators, but an agent doesn't receive any training in negotiating, only seller conditioning. Home owners think they won't be able to negotiate, however they forget that when they purchased the home, they negotiated with an agent to buy it, a so called professional. This time they're dealing with a person just like them, but they have the upper hand as they are selling something someone else wants.

Our challenge is about changing peoples beliefs around what agents actually do and when it comes down to it, it's holding a couple of open for inspections and making a couple of phone calls to chat with interested buyers. It's the solicitor or conveyancer that does all the hard work, taking care of contracts. Agents don't do that for you, but they're the ones walking away with the big pay cheque.

With a greater number of big industries being disrupted, it's becoming a little easier. 10 years ago, you wouldn't have jumped in the car with a total random person to get somewhere, or stayed at a strangers house you found on line, but all of a sudden everyone is using Uber and Air BnB.

It's all about changing peoples perception... it can be tough, but now is the perfect time to be doing it.

3. Where will Your Hot Property be in 5 years?

Our mission is to be the most professional Virtual Real Estate Agency in Australia, with the highest customer satisfaction and success rate, having helped save our clients 20 million dollars in commission by 2020.  

4. How will the homeowner know if all legal documents are done properly?

Unless you have done this before, or you're very familiar with the process, we highly recommend using the services of a licensed conveyancer or solicitor. The process of having contracts drawn up and exchanged works pretty much exactly the same as it would if you were selling with a local agent. Your solicitor or conveyancer is there to guide you through the whole process from beginning to end, as are we.

5. Is it recommended to renovate the house before putting it up for sale to maximise profit?

You have to look to see what type of return you will get on your investment. Will putting in a brand new kitchen, that costs you $30,000 get you more than $30,000 extra when you sell? If that's unlikely, you're best not wasting your time and money. Often small, inexpensive, cosmetic changes can have a greater impact on your bottom line profit. Think freshly painted walls, new carpet or flooring, maybe a new vanity in the bathroom or new handles on kitchen cupboards. There are a lot of small changes you can make, that have a big impact. 

You definitely want to make sure your property is looking its absolute best when putting it on the market as the majority of people don't want to move into a home and have a long list of things they have to fix. 
  
6. Which areas of the home should be renovated before selling?

Kitchens and bathrooms bring in the most money and are the two major rooms of a house that can make or break a sale. In saying that, they are the two most expensive rooms to renovate too. 

It's best to first look at your competition out there. What do other comparable homes have that yours doesn't. If your kitchen is tired and old looking, and every other house selling has renovated ones, you're probably going to want to look at doing yours up - this could be as simple as changing the bench top, or cupboard doors or updating a couple of the appliances. It doesn't necessarily have to be a major job. A bathroom makeover could consist of a new vanity and mirror, maybe a new shower screen or taps. You don't always have to do a full demolition to get a great result.
  
7. What are the top 3 factors that matter to potential buyers?

Location: This is usually top of the list and it can be for many different reasons. For families it may mean being close to certain schools for their children. For an older person or couple it could be the closeness in proximity to shops and local ammenities that's appealing to them and a younger person may want access to great public transport and entertainment. 

Renovated: As much as people love watching renovation shows, the majority of them are really looking to move into something that doesn't require any work, but still looks great. If you're renovating a property to sell, just make sure you choose a neutral colour pallet and style that appeals to a greater number of buyers. 

Natural light & space: Whether it be an entertaining area to host friends and family or a second living room, buyers love usable space and natural light. This is especially true for those buyers with children. It doesn't necessarily have to be a big backyard either, as long as they don't have to rely on the lounge room being the only area where the kids can play, they'll see value in a property offering them extra space.

8. What are the common things that don't usually matter to home buyers, which I need not bother mentioning?

Unless you are selling a luxury property, buyers don't really care about brand names when it comes to high end fittings, fixtures and inclusions. As long as they look great, they will appeal to them. 

Specifications of a property - by nature buyers are very visual creatures and rely on what's in front of them to make a decision, if you throw around a lot of technical building terms or measurements it can sometimes go over their head. 

Pest and building inspections that the owner has had done - buyers don't generally trust these and prefer to get their own done.
Neighbours - if they're lovely, that's great, but a buyer isn't going to purchase your property just because you've got lovely neighbours. On the flip side, if you're neighbours are noisy or rude, this could be a turn off for a potential buyer. If someone asks what your neighbours are like, don't go into too much detail. 

9. Do I need to focus on property marketing to make the house more sellable?

You definitely need to advertise your home where people are looking and that's on the major real estate websites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au - Over 90% of buyers are looking on line for their next home, so this is a must. Second to where you advertise, is how. 

We highly recommend professional photos as you only get one chance to make a great first impression. If you can't get someone excited to look at your home online, you have no chance of getting them to come view it in person.

Photographic For Sale Signboards are great if you're property is in a location that will get a lot of passing traffic and there is something special about your property that a buyer can't immediately recognise from just walking or driving past. 

We are big advocates of using social media to advertise our clients properties. People, on average, check Facebook over 14 times a day, which is just insane. Using highly targeted Facebook advertising allows you to reach a greater number of potential buyers and people liking, commenting and sharing your property really helps too.  

10. How do I know the best price to sell the house?

We provide our clients with a Comparative Market Analysis report, which all agents use. This report shows you comparable properties to yours, that are currently for sale and recently sold. This is a great way to get an indication of what your property may be worth. 

You can also get an independent valuation from a licensed valuer. Just remember this is different from an 'appraisal' given by a real estate agent. 

Another great way is by doing your own due diligence. Visit open for inspections or auctions of similar properties to yours. See what price they're asking, what the buyer interest is like and most importantly what they are selling for. The best way to get an indication of what your home is worth, is by observing what the market is currently paying for similar properties. Just make sure you're always comparing apples with apples.

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