(Free Press Journal, Nov 6, 2010)
Posted by: Avinash Gokhale
So you want to put your home up for sale on the real estate market.
In a perfect world, selling one’s property wouldn’t be a problem. You’d fix a price, pass the word around, and bingo – sale. However, this isn’t a perfect world we live in. Properties vary, locations vary, buyers vary; but the final objective of putting one’s property on the real estate market usually doesn’t. We all want to make a firm sale in the shortest possible time and for the maximum possible financial returns. Assuming that this is your goal as well, here are some suggestions:
PERSONAL MARKET RESEARCH
Don’t rely on your real estate agent alone, at least at first. Nobody knows a residential property better than its present owner does. Only you know why the property is worth your asking price, and only you know what kind of buyer you would like to entrust it to. Nobody knows the neighborhood as well as you do. These are aspects you might not be able to communicate effectively to your real estate agent. Therefore, start off by doing some investigation of your own.
You need to know what your property is worth. First, establish what the prevailing rate for properties like yours is – in your city in general, and in the property’s actual location in particular. The factors to consider are number of bedrooms, floor space, compound area (if any), facilities and amenities available, and so on. As far as the rates for your location are concerned, refer to the Ready Reckoner (in Maharashtra, this is available with the MCHI).
You also need to have a ballpark estimate of the local competition – after all, it’s unlikely that you’re the only one who wants to sell a property in your neighbourhood. You need to arrive at a fair, yet competitive selling price. It also gives you a chance to upgrade your own property if that’s what it takes to give you an edge – a fresh coat of paint, repairing of doors and windows, waterproofing, etc.
MAKE A DECLARATION
With the basic footwork done, you can decide to proceed with selling your property yourself, or you can retain the services of a real estate agency. In either case, it’s now time to get the word out about the availability of your property. How do you do that? Simple – advertise. Not by a vague rumour through the grapevine, though. If you are under the impression that you can make the perfect sale by relying on a handful of references and acquaintances, forget it.
The property market is a highly competitive one. People don’t buy a flat or shop based on a few well-meant words by common friends anymore. Even if they do, they’re likely to under-quote on the given price in an effort to exploit the personal connection.
Advertising has never been as easy at it is these days. The available media include the local newspaper classifieds, specialized real estate journals, popular magazines, telephone hotlines and the Internet. Yes, the IT Revolution is a blessing for the property market. At minimal cost, you can highlight your property on a popular real estate website – often for free – and soon be flooded with inquiries.
When you announce the availability of your property in the classifieds of a newspaper, ensure that the paper you choose is widely read in your target market area. Also ensure that every advantage your property offers is given exposure. Mention the pleasant surroundings, the schools and markets in the vicinity, the high quality of specifications. Invest in a little more space to do this properly; it’s well worth the expense.
CALL THE PROFESSIONALS
At this stage, it is quite likely that you will have some tentative inquiries from interested buyers. However, unless you have specialized knowledge of the real estate market yourself, it does not make much sense to go solo from this point onwards. Trying to wade through the technicalities involved in a property transaction without a property consultant would be like trying to fight a legal case in court without a lawyer. Reliability can be established by checking the agent’s references through your city’s Real Estate Agents Association. For a certain fee, your agent will safely see the transaction through for you.
You can, of course, engage a real estate agent right from the start. This is the easiest route, but it will cost you brokerage and also deprive you of two things – a major measure of control, and the thrill of facilitating your own property sale.
Avinash Gokhale – Director, Marketing & Corporate Planning, Pharande Spaces – a leading development firm specializing in integrated residential projects in the PCMC area of Pune
(Free Press Journal, Nov 6, 2010)