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Selling a Property

Many home sellers whom I have met over the years have this perception that all real estate salesperson (RES) is the same. They are partially correct since we are all in the business of selling & leasing properties. The truth is, all RES is the same with a difference.

"The same with a difference"

Now it is starting to sound complicated. You probably know some doctors. Some may choose to be an optometrist, a cardiologist, an orthopaedic or a neurologist. Others may opt to be a general practitioner or whom we addressed as “GP”. When you understand this, you will also understand that RES may choose to specialise in a particular niche sector or may choose to do anything & everything that comes along their way. Why do we choose to specialise in landed properties? We have shared this on our “Track Records” page under “About Us” about “The 10,000-Hour Rule”. We will show you the big difference between hiring a specialist over a general practitioner.

Landed transactions are big-ticket items. One thing for sure, any mistakes will not cost you a few thousand dollars but tens, hundreds or even millions of dollars. How do you choose the right landed real estate professional to orchestrate the whole process to ensure you achieve your desired results with minimal hassle?

"A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion."
~ Chinese proverb

A former student of ours once commented during one of our landed workshops. He commented that “Anyone can sell a landed property, it’s not that difficult. Just need to list the house at the right pricing, run ads in every prominent real estate portals & create a lot of ra ra to drive the buyers out”. When questioned how many landed houses has he sold? His reply was “quite a few”. Upon further probing, we figured out his number is between 5 to 10 houses. Is that good enough? Perhaps by many home sellers’ standard, this RES is considered relatively experience. What do you think? Is it that simple & straightforward or is there more to that?

At Landedspecialists.com, we understand that there is a lot of preparation even before launching the marketing campaign. After the marketing campaign is launched, it is too late to rectify any mistakes as active buyers would have already spotted the advertisement. When a home seller eventually realised the mistake, anything they do will have a negative impact on them. Why is the preparation work & the marketing process of a landed so much different as compared to other categories of residential real estate? What are some of the “homework” we do for our clients before putting any advertisements?

"If I had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe."
~ Abraham Lincoln

If you have listened to our radio interview on FM938 Live where we shared “Ten Common Mistakes Home Sellers Made”, you would know that almost 61% of landed home sellers make at least 5 out of the 10 mistakes mentioned. If you have missed our radio interview, you can still check it out under our podcast section or YouTube channel (show link). Understanding the theory of appointing the right person for the right job is important. Here are some of the things we do before, during & after running the marketing campaigns to find the right buyer for your landed property.

Competitive Marketing Analysis (CMA)

Statistics & data pulled online for recent transactions can tell a lot if you are selling your condo or HDB flat. For landed properties, you cannot really tell just from the land size & transacted price itself. Unfortunately, that is the only information that is showing, regardless if you are subscribing to any paid software like most real estate agency does or getting free online information from websites. This is our experience & expertise comes when we have to make a judgement call. Here’s why?

SEVEN THINGS that Statistics & Caveats lodged WILL NOT tell you:
  1. How long has the landed property been for sale in the market?
  2. How many times has the price been adjusted before the house is sold?
  3. Is it a normal sale, an estate sale, a bank’s mortgage sale or a transfer of the matrimonial home to an ex-spouse after divorce etc.?
  4. Are there special conditions attached to the sale such as long option date, long completion period, rent-free stay upon completion of sale etc.?
  5. Is it a whole or a partial sale among internal parties or is it a caveat lodged by the bank because the owner(s) refinanced or use the property as collateral for a loan?
  6. How to calculate land cost within the same street, sector or district? These are determined by zoning, plot ratio, baseline, height control, orientation, the shape of the land, site elevation, LTA’s road line, proximity to reputable schools & public amenities & other factors.
  7. How to calculate the real value* of the structure? These cannot be established by the Gross Floor Area (GFA), built-up or built-in area alone. Other factors such as the age of the property, quality & finishes, functionality of layout etc. are known to affect the structural value.

*Let us share with you a real-life case study involving a six & 17 year-old house along Jalan Naga Sari which were transacted almost the same time at almost the same per square feet when we have the chance to meet or chat.

"Every sellers' highest positive intention is to sell as high as they can; which unfortunately is on the opposite side of every buyers' highest positive intention!"
~ Alexs Chua
Indicative & Paid Valuation

What about indicative or paid valuation report for landed properties? Is that alone, an accurate gauge for home sellers or even homebuyers to decide on the sale or purchase price?

Bank’s indicative is merely based on (1) recent transactions comparison & (2) description provided to them. These two elements alone will not be sufficient. Do you agree with the five statements below?

  1. Valuation has always been a guide as the real estate market shifts between buyers’ & sellers’ market every now & then. During an upward trend, sellers expect a premium & sell above valuation. In a downward trend, buyers want a discount & buy below valuation.
  2. Without seeing the house, a buyer will not buy a landed property simply based on indicative value, unless the purchase is purely for the land & the structure has zero value. If so, how accurate can an indicative value be, when the valuer did not even see the house?
  3. Landed properties itself are very unique. Getting an accurate assessment of the real value is always a challenge. Especially in landed estates with high demand, low supply or low volumes of transactions to do a comparison.
  4. Property transactions are based on the principle of “willing buyer, willing seller”. Home sellers & homebuyers determined the perceived value. Some homebuyers will pay a premium when they finally find a property that they like.
  5. Every seller wants to sell as high as possible & every buyer wants to buy as low as possible. A good landed RES must be competent, well-versed with the neighbourhood’s competitions & transactions & also, at all times fulfil his fiduciary duties to the clients.

If your answer is “Yes” to all the five points, you will understand why a specialist is preferred over a general practitioner when it comes to getting the right person to market your house.

“Getting the right person for the right job.”

At LandedSpecialists.com, we will provide you with a detailed comparative market analysis of

  1. Past transactions for similar properties
  2. Other home sellers who are your most likely competitor
  3. Our customised & proven “Three-Steps Success” marketing strategy.
Analysing the Potentials of a Landed Property

Do most people see things as what it is or what it could be? Unfortunately, statistics have proven that most people see things the way their naked eyes are telling them. This is also causing them to lose money when they are selling their landed property. Why is that so?

Imagine, an old house sells for X dollar. After constructing a new house, it sold for Y dollar. Let’s say (conservatively) that after deducting construction cost & miscellaneous expenses, the nett profit is 20%. Would you, as the owner of the old house want to gain that additional 20% profit if given the option to rebuild & sell?

"Construction is complicated… I do not have the time, money or expertise to do that! Also, where am I going to stay during this period?"
~ common homeowners’ reply

For many home sellers, this is a pretty standard answer. More so if they are retirees. Is it really that difficult as they seemed? Having an eye for details, greater insights & understanding what buyers want is crucial when it comes to capitalising on your real estate. In the example of a long driveway bungalow along Duchess Avenue where we were competing with more than a dozen of other RES, we have that advantage!

Long driveway houses are not easy to find a buyer because of concern over the privacy of being surrounded by other houses & the land wastage for the long driveway. We found the right buyer & successfully brokered the sale because we know who to look for. Every of our competitor is looking for a homebuyer but we were talking to real estate developers. We knew something that others were not aware. The bungalow sits on a plot with a plot ratio of 1.4 which allows a 5-storey apartment block. We saw the potential of what it could be versus what it is. Needless to say, the rest is history! Today, Duchess Royale, which is a low-rise apartment comprising of 13 units with four bedrooms and a private pool sits on this plot of land.

"People will never know what they do not know; until the property is sold!"
~ Alexs Chua
Advertising

Every marketing strategy has its pros & cons. Some may be cheaper with lower conversion. Others may cost more but proven to generate better leads. If there is anything cheap & effective, RES will not be struggling with advertising expenses. Which portal will you be looking at if you are looking to buy a property? You can Google & find out how many times that service provider has increased their prices over the last three years. This will give you a good idea of what to expect if someone offers a low service fee to market your property. And it is not just that!

“Ads don’t sell, but people do”

Let us look at another real-life case study involving a house in District 10 Henry Park Estate. For over two years, more than a dozen of RES are competing to sell it. We brought in a buyer & within 15 minutes, pays a good price to the sellers, meeting their expectations. It was more than $300,000 higher than their highest offer over the years! The sellers were mystified & asked, “how come this buyer can decide so quickly?”. It sure looked like an easy deal, doesn’t it? The truth is; we have done a lot of groundwork before the actual viewing took place. We listened to her requirements, made a proposal, provide statistics to her. We also compare with units that were sold & units that are for sale. Through our diligent effort, she came with her chequebook. Her decision was made within 15 minutes after some negotiation. This is just one of our many success stories. At LandedSpecialists.com, we love to share with you & let you understand how all these will relate to you, as a landed home seller.

MYTHS versus FACTS

These are just FIVE examples of what Home sellers are doing, which is absolutely WRONG!

Myth ONE

“I can save some money & sell my property without engaging a real estate agent”

Facts

Professional real estate agents have access to paid software that provides data & statistics to guide a prospect to offer the right price. This is something that home sellers lack. For landed properties, experience & market insights are crucial. Home sellers are not in the market every day & may not have a good feel of the market sentiment. In any negotiation, the first party to pick the phone & call the other loses his or her bargaining power. Many home sellers without a RES find this a challenge especially when the prospect showed interest during the viewing but the lead went cold when they do not hear from them for weeks. It is better to do your due diligence & appoint the right RES who can serve in your best interest & most cases, stand a better chance of landing a better price.

Myth TWO

I will hire the agent with the most listings or sold the most units. He or she will have ready buyers for me.”

Facts

Many RES is often overloaded with too many listings. They will not be able to focus on everything. The high cost of advertising in various media may deter the RES with many listings. The RES you appoint must not be overwhelmed with too many listings to handle & will be able to expose your property to online & offline media. The visibility & awareness of your property is crucial. A buyer will buy a house that best fit their requirements & pricing, provided they can find your listing. Dedicated RES focuses on quality over quantity. We believe in giving our best, our full attention & value-adding ourselves to every one of our esteemed clients.

Myth THREE

“I will get more than one RES to market to have a better exposure for my property”

Facts

Owners should do their due diligence & get a highly qualified exclusive agent instead of multiple agents. If there are five agents & only one or two of them are competent, the right buyer might end up calling one of the other three incompetent ones & the chances of the prospect slipping away is very high. Multiple advertisements from different RES will confuse buyers if the description & price are quoted differently. It also creates the “desperate sale” impression & many a time, viewing appointments are duplicated.

Myth FOUR

“I will appoint the agent who charges the lowest”

Facts

The lowest does not mean the best. If the RES cannot even negotiate his or her professional fee which is just a mere fraction in comparison to the sales price, why do you think this is the right person for the job? The lower fee could also mean marketing activities are minimised. The RES may also choose not to co-broke with other RES who might have a buyer who can pay more. When we need a doctor for a health condition, we seek the best to be cured, not the cheapest. Regardless of the percentage, the professional fee is still zero if the RES cannot deliver any result.

Myth FIVE

I am in no urgency to sell. I will start by calling for a higher price. Then I will adjust accordingly along the way.”

Facts

You are better off not exposing your property to the market if that is the case. Genuine buyers are actively house hunting & have seen enough to know what is the market price. You will miss this group of buyers when you start high. Overpricing also pushes potential buyers to other units which are for sale as it will make theirs look like a better option. Adjusting prices downwards will send the message that the longer they wait, the lower the price is coming down. Finding that sweet spot & pricing your property right is an art! It should not be too high that it “repels” buyers. Yet, it cannot be too low as that will not do justice for you.

"If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur."
~ Red Adair

Since 1992, LandedSpecialsits.com has successfully brokered hundreds of landed houses. Many of these were complicated cases involving divorce cases, family disputes, estate or trustee sale or complicated cases arising from an unexpected situation. We want you to know that no job is too difficult for us because we do not work alone. Our business partners comprising of lawyers, bankers, architects & builders are here to support us, in our mission to support you in making that right decision! Call & have a chat with us today. Privacy & confidentiality assured!

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