As a seller, you and your agent are doing everything you can to get a great result when selling your home. There’s a lot going through your mind right now – from whether it’s the best time to sell, to contemplating the upheaval of moving house, or whether you’ve gotten the very best price. And – as in life – sometimes things deviate from the best-case scenario. You’re not alone, even seasoned vendors experience setbacks and make mistakes when selling a house.
But never fear, because here are a few handy pointers to get you back on track after these three slightly-less-than-perfect scenarios. The best thing you can do is keep your chin up, and you’ll be breaking out that Champagne soon enough!
Scenario 1: Bridging the gap.
Your mouth already goes dry at the thought of a bigger mortgage. And now you’ve bought a new property without first selling your current one. You’ll probably need bridging finance. This short-term, interest-only loan covers both your existing and new debt, while you sell your existing property. Bridging finance relieves the pressure of aligning your settlement dates, giving you breathing space to sell your property well, without missing out on your new dream home. No, bridging finance isn’t cheap, but neither is panicking and selling your home too cheaply.
Solution: Set a clear timeline with your agent around selling your current home. A ‘safe’ timeline might go like this: put your property on the market with time to negotiate a good sale price. Find a new home, and negotiate a 90-day settlement – giving you three months to sell your existing home.
Scenario 2: It’s a pass.
An auction is a bit like planning a party. ‘Will anyone show up?’ ‘Will they have a good time?’ Will someone end up buying my house?’ Ok, so maybe not exactly like a party. Not every property that goes to auction will sell under the hammer. So what should you do if your property is one of those left on the shelf?
Solution: Rather than let those emotions get the better of you, get some valuable feedback from your agent. They can debrief you on who was seriously interested during the marketing campaign. While it may not have sold on the day, ask about anyone who wanted to buy but couldn’t because of the auction conditions. Was there something that put a prospective buyer off? Perhaps it’s something you could negotiate. Importantly, hang in there with your agent, as they’ve been building valuable contacts – which are more likely to pay off that having to start from scratch.
The offer’s gone off You were thrilled to get a great conditional offer on your property. But today, you’ve found out that the offer has fallen through, perhaps because your buyer can’t sell their own home within the time you’ve allowed.
Solution: You can also stipulate up-front how much time a conditional buyer has to retract their conditional offer, before you start taking offers from other buyers. Then ask your agent to talk to other potential buyers, who perhaps just missed out on your place. If the offer was unconditional, it’s time to get legal advice about making a claim on the deposit. This will help pay for remarketing the property, bridging finance, or if there’s a shortfall in the eventual sale price.
While things don’t always go to plan when it comes to selling your home, our free ‘How to get ready to sell’ eBook can help prepare you for the what-ifs and prevent the pitfalls when it comes to selling a house in New Zealand.