Sellers: Winnie and Peter Cheung
Their property: A tired 1970s freehold townhouse featuring three bedrooms on a small flat section in Grammar Zones.
Sellers' motivation: Freeing up funds from an unwanted investment property.
How they decided on me: They had visited several of my open homes over the previous 12 months and worked out that I had the best local real estate knowledge. They had interviewed agents from smaller real estate companies but were convinced that the Barfoot & Thompson network was the most effective solution to ensure they would achieve maximum buyer exposure and maximum price.
Selling Method: Winnie and Peter's expectations above $600,000 were initially too high. I sensed this but agreed to put the property on the market by negotiation to see what interest we could generate. If $600,000 was possible I wanted to be the one to achieve it.
Marketing: We advertised in the Property Press (small 1/16th size colour advertisements) and placed regular ads in the NZ Herald. Initially the CV of $415,000 was advertised, then 3 weeks later the price of $620,000. After 8 weeks on the market the price was reduced to $539,000. We erected a small (900x700mm) non-photo signboard on the front fence. The home featured on the websites www.barfoot.co.nz and www.realestate.co.nz. Colour glossy A4 size brochures were distributed throughout the neighbourhood, were handed out at open homes, attached to the sign and displayed prominently in the B&T Remuera branch office & window. The property featured in my regular flyer distribution to more than 2000 Remuera residents.
Results: This was not a perfect programme. Open homes were initially well attended and I received offers of $470,000 and $480,000 in the first week. Winnie and Peter counter-signed these offers at $650,000. Open home numbers waned significantly, especially when the price was advertised at $620,000. When the price was finally adjusted to $539,000 I received two competing offers within a week and sold the property for a fair price of $525,000.
Main Success Factors: Getting the price right after 8 weeks resulted in a fair sale price. If Winnie and Peter had adjusted their price much earlier to say $575,000 (as I had suggested) they could have achieved between 5 - 10% more. UPDATE: Six months later the similar adjacent townhouse sold for only $438,000 after many price reductions with a rookie agent from a smaller agency.