Selling your home: Tips on advertising and viewings
Do you want to sell your apartment or house? For many owners, selling a property is uncharted territory. These tips and tricks will help you to advertise your house or apartment successfully and organize a successful viewing.
Step 1: The expert way to advertise your house or apartment
Set the asking price
Anyone wanting to sell their house or apartment privately should first have their property valued. It's best to consult an expert from a bank or a professional appraiser because specialists can use their expertise and experience to take account of special features such as the decor. In order to cover the costs of the sale, include the real estate gains tax you will have to pay in the asking price as well as the fees for repaying your mortgage.
It is generally advisable to set a realistic sale price rather than be influenced by emotion and set one that is too high. Marketing overpriced real estate is often very slow, or fails to lead to a sale at all. Later reductions in the asking price can mean that the house or apartment ends up being sold for less than its actual market value.
Have photos taken of the property
Have high-quality photos of your apartment or house, the lot, and the surrounding area taken by a photographer. You can use them for sales documentation and advertisements. Professional photos create trust and inspire potential buyers more than those taken by amateurs. Ensure that you make the rooms look attractive. In addition to cleaning and tidying, it is advisable to include a few stylish decorative features. You want the photos to give prospective buyers an initial impression of the property – and encourage them to contact you.
Draw up the sales documentation
Draw up detailed sales documentation for prospective buyers. This should include:
- Name and address of the seller
- Detailed description of the property, including year of construction, furnishings, and any modernization work
- Photos of the rooms, the exterior, the lot, and the surrounding area
- Map showing the location in the city or municipality
- Details of amenities and the local area (schools, shops, transport links)
- Survey map and floor plans
- Land record extract
- Terms and conditions of sale and the price
Once the sales documentation is complete, you can place an advertisement on a real estate platform and in a newspaper, depending on your target group. The main thing here is to attract the attention of potential buyers. An expressive heading and a main photo that highlights the advantages of the property are especially important online. Briefly provide basic data about the property and the address, and describe the property as informatively as possible.
It is best to avoid exaggerations as these quickly come over as unprofessional. The sales documentation can be prepared as a PDF for downloading. Do not leave the advertisement online for too long if you don't secure a sale as this makes people suspicious. A good tip is to change the real estate portal you are using or upload the advertisement again after a short break with a new photo and heading.
Step 2: The right kind of viewing for a successful sale
Present the property attractively
Ensure that everything is clean in and around your house or apartment before the viewing. First impressions count. Check that all appliances and systems are working properly and repair them if necessary. Personal items should be put away for the viewing; this gives prospective buyers the chance to imagine themselves at home in the property. Decorative features such as fresh flowers create a pleasant ambiance.
Be prepared and stay neutral
Schedule viewings during daylight hours. You can invite buyers individually or in small groups depending on the type of property and how much demand there is. Alternatively, you can give an open viewing date in the advertisement. Dress professionally and print out the sales documentation for distribution. In this way you will come over as competent and prepared.
The important thing is to remain objective and calm even if critical issues arise, despite your emotional ties to the property. A neutral stance vis-à-vis the property will create a sense of trust among prospective buyers. Put them at the heart of the process and allow them plenty of time and space to have a good look around.
Do not conceal more serious defects
Defects in the house or apartment should be communicated openly, otherwise buyers can demand a reduction in the sale price on the grounds that they were not aware of the defects. It is therefore advisable to make a list of any defects and attach it later to the contract of sale.
Find a solution for your mortgage
Often, the sale of a property does not coincide with the end of a mortgage. There are three options open to you:
Repaying the mortgage
The mortgage can be repaid when the property is sold. Any costs will depend on the difference between the interest rates at the time the mortgage loan was signed and the time it is terminated, and on the remaining mortgage term.
Transferring the mortgage to the buyer
The mortgage may be transferred to the buyer, provided the bank's affordability assessment is positive.
Transferring the mortgage to a new property
If you are purchasing a new property, you can transfer the mortgage to it with the same conditions and term.
Step 3: Sell the apartment or house
Once a buyer has been found, a notary will draft the contract of sale. You and the buyer check this together and add to the wording until both parties are in agreement. The contract is then notarized and entered in the land records.
During the negotiations, you must be sure that the buyer is also able to pay, of course. As proof of this, the buyer can hand over an irrevocable payment guarantee from their bank. This proves that the payment will be made at the same time as the land record entry. This will bring your house sale to a successful conclusion and you can focus on new projects again.