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10 ways to catastrophically screw up the sale of your home


You’d think selling your home would be fairly self-explanatory; humans have been dealing in property for centuries, after all. You make your home look pretty, plop it on the market and Bob’s your uncle, it sells within a matter of days.
This is the way it’s always been.

Only some people have to make things complicated. They think they know best and deviate from the tried and tested. They take pained strengths to present their property in unusual and mystifying ways. And sure their properties attract attention, but being featured in some article titled ‘Australia’s biggest property blunders’ isn’t the sort of attention that sells.

As Australia’s oldest private selling platform, we’ve come across all kinds of sales strategies. In fact, we’ve seen them all. So, believe us when we tell you we know how to catastrophically screw up the sale of your home.

Take heed, here are our most learned words of wisdom:

1. Put out your best porcelain knickknacks and handicrafts

We appreciate you’re extremely proud of your porcelain pig collection you painstakingly sourced from all corners of the world. Unfortunately, buyers find them weird. Please do everyone a favour and keep them locked in the attic where they belong. Instead, why not take the opportunity to declutter and properly stage your home.

2. Attract buyers by way of fancy dress

Dressing up in a chicken outfit and marching up and down your nature strip waving your for sale sign may seem like a creative way to attract attention – it isn’t. All you succeed in doing is scaring innocent children while providing amusement to your neighbours.

3. Advertise to throw in your pet hamster to the lucky buyer

Er, no.

4. Don’t show it like it is

Yes, the telephone tower looming over your garden no matter how or where you angle your camera is an eyesore. And while using Photoshop might seem like the natural choice for eradicating any proof of its existence, you might want to factor in one minor point – the thing does exist. Besides the fact it’s misrepresentation and highly illegal, don’t you think buyers will notice it the moment they turn up to view your home?

Unfortunately in cases like these, your only hope is an act of God. Or you could watch our video tutorial on how to take great photos of your home.

5. Pick the agent in the slickest suit advising the highest sales price

Clearly this agent has your best interests at heart and not his own. And we all know the agent wearing the slickest suit driving the most extravagant car is the most successful. If an agent shows up in anything less than a Subaru, ditch him. More on the truth behind real estate agent commissions.

6. Keep your sale a secret

Listing on realestate.com.au? Pfft, that’s for amateurs. Just whack your listing on Gumtree. Everyone knows Gumtree is the trustworthiest method for selling your home. Better yet don’t market your property online at all, a good old classified ad will do just as well!

7. Beg and plead on Facebook

When all else fails and you’re yet to attract a single buyer, try to resist posting your listing on Facebook and offering cash in exchange for shares or conjuring up some sob story and pleading for everyone’s help. Honestly, it’s kind of desperate and unlikely to go well for your sale.

Stay dignified and lower your sales price.

8. Get colourful with your ad copy

While we’re still on the story angle, many have tried using catchy wording in their advertising to grab attention. Flashy headlines like, “Property for sale due to impending divorce – quickly please, before we tear each other apart.” Or, “Looking for a low-maintenance home in a relatively stabby-free neighbourhood?” Even, “Don’t worry, the ghosts are extremely welcoming”.

These types of headlines are a great way to earn social media shares. Of course, you won’t actually sell your home, but you will become famous. Instead, why not learn how to write an ad that really sells?

9. Put your ego in charge

We understand you love your home – it’s served you well over the years. But shooing buyers out of the door or striking them off your ‘potentials list’ just because they point out a few flaws and you decide they’re undeserving is cray-cray.

If a buyer has genuine concerns about your property, listen with gritted teeth then offer them a biscuit.

10. Treat em mean, keep em keen

Having said that, if you don’t like a buyer for whatever reason, always feel you can refuse to sell them your home. Some people truly are underserving, after all.

And selling property is a bit like dating. You know, you have to play it cool – don’t return buyers’ phone enquiries or answer their questions. Play hard to get and before long, you’ll have them queuing at your door fighting one another for the first viewing. Or you could, you know… learn how to handle tricky buyers.

Believe it or not, these types of things happen…

And the simple truth is, if you have an undying urge to be creative, join a pottery class or apply to be on MasterChef. If you want to be rude or neglectful to buyers, be prepared for a long sale period.

Selling property is a serious business.

But of course none of the advice above is intended to be taken seriously – it’s just some light-hearted fun 🙂

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