|Now that you’ve made the decision to sell, have an understanding of your financial picture, engaged a well-informed REALTOR® and established your timeline you are ready to put together your selling plan:
- Develop a focused marketing plan with your income property advisor. Identify the various means by which your property will be exposed to the buying public. Work with your agent to identify the key selling features of your income property and make them prominent in all of your marketing materials.
- Discuss open houses for both local agents and the general public but consider how these will impact your tenants.
- Your REALTOR® will likely have a robust marketing plan that includes a print plan, an agent-to-agent plan, and a internet marketing plan. Make sure you are comfortable with how you property is being marketed
Talk to your tenants and determine how best to allow for showings. Often owners do not tell their tenants that they are selling. This is not recommended. It makes it awkward for everyone involved in the process, especially buyer’s agents and potential buyers. Also, if your tenants request notification prior to showings be sure to give it to them. If an agent books an appointment to show your property 48 hours in advance, and then arrives at the property to find the tenant had not been told about the showing it creates confusion and often tenants will refuse to let the property be shown.
Presenting Your Property
Ensure that your property is clean and adequately prepared to be seen by potential purchasers. Fix up the little things (scratched paint, loose moldings, etc.) that can be done quickly and easily. Consider what other improvements and determine if investing some dollars into renovations could bring you a higher sale price. Have your agent prepare a feature sheet of your property and make sure it includes a financial analysis of your property. Be sure to include information on the number of units, the income for each and the taxes and utilities for the property. Investor buyers need this information. In fact, to an investor this information may be more important that whether the kitchens are new or the floors have been refinished. Know who the target buyer is for your property and ask yourself what would they want to know.
Your Bottom Line
Determine your initial asking price but know in your mind your bottom line figure and make it clear to your agent. Discuss future price reductions and set a timeline for implementing them, if necessary. It is important that both you and your agent are very clear on your financial requirements. Be aware of the financial implications of the sale. Spend some time discussing your plans with your accountant or financial advisor.
Once your listing hits the market, be prepared to accept an offer quickly when it meets your criteria. There may be a hesitancy to wait and see if you receive more or better offers. You will ultimately have to decide what to do but it is not necessarily safe to assume that there will be a better offer in the future. If you have outlined your goals and needs you will be better informed whether to accept or reject any offers.
And remember the old saying: “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. There can be a tendency to think when someone has brought an offer that it is only the beginning and a better offer is still out there. That may be. But then again, it may not. Sometimes properties stay on the market for months because a vendor has refused a first offer to wait for a higher one that never comes.