There’s a lot more to selling a property than some clever styling and some open for inspections. Discover the whole process so you can not only sell but make a profit too.
You’ve slapped the ‘sold’ sign on the auction board before, but now it’s time to change roles from buyer to seller. The selling journey can be an exciting time – but there’s a lot to do behind the scenes.
Here’s how to get your home ready before it goes under the hammer:
1. Choose an agent
Investing in a real estate agent is kind of like getting a good lawyer to represent you in court – they’re on your side and will help get you the best outcome.
Your real estate agent will be in charge of listing and marketing your home, negotiating sales, navigating all the paperwork and legal stuff, and of course, the auction.
It’s often best to choose an agent who specialises in your area; they’re familiar with the neighbourhood, its amenities and demographic. Sourcing a few quotes is a good idea too as commissions and rates vary.
2. Repair, renovate or remain?
Sometimes, you’ve got to spend money to make money. So depending on your home’s structure, age and condition, you may need to dip into your savings and carry out some works.
The purpose of renovating your home before it goes to sale is to attract more buyers – you are not renovating so you can enjoy the end result, so keep things simple, clean, light and airy.
It’s also important you don’t overcapitalise and end up at a loss. Often, a fresh lick of paint, some new light fittings and a tidy garden will do the trick.
3. Sell at auction or private sale
This is a personal choice and something your real estate agent can help you decide – the aim is to sell and get the best price.
An auction is a live sale, held at the property after a marketing campaign. It’s hosted by an auctioneer and encourages a competitive bidding war. At auctions, vendors (sellers) also have the protection of a reserve price – the lowest amount they’re willing to sell for.
A private sale is when a property is listed through an agent with an asking price, and interested parties can make an offer. The agent then presents the offer to the vendor, and they can decide to accept or not.
4. Choosing a sale price
This is when you’ll need to rely on the expertise of your real estate agent. Unfortunately, you can’t just pick a figure that you think your home is worth; a lot of factors come into play:
- Current market conditions
- Interest rates
- Property size
- Property condition
- Property features
Requesting property reports is another way to gauge what your home is worth. These reports contain detailed property information, property history, suburb trends, nearby sale prices and neighbourhood demographics.
5. Advertising campaign
Investing in a solid advertising and marketing campaign is a selling must. Its purpose is to not only attract (the right) buyers but also sell your property at a profitable price.
Depending on your budget, you can choose a no-frills campaign or go five-stars with all the trimmings. However, good photography, online listings and an auction board should be non-negotiable.
Your real estate agent will advise you on the best strategy.
6. Required disclosure
Depending on what state or territory you are selling in you will also need to advise the potential purchaser of certain specific information about the property being sold. This can either be in a vendor statement or included within the contract of sale. Your lawyer or conveyancer will assist you with completing the detail relevant for your location but it is likely to include the following:
- Zoning. This lets the buyer know what the property can be used for – residential or commercial purposes.
- Certificate of Title. Proof the property is in your name and you are legally allowed to sell. It also gives a detailed description of the property.
- Outgoings. This provides information on the rates payable on the land.
- Building permits. You must disclose any building permits that have been issued within the last seven years.
- Bushfire danger. Is the property in a bushfire-prone area?
- Previous works. What structural works/renovations have been carried out on the property?
– Be prepared, this can take up to two weeks to complete.
7. Preparing the contract of sale
Along with the required disclosure, your lawyer/conveyancer will need to complete all remaining detail for the contract of sale. This includes:
- The complete address of the property.
- The vendor’s full name and details.
- The buyer’s full name and details.
- The name and details of the real estate agent.
- Terms of payments.
- The total sale price.
- The deposit amount.
- Date of offer and sale.
- Settlement period – this ranges from 30, 60 or 90 days.
8. Unexpected costs
When it comes to selling, some costs are a no-brainer: advertising fees, the real estate agent’s fees, fresh flowers at open for inspections and maybe some new fittings. But before you commit to selling, it’s wise to factor in every cost – even potential ones. Some of these costs include:
- If successfully sold, your agent will take a commission. These rates are not regulated so crunch the numbers before agreeing to a rate.
- You may also want to invest in professional weekly cleaning to ensure your home is always ready for show.
- If you initially rented your property before you became an owner-occupier, you could be up for capital gains tax (CGT).
- If you agreed to a shorter settlement, you may need to find temporary accommodation.
- Lawyers and conveyancers fees.
- Discharge of mortgage.
- Rental furniture to style your home while it’s on the market.
From the first open for inspection to settlement day, there are many steps to selling property. By knowing what’s involved early on and engaging with the right professionals, you can sell your home well over its reserve.