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By Leanne Spring

All you need to know about selling your home

Thinking of selling your home?

Well, let me tell you … selling your home can be a stressful and confusing time.

As well as packing boxes, booking removalists and dealing with all of the logistics of the move, you also prepare to close the door on the happy memories you’ve made there.


And things can get even more stressful in the current slowing property markets.

What a lot of homeowners don’t realise is that, on top of all the logistical and emotional challenges that come with moving house, there’s a whole new world of legal jargon and processes involved in the actual sale itself.

Now, while I can’t pop around and help you wrap all your wine glasses in the newspaper, I can help to take some of the stress out of actually selling your home.

In that spirit, I’ve put together this simple yet comprehensive guide, which should make navigating the process a lot simpler:

Tip 1: Get to know the local market and agents

Figuring out the right price to sell your home isn’t about working out how much you “think” it’s worth.

You need to get to know the local suburb – and the best real estate agents in the area – so you can get a real feel for the market.

Attend open home inspections and auctions for similar properties in the area, so you’ve got a good gauge of not only typical price ranges, but also of the modus operandi of local agents and auctioneers.

This, combined with word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family, should help you narrow down your options and make a good choice when it comes time to appoint an agent to sell your property.

This brings me to my next point…

Tip 2: Choose the best agent

To be clear here: the best isn’t always the cheapest.

It can be a fool’s errand to sign with the lowest-priced agent in the area in the belief it will save you money.

If they don’t have the right contacts or negotiation skills to get you the best price for your property, then you stand to lose a whole lot more than a few thousand dollars in commission.

It’s a good idea to interview at least three real estate agents before settling on the one you think can best represent your interests.

Have questions prepared beforehand – you’ll want to know about their commission structure and marketing fees, their past experience and sales record, and how their customer service will go above and beyond what others can offer.

Don’t be put off by seemingly high commissions – remember, the cheapest agent is actually the one who gets you the best price for your home, not the one who charges the lowest fees.

Some agents can get away with charging big bucks because they have the results to back it up.

In mind, the best agents are great negotiators and will work hard at getting you the best price.

Similarly, expect them to negotiate hard on their behalf and not cut their commissions.

Tip 3: Give the property spruce up

You don’t need to spend a fortune to get the place ready for sale.

But you do want to present it in its best possible light, which means attending to all the little bothersome nooks and crannies that could turn a buyer off your home.

7 Big Insurance Risks When Renovating2

Ask your agent for their advice on the improvements that are likely to matter most to potential buyers or increase your sale price.

Simple, inexpensive jobs such as applying a fresh coat of paint, having the carpets steam-cleaned or hiring a gardener to make the backyard look less high-maintenance can make thousands of dollars difference to the price you eventually achieve.

Decluttering can also have a huge impact, so now is the time to follow Marie Kondo’s example and discard your unwanted junk.

If you’re not ready to part with it, at least put it in storage so it’s out of sight.

Keep the styling neutral and remove personal photos where possible, so buyers can imagine their furniture and family in the space.

The presentation of the property is important right throughout the sales campaign, not just for the photo shoot, so do your best to keep the place immaculate until the buyer has signed on the dotted line.

Tip 4: Research selling options

When you engage an agent to sell your property there are a number of ways you can do so.

You might give them exclusive sale authority, meaning they are the only agent who is able to sell your property privately for a given time, such as eight weeks.

Alternatively, you can give them exclusive auction authority.

Now I know some vendors like the idea of listing their home with more than one agent, giving each of the general sale authority.

I don’t think that’s a good idea.

You see…only the agent who successfully sells the property will be paid for their work, so some agents won’t work under this type of agreement, or won’t work hard if they’re not assured of the commission.

In my view, it’s generally best to select the best possible agent for the job and let them do their work.

They will share details of the listing with other agents at their agency in any event, which widens the pool of prospective buyers.

Metropole Vendor’s Advocacy Service is a special no extra cost service to property sellers shielding you from many of the “hassles” of your sale.

  • We are independent and work for you.
  • We tell you the truth.
  • Are you ready to find the best price for your property?

Click here now and find out all about this no-extra-cost service and have a chat with one of our experienced Vendor's Advocates .

Tip 5: Figure out your legal costs

In addition to the commission costs you’ll incur with your real estate agent, you’ll have to pay for a number of legal expenses, which may vary depending on where you live.

These can include paying for conveyancing, preparing sale and auction documents, and transferring the title to the new owners.

Rent Money

When selling a property, legal fees generally account for anywhere between $800-$1,500, but you can request an obligation-free quote before you make a commitment.

If you’re selling an investment property, don’t forget to engage a qualified accountant about the potential capital gains tax implications, too.

Tip 6: Stay on top of your legal obligations

As the seller of a property, you’re legally obliged to provide prospective buyers with documentation that relates to the Act in your state or territory.

In Victoria, for instance, this is known as a Section 32 Vendor Statement, and it details all the “need to knows” about the property.

This includes things such as body corporate or strata fees, title documents, any covenants or easements on the land, and council zoning information.

Fortunately, you’ve already chosen a great lawyer at the previous step, so they can consult with your real estate agent to ensure you’re on top of this requirement.

Tip 7: Decide on your sales method: auction or private sale

Your agent can offer plenty of advice here, with facts and figures to back up which method is likely to best suit your property type, suburb, and buyer demographic.

Now that we’ve been let out about the Coronavirus cocoon, auctions are once again becoming common in our larger capital cities, especially Sydney and Melbourne.

If you got a great property, in my mind an auction is usually the best way to sell it, especially if you find a couple of keen buyers.

Buy Sell Invest Home2

Of course, not all properties are best sold by auction and in regional markets or the outer suburbs of our big cities,  auctions are not as commonly used and private treaty sales are the more standard approach.

Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable with your choice and if the idea of an auction is too much stress to bear, don’t feel pressured into agreeing to one.

A hybrid option might be a “sale by tender”, where you list the property for sale, and set a date by which any interested parties must submit their best and final offer.

Your real estate agent can provide the most relevant advice in this regard.

Tip 8: Set that all-important price guide

Whether you decide to sell by private treaty or auction, you’ll need to decide upon a sale price guide.

Your agent can advise you on whether listing with a firm price (eg. $750,000), a range (eg. $700,000s) or an “offers over” style (eg. $749,000+) would work best.

House Price Growth

If you’ve opted for an auction, you’ll have to set a reserve price.

It’s a delicate balance between aiming high and putting off potential buyers with your expectations.

Keep in mind that online listing sites give people the option to refine their search by price bracket, so you may find that a $799,000 price tag sees your home appear in more search results than $800,000.

Tip 9: Choose your inspection and auction dates

Weekends are popular for open homes, but it may be a good idea to offer a weekday evening option for those who aren’t able to attend on weekends due to other commitments.

Also, be prepared for the agent to ask to bring buyers through for private inspections, especially those who have requested a second or third viewing of the home.

Property Auction

When it comes to setting the auction date, again, weekends are the norm.

But remember to look ahead on the calendar so you don’t schedule the auction on the same day as a major event, like the AFL Grand Final.

All that’s left now is to launch that sale!

Your property will be “launched” onto the market, appearing in local newspapers, in brochure form in the real estate agency window, and of course, online.

A “For Sale” board will be erected in a prominent spot, with professional photos to lure in potential buyers.

Your agent will conduct open homes, follow up with interested parties, and try to drum up excitement before the auction if that’s what you’ve chosen.

Remember, they’re working for you, so don’t hesitate to use them as a sounding board when considering offers or deciding your next move.

An experienced and qualified real estate agent will be there to hold your hand and provide you with strategic advice and reassurance that they’re doing all they can to get the property sold.

Why not use Metropole's no extra cost Vendor's Advocacy service to help you achieve the best price for your home?

Metropole Vendor’s Advocacy Service is a special no extra cost service to property sellers shielding you from many of the “hassles” of your sale.

  • We are independent and work for you.
  • We tell you the truth.
  • Are you ready to find the best price for your property?

When selling your property you want to achieve the best price with the least hassle.

Yet our experience as Australia’s leading property buyers agency shows many vendors don’t achieve an optimum sale price due to poor advice or pressure from their selling agent.

Now you can have an independent agent from Metropole on your side when you sell your property.

Click here now and find out all about this no-extra-cost service and have a chat with one of our experienced Vendor's Advocates.

To achieve the highest selling price for your property, you need help finding the right agent to sell your property, as well as impartial and strategic advice on the correct timing, the most appropriate method of sale, the most cost-effective advertising campaign, and the negotiation process.

Metropole Vendor advocacy

Metropole’s 6-Step Process To Get You The Best Price.

We will:

  1. Sit down with you and determine your needs.
  2. Recommend the best agent (not an agency) for you. We know the best agents and the worst agents as we have been buying from them on behalf of our clients for many years.
  3. Check the agent's fees and advertising recommendations to save you unnecessary expenses. Should you sell by auction or private sale? How much should you spend on advertising without wasting your money? We'll tell you!
  4. Monitor the selling agent's performance.
  5. Consider any offers made and give our recommendations to you. Then we'll help negotiate on your behalf, giving you our input all the way.
  6. Follow the sale through until settlement.

We charge the Selling Agent a percentage fee based on the sale price of your property which comes out of their commission when the sale is made.

This means that you get our service at no extra charge, but that it is in all our interests that you get the best possible price.

About Leanne Spring Leanne is a highly experienced Buyers Agent in the Brisbane Real Estate market. Leanne became a passionate lover of property in 2001. Since then, both professionally and personally, she has been involved in all aspects of property including purchasing, negotiating, renovating, and selling.
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