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Congratulations, you’ve made an important decision. You’ve decided to sell your house and now you’re researching the best way to go about it. If you googled “sell my house” you may have found yourself buried in an avalanche of offers, opinions and recommendations. Too much information can sometimes cause confusion.
Well, the good news is that you’ve found this page. We’ve summarised all the important information you need to know about how to sell your house, as well as throwing in a few recommendations to help you reach your goal.
So what is your final goal?
“To sell my house” I hear you answer.
Actually, that’s only half the answer.
The full answer should be “to sell my house for as much as possible!”
Selling your house is a big deal with huge sums of money involved. It needs to be done properly and handled with care. That is what these 9 Steps are designed to achieve:
1. MAKE YOUR HOUSE SPARKLE!
You need to make your house as attractive and appealing as possible. A good clean is a must – including a high pressure clean on the outside. If you have own pets, consider getting the carpets professionally cleaned – you do not want any odours in the house. A coat of paint can do wonders – especially if you have any unusually coloured walls – neutral colours are safer! Fix the fence, tidy the yard, add some plants – remember how important a first impression is.
Depending on your budget, you may also want to consider some renovations. You know the saying “kitchens sell houses” – the same applies to bathrooms. If your kitchen and bathrooms are looking like they come from a previous generation you may need to seriously weigh up the cost of getting them renovated. A good agent will be able to give you the right advice on this.
2. FIND THE RIGHT AGENT!
Some sellers choose not to go with an agent to save on paying commission and, of course, that is an option open to all. However, we recommend using an agent for numerous reasons, which you will discover as you go through the steps below. The right agent will earn every cent of their commission by making sure you get the highest price possible for your house.
So, how do you choose the right agent?
This is likely to be the most important decision you make in the whole house selling process. Many sellers will find an agent by googling agents in their area and looking on real estate websites. And it’s a fact that most sellers will go with the first agent they approach. The main reason: agents are always on the hunt for sellers so once you’re in the door it’s often difficult to get out! Agents differ in so many ways (their terms, experience, personalities, success rates, etc.) – so it really does make
sense to compare different agents before making this important decision. Finding agents so that you can compare what they have to offer is what we do at RealConnect – and it will cost you nothing at all. Rather than accepting the first agent you speak to, it surely makes sense to have a number of agents competing for your business. They all want your business but they know they will have to offer you a good deal to get it.
RealConnect puts you in touch with a number of agents in your area who will then submit proposals to you, each putting forward their reasons why you should choose them. These reasons may include the amount of commission they charge, their proposed advertising costs, their track record in your area, and any other marketing strategies they may have to sell your property.
When you have weighed up the proposals from a number of agents you will be in a position to choose the agent you think will suit you best.
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3. DECIDE ON TERMS OF AGREEMENT WITH AGENT
Now an agreement will be drawn up between you and the agent. It is important to remember here that you can negotiate the terms of this agreement, so it is worth taking some time to look it over before signing. When it comes to selling houses, there are a range of different options open to the agent (for example, charging a flat fee rather than commission; working on a sliding scale where they will get a higher % commission if the selling price is over a certain amount, etc.), so all of these
options need to be carefully considered before signing.
Choosing the right agent and agreeing to the right terms can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress!
4. DECIDE ON YOUR SALE PRICE
The right agent will also give you important advice regarding the sale price of your house. This is something you will have discussed from the outset and a good agent will gather recent sales and appraisal data in your area to help decide on a price. Remember you can also do your own research online where you can find suburb reports and sites showing how much other properties have sold for in your area. There is also the option of getting a formal valuation done but you will have to pay a
qualified valuer to do this.
One important point to make here is that the agent is likely to try and get the highest price possible if their commission is based on the sales price. Agents that are earning a flat fee may be tempted to settle for a quick sale at a lower price.
5. AUCTION OR PRIVATE SALE?
There are pros and cons to both methods. For example, selling by auction might be quicker and may secure a higher price but if it doesn’t sell during the auction, this can create a negative perception in the marketplace. On the other hand, selling privately may take longer but this gives the seller more time to consider all the offers. The auction route is more frenetic, usually with more expensive marketing costs leading up to the big day, but this option doesn’t suit all properties. Again, a good agent will be able to offer you valuable advice on which route is likely to work best for you.
6. PREPARE A VENDOR STATEMENT
This document goes by different names in different states (i.e. a Section 32 in NSW, a Seller’s Disclosure Statement in WA, etc.) and must be drawn up by a solicitor or conveyancer. If you don’t have a solicitor in mind, your agent will be able to refer you to someone that is trustworthy. This document contains important information (i.e. Certificate of Title, mortgage information, development restrictions, etc.), all of which must be disclosed to avoid legal penalties or cancelled contracts down the line.
7. SHOW YOUR HOUSE!
Now it’s time to dangle your sparkling property in front of all those potential buyers out there – and this is where the right agent will really step up and deliver. Of course, your house must be shown on the agent’s website as well as the main property sites such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au. It can also be advertised in newspapers and displayed in the agent’s window.
A really important consideration here is that the standard of photography must be very high. Some agents will take the photos themselves but others will insist on using professionals. How your house is presented is crucial so this is something important to check on before you even select your agent.
8. SELL YOUR HOUSE!
If everything has been done correctly up to this point you should hopefully attract a lot of attention from potential buyers. You will most likely have had to endure the difficult period of keeping the house neat and tidy while still living in it. This is not always easy and some sellers opt to live elsewhere during this viewing period.
When you start to receive offers you will once again appreciate having a good agent. Often what happens is that an offer is made but you are not entirely happy with it. This is when the agent must propose a higher price to the potential buyer without chasing them away. It is a delicate dance that often requires some experienced footwork.
You may have also received more than one offer. In this situation, your agent will be able to negotiate with the various potential buyers and establish which offer should be taken most seriously and whether there is room for a better deal.
9. CONTRACT & SETTLEMENT
Once everyone is in agreement it is time to draw up the final contract and again this must be done by a solicitor or conveyancer. Just because the house is “under contract” doesn’t mean the deal is done. For example, the buyer may have conditions in the contract (like only being able to buy your property when their property is sold), so the agent will still be looking for other potential buyers during this period. When all the conditions are met it is time for “settlement day” when payment is made and the title is handed over to the new owner.
By this stage, your choice of agent will have determined the kind of journey you have just been on. You will hear some people saying the whole journey was a disaster, stressful beyond belief and that they didn’t get the price they wanted. Then, at the other end of the scale, you will get those who found it smooth sailing all the way and were happy with the outcome. We cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing the right agent and this is where RealConnect can help.
RealConnect operates Australia wide and we have agents eager to assist you in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and also in most surrounding areas.