There are many things to consider when selling a property. The following information will help you decide when to sell, whether to buy or sell first and what your property is worth – plus valuable tips on avoiding costly mistakes.
First Time Selling
It’s likely you have a good understanding of how the property market works. After all – you bought the house you are now selling. If you have a first time seller or you have been out of the market for some time, here’s some extra homework you can do to help prevent costly mistakes.
Putting your property on the market too early.
Even if you are under financial pressure it is important to make small repairs or complete renovations before you put it on the market.
Advertising is the biggest and most important investment you will make when selling your property. The more you advertise, the more people will see your property, the more enquiries will be made and the more potential buyers you’ll have on sale day.
Choosing the wrong agent.
It is best to choose an agent who understands your local area, how the area is priced and has experience selling properties like yours. An agent who offers to sell your property for the lowest commission may not necessarily provide the best service or result.
When is the right time to sell?
The real estate market generally reflects the current state of the broader economy - it fluctuates between booms and busts.
Ideally, we would all sell when the market is up and buy when it is down. In reality we often need to sell because we are relocating for work, upsizing for a growing family, downsizing as ‘empty nesters’ or have made the decision to move to a new neighbourhood.
Traditionally spring is when most activity happens in real estate. However, your decision about when to sell should be based on personal objectives and factors such as your ability to finance a new property and meet ongoing repayments and the capital gains tax implication for selling your investment property.
Remember, if property prices are low, you may get less for your house than you hoped, but you must remember you will be paying less for the house you intend to buy. If prices are high, the property you are selling will be worth more, but the property you intend to buy will also cost more than you want to pay.
Should you sell or buy first?
If you are selling a property and buying another one, a major decision is whether to sell or buy first. In a rising market it is logical to buy first, before prices go too high and sell later when prices are higher. In a falling market, the opposite is true.
Some things to consider-
- An advantage of selling first is that you know how much money you have to put towards a new property.
- If you buy first in a low market, you may have problems selling your existing property and could find yourself under pressure financing two properties at the same time. (The traditional way to deal with this problem is to organise a bridging loan, provided you can service two loans at the same time.)
What is your property worth?
Arriving at an accurate value for your property can depend on factors such as:
- The state of the market.
- Current interest rates.
- The type of property.
- How many similar properties are available at the time.
In our desired quest to sell your property, we would like you to understand that the price the property will ultimately achieve is determined by what a buyer is prepared to pay and what you as a vendor are willing to accept. Overpricing is the surest way to prevent a sale as the properties that sell the quickest are usually those listed at or near market value.
Choosing an Agent
Choosing an agent you are comfortable with is an important step towards a successful sale. An agent’s level of professionalism and commitment can take the stress out of selling and can impact the sale price.
What is the role of an agent?
Agents understand that buying or selling property is as much a matter for the heart as the head. Drawing on their vast property expertise and knowledge of your area, an agent will:
- Provide a realistic indication of the value of your property.
- Help you decide whether to list the property for sale, put the property out to tender or to auction.
- Organise, attend and record prospective buyers at open for inspection days.
- Manage enquiries about your property.
- Provide access to more potential buyers via their own prospective database.
- Handle sale negotiations on your behalf and strive to achieve the best possible result.
- Advise on and coordinate the marketing of your property, including preparation of flyers, floor plans and photography.
- Prepare a professional advertising program for newspapers and online.
- Prepare a Contract of Sale.
- Provide guidance on conveyancing, legal and financial services.
Advertising is crucial in achieving a positive result. A well-balanced marketing schedule exposes your property to the widest possible audience: generating more enquiries and therefore more competition and a higher sale price.
Facts & Statistics
There are many ways to advertise your property. Whilst it is important to get the right advertising mix, facts show that:
- 9 out of 10 people use the internet to search for properties to buy.
- 40% of enquiry about your property will be generated from your online advertising.
Realestate.com.au is the No.1 real estate website in every state of Australia. It provides you with access to more buyers than any other site. Further to this extensive exposure you will also be advertised on-
Presenting Your Property
They say in property that location is everything, but to make a successful sale and maximise your property’s value, the key is presentation. Get it right and you will add to the value of your house.
Furnished Vs Unfurnished
Not everyone’s tastes are the same-particularly when it comes to furniture. Some people call ‘shabby chic’ the height of sophistication, others call it ‘ugly’, ‘worn’ and ‘mismatched’.
Even experts are divided. Some believe you should remove all furniture and offer the ‘blank canvas’ approach to prospective owners. Others believe furniture makes it easier for prospective buyers to visualise their furnishings in the property and imagine moving in.
One downside to the ‘blank canvas’ approach is that it can show up more problems than you realised, for example, the scuffed floors and walls that would normally be disguised by a rug, or be hidden by a piece of furniture. Some properties can actually appear smaller without furniture.
The benefit of an unoccupied house is that it can be seen at a moment’s notice without making appointments and waiting for residents to tidy up.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what you do in terms of presentation it should be appropriate for the style of the house and its location.
Some ideas to consider... How to improve the perception of your property:
Pavement appeal: Make sure the front of your property looks appealing and inviting. A weed-free garden and some attractive pot plants, borrowed or hired it can make all the difference.
Clean and bright: Before every viewing, give your property a once over, ensuring that windows are clean inside and out. It is surprising how much difference it makes to the light.
Cut the clutter: You want the prospective buyer to be able to imagine their own belongings in the property, so if possible declutter to keep things tidy.
Fix it: From leaking taps to a broken bulb, make sure the minor repairs are taken care of. A lick of paint will freshen scuffs and scrapes in the woodwork.
Freshen up:Get rid of smoke or pet odours. Open the windows, and brighten the house up with fresh flowers.
Light and Magic: Increase the sense of space with mirrors and lights and leave all internal doors open.
Pets: Always clean and tidy the dog area and take the dog out during inspection times.
Warmth: Create warmth by preparing your home to suit the temperature of the day. If it’s cold, light the fireplace, turn on patio heaters and heating. If its hot, turn on fans and cooling systems.