What to consider when selling your home
Selling your property is a big step and there are a host of things to consider before the "For Sale" sign goes up.
Here's a look at some of the important issues you need to think about and research:
The first is when to sell. If you do have a choice, it's worthwhile examining how the market is performing and what its prospects look like. Is it a sellers' market with more buyers than sellers competing for properties and pushing up prices? Or are there more sellers than buyers and more pressure on sellers to accept realistic prices? Also, which season should you sell in? For example, because Spring is usually a popular time to sell, there are usually more sellers on the market as this time. Conversely, in Autumn you may pick up those people who sold their properties in Spring and Summer and are now looking to buy.
The price you set for your property can make a big difference to the number of people you get through your doors to view it. You don't want to set it too high that you put people off from viewing it. But you also don't want to set it too low because while you may attract lots of buyers, they may not be the right buyers. It pays to do your homework. There are lots of online resources to help you. You could also visit some open houses in your area to see what price they are being offered at. And you should ask some real estate agents in your area for appraisals.
Repairs and renovations
You've looked at the market. Now take a good hard look at your home through the eyes of potential buyers. Also get some second opinions. Buyers will pay more for a property that looks well maintained and ready to move into. Most don't want to be bogged down with renovations and repairs. So it's time to fix all those things you've been meaning to over the years and consider whether a fresh coat of paint may give your home a quick facelift or whether your bathroom or kitchen - the rooms buyers most scrutinise - could be modernised.
Many past sellers believe that bringing in a stylist to stage their homes was one of the best investment they made and that this may have added thousands to the price tag. With so many properties on the market competing against yours, styling is well worth considering. It's a way of giving your home wider appeal, showing off different spaces better and highlighting how spaces can be used.
Using an agent versus selling yourself
Several new websites have emerged to support those who want to sell their homes themselves. They offer lower cost packages that could potentially save you paying large real estate agent commissions and provide you with access to online advertising and other marketing tools. That said, there are many pros to hiring professional real estate agents who know what they are doing. They should be able to widen you marketing net and be more skilled at negotiating than you.
Choosing the best agent
Getting the right agent on board can make a huge difference to selling your home better, smarter and faster, and can eliminate a lot of stress and disappointment. It's important to have an experienced agent who has strong market knowledge and well-honed negotiating skills. You also need to be able to trust and work with the agent. Before making a choice, it's important to do your homework carefully. Our comparison tool Agent Finder can assist you in pinpointing the right agent for you in your neighbourhood. Ensure you talk to at least three agents as well as some of their clients before you make a choice. Don't just go with the first agent you meet. And ask lots of questions.
Real estate agent commission rates vary across Australia and can range from 1.6 per cent to 4per cent and higher. Commission rates will be lower in the cities and higher in rural or regional areas. They will also be influenced by how many properties there are on the market at a certain time, how easy your home is to sell and your agent's reputation and track record. Again, it pays to do your homework in advance by researching market conditions and speaking to people who've recently sold their homes. After that, you should speak to a few agents in your area and ask them what they charge commission and why.
There are a few different ways to sell a home. The most traditional way is simply to set an asking price with the advice of your agent and to sell your home via private treaty. Your agent can negotiate with interested buyers to get them above the asking price, if possible. Alternatively, an auction - a public sale that involves a competitive bidding process - is a great way to sell in a high demand market and can drive up your final sale price. Another method is via expression of interest. It's like a tender process and involves inviting all interested buyers to submit their best and final offer in writing by a set date.
Type of listing agreements
When you sign up to sell your property with a real estate agent, there are three different types of agency agreements you could consider, each with its pros and cons. The most common type is where you give one agent exclusive rights to sell your property. The exclusive/sole agency agreement is similar to this, except you don't have to pay the agent's commission if you find a buyer and sell the property yourself. And then there's the open listing or general authority where you list with more than one agency and pay commission to the agent who ultimately sells your property successfully.
If you are buying or selling your home, you are likely to need some help in taking care of the often complex legal requirements. Some online kits are available which allow you to do the work yourself. Otherwise, you could hire a solicitor or conveyancer to do the job. Both can oversee any straightforward property transaction, but only a solicitor can deal with the more complex legal issues that sometimes emerge.