A guide to selling your property in Australia By Rahul Agrawal and SSB
Selling your home or an investment property in Australia can be one of the biggest decisions of your life, not only financially but also emotionally. You want it to be a smooth process and gain a fair deal with a qualified buyer. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to maximize your property’s appeal, save thousands of dollars and have a profitable closing.
A step-by-step guide to making that seamless sale:
1. Prepare your property
Preparing your property is the most important and foremost thing to do. A well-maintained home helps you make a solid first impression on buyers, so fix all the necessary maintenance issues like plumbing, flooring, paint, garden etc. to make it look appealing to the buyer. Remember the more time and effort you invest the greater the return on your investment.
You can save thousands in listing and marketing costs at a free Australian online listing service such as SSB which can gives the market and potential buyers all the information they’d like to know before contacting you direct, for example; clear description of the property, the selling price, location, photos of the property, neighbourhood, etc. A reputable free selling property website will ensure that your property listing stands out from the cluttered multiple listing websites.
2. Set a timeline
The time between deciding to sell your property and the actual sale could be time-consuming – maybe 2 to 6 months. It might get extended if your paperwork is not in place or you discover any much-needed repair work later in the process. So, consider all the buffer time needed and set a timeline for your property selling goal.
You should also analyse the real estate market in Australia by visiting several online resources and tour around real estate agent windows in your area to determine the supply-demand ratio so that you can set a realistic timeline for selling your property at a fair price that meets your expectations.
3. Get a pre-sale home inspection
Although optional, having a pre-sale home inspection done can be one of the best upfront investments to make. A detailed inspection report can identify any structural or mechanical problems before you list your home for sale.
It not only speeds up the selling process but also gives confidence to buyers while investing in your property. A home inspector will inspect the entire property including the attic, crawlspace, water heater, and garage walls, make sure all these are available before one of them visits your home. There are mandatory documents of disclosure you are required to provide to prospective buyers in your State, such as a “section 32”.
4. Choose a real estate agent or sell it yourself
You can choose to sell your house yourself, but know that it’s going to be a lot of work or you may decide to have an agent do all the marketing and sales work for you. Keep in mind that you know your property better than anyone else, you are the only one that will dedicate 100% effort and time to selling your property and you won’t be competing with other properties the agent is trying to sell.
There are a lot of good, licensed real estate agents around, so do some homework, check websites such as find an agent but also ask your neighbours, friends, family for recommendation that will help you market and make the sale.
Be sure to ask about their fees and don’t be afraid to negotiate. The cost of an agent to sell and market your home will be around 3-5% (including commission) this equates to a cost between $30K and $50K or if you like a new car.
And once you find the perfect agent, don’t forget to formalise an agency agreement with them covering all the obligatory details like rights, fees, terms, and other conditions. You can also support your chosen agents marketing campaign by at no additional cost listing your property on Aussie free SSB
5. Select a sales method
Two common types of sales methods in Australia are private treaties and auctions. While the private treaty method buys you more time to evaluate potential offers, you need to find the perfect price bracket for your property to crack a good deal. Whereas the sale price can be driven up in the auction method as it creates competition between buyers.
Your real estate agent can advise what works best for you (not necessarily what’s good for the agent) depending on the local market conditions.
6. Set a realistic price
Setting a realistic price is a very crucial step in selling a house. While undermining the home’s valuation might leave your money on the table, pricing too high can upset the buyer, as buyers don’t want to pay more.
You can also take the help of a registered valuer, to get a true valuation of your property. You only need to set the things right for valuation and leave everything on the valuer to get an estimated value to your home.
7. Prepare the vendor’s statement
Here comes the paperwork! The vendor statement (aka section 32) is mandatory in some states. It is a legal document declaring important details like the mortgage on the property if any, the land’s subject to drainage or rights of way, any restrictions for the owner, etc.
Hire a solicitor to ease the process and also help you with the contract of sale entailing the drainage diagram, title documents, and a current planning certificate.
These details may vary from state to state so it’s better to refer to the Australian government’s website to get all the updated information on selling properties.
8. The sales campaign
You can opt for a mix of marketing strategies like online listing portals like SSB, single property websites, Facebook market place, signboards, newspaper ads, etc.
Once your property is looking good, invest in getting professional photos and videos of the property. According to a survey of over 600 real estate agents in Australia, 99% of agents said that high-quality photos generate more interest among buyers and listing views which ultimately lead to a higher sale price.
9. Assess, negotiate, and secure the sale
You will receive multiple offers when you put up your property on sale, the right thing to do is to take your time to vet them. You must weigh in all the aspects of the offer including offer price, contingencies, deposit amount, due date, percentage of down payment, etc. After analysing which offer is best for you, try to negotiate to get the best deal for it. Next, secure your deal legally with a fixed settlement date.
While closing a sale, remember to discharge the mortgage on the property if any.
The last step is to settle the deal which usually takes place six weeks after the contract of sale is exchanged. This is when you receive the pending amount from the buyer and pay off the real estate agent’s and solicitor’s fees.
Notify all of your utility and insurance providers for termination or transfer to your new home. Once that is done, you can pass the keys and possession of the property to the buyer.
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