Are you looking to sell your property? Great! There are a few things you’ll need to do in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
The key steps can be clumped into 8 major areas: when to sell a house, how to research the for-sale property market, how to organise an appraisal of your property, choosing an agent, deciding on a method of sale, creating a marketing plan, selling your property and settling the property.
In this article we expand on these groups and give you a definitive guide of 15 steps you must consider to sell a house quickly.
When to sell a house
Any time is the answer, providing you have the choice. If you have to change cities because of work, then that will be the time you go to market.
Keep in mind that in the current market, properties are staying on the market for a little longer than they did in the boom.
Go early rather than later to the market. You don’t want to be put under pressure to sell because your deadline to move is imminent.
Research your local real estate market
- Visit your local suburb real estate agent’s websites. See what for sale property is available, in particular the for sale property near me option.Take note of the prices of the properties, and how long they have been on the market for.Read the SOLD stories, the experiences of other sellers with this agency, to get a feel of the service they give. Here’s a few heart felt story here.
- Visit the real estate listing portals of REA and Domain. They have the majority of property currently listed for sale.Type in your suburb and see what’s on the market. While you’re on these portals, check out the SOLD tab to see what has recently sold, making note of properties similar to yours.Make note of the sold property prices for future reference as well.
Have your property appraised
During your research on the portals, you would have seen the names of agents and agencies who service your area.
Look for agents whose property listings stand out. Getting a great price is not just because of your agent’s skills, and work ethic; it has a lot to do with how your property is marketed. Don’t be overly swayed by those agents with a huge number of properties for sale. It may mean they are good at listing a property but not necessarily good at marketing and selling a home.
You want a good selling agent. Look for an agent with superior property marketing, followed by their ability to sell a house quickly at a good price.
Rate My Agent
RMA is a company that provides reviews and statistical data on real estate agents and agencies.
This can be great research for you as part of the process in selecting an agent.
As a general rule of thumb go with an agent who has a 4.7 star rating. It means that past buyers and sellers have had a good experience with that agent.
Agencies with a 4.2+ star rating should be on your shopping list.
Generally, reviews are a good indicator of what you can expect based on past experiences. They can be skewered however by nasty, mostly unfounded comments from faceless keyboard warriors. Dig deeper to see what’s true.
Now that you have a list of agents and agencies, make contact and arrange for them to visit and appraise your home. Be in control.
Don’t take just any agent, pick the best that’ll do a great job for you. Good agents charge the same fees as average or bad agents.
Keep in mind not all agents choose to subscribe to Rate My Agent. So, your best agent may not be on this particular review platform. That’s okay because there are other ways to research an agent. Both real estate listing portals ( REA and Domain) provide important agent performance data such as the number of 5 start reviews, number of properties sold, average days on market and median sales price.
Not ready for a face to face appraisal?
If you have time on your side, you may want to test the water with an online appraisal.
There are many online appraisal services in the market that Google is happy to share. Hutton and Hutton have an online appraisal app that will give you a good indication of what your property’s is worth.
The downside with online apps is that they can’t see inside a property. They don’t know what is happening in an area. Only a good agent can fill you in on all those details
A face to face appraisal is the best and most accurate.
Choose your real estate agent
Having gotten 2 or 3 agents into physically appraise your home for sale, you can now choose the agent who will now sell your property.
Here are a couple of other considerations you might want to take into account before you appoint your agent:
- Are you feeling a connection? In times of trouble will this agent have your back or do they come across as commission focused people?
- How busy are they at the moment? Can they take on your property and give it the attention it needs to sell promptly?
- What reporting system do they have in place? Is there a service agreement they adhere to ensuring you are being kept up to date during the for sale period that can be very stressful for a seller?
- What fees are they charging? Lower is not always better. Don’t have a ‘Bunnings’ mentality when selling your prized possession. Go for value.Be sure you know exactly what you are getting for the fees being charged. Low commission agents are like any heavily discounted service or product, disappointment often follows.
- What sale price can they get you? Don’t be fooled by the agent who ‘assures’ you he/she can get you an extra $100,000 above the other two quotes you got.In the industry this is called ‘buying the listing’ and it usually ends in sorrow for the seller when they have to drop the price by $120,000 to secure a sale.
Choose a sale method
The two main methods here are sale by private treaty or auction.
This is the more common of the two.
It is a process where an agent guides you and prospective buyers through a sale over a period of time. It can take days, weeks or months to find the right buyer paying the right price. It’s a process of offer and acceptance or counter-offer.
All negotiations are handled in private. That means competing buyers won’t know what price and terms the other buyer has offered. Now that can be a good thing, but it can also hold back a property from reaching the maximum price the market will bear.
Auctions produce competition between buyers. For some buyers, it can turn into a game of bidding one-upmanship. All of which can drive the price higher.
An auction date is usually set at the end of a 30-day marketing campaign. The deadline forces interested buyers to have their finances ready and due diligence completed by auction day.
At the auction buyers compete for the property by publicly placing bids. There are often some backroom negotiations, so it’s not always public bidding.
Auction clearance rates on the day vary but in general most properties sell within 1 – 2 weeks after the auction day. This gives a seller some surety of their property being sold within a 6-week process.
Sell a house without an agent
Sometimes sellers are tempted to try to sell a property privately. The think of zero commission to be paid to sell a property by the owner, can be all consuming.
When the thought of having no marketing costs to pay either, sellers are ready to rip up the agency agreement and go the sale process themselves.
But hang on.
This process is thwart with danger unless as a seller you:
- have been professionally trained in sales negotiation. Some agents are continuously improving their skills in their 20+ year career.
- have been exposed to multiple property sales. Some agents, like Peter Hutton the Principal of H & H, are experienced in over 1,000 sales transactions and as a consequence have become masters of negotiation and the sales process.
- understand sale contracts, know where to sign or initial and are comfortable adding clauses.
- know how to ‘sell a secret’ without exposing your home to buyers through marketing. H & H have the SELL LOUD programme to maximise a seller’s sale price.
Selling a tenanted property
If you are looking to sell a rented property, it’s best to engage a real estate agent to facilitate this, especially if the same agency manages the property for rent.
There are many protocols to adhere to here, and they differ from state to state.
Can the property actually be sold during a tenancy?
This was extremely difficult during the pandemic when the respective State governments stepped in and restricted tenants from being evicted from a rental property.
Agents must issue tenants with entry notices within 24 hours of entering a property and these must be agreed to by the tenant.
Matching up times and expectations can be a difficult process to manage and therefore vacant possession properties are easier to sell (unless an investor is the buyer).
Selling a property before divorce settlement
Determining a sale method will come down to discussions between the divorcing couple, their respective agents and legal advice.
Either method is usually acceptable except if there are financial issues involving a lending institute (defaults on mortgage payments) that need to be claimed back first, then an auction maybe requested.
Appointing a solicitor
You are going to need a solicitor to act in your best interests.
There details will appear on the contract along with the buyer’s solicitor details.
Ask around if you are not connected to a solicitor. A real estate agent based on the volume of work they do, could recommend a solicitor to you at a good price.
We recommend the following property lawyers:
Marketing the property for sale
Before finalising your agency agreement to sell your home, you’ll need to approve the agents marketing plan.
Sellers have the most to gain from the sale of their property; that’s why they invest money into the marketing of their home. An agent only gets paid if they sell the home.
Campaigns can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. Marketing via an agency’s website, the real estate portals like REA or Domain, social media, video marketing and database marketing are some of the methods used to get the best price.
As mentioned earlier, it’s almost impossible to sell a secret. The dollars you save by not having a marketing campaign may appeal in the short term, but it may cost you tens of thousands in not achieving the best sale price.
Preparing the property for sale
With the agent appointed and agency agreement signed including the marketing programme approved, it’s time to get the property in tip top shape in preparedness for the professional photography shoot.
A fresh coat of paint where needed, rooms decluttered, lawns moved, gardens tidied and fences mended, are a good start to putting on your property’s best picture.
Professional staging is another service (offered by Hutton and Hutton) that can add thousands to your end sale price.
Congratulations! You’ve sold your property.
The contract has been signed by both parties, the cooling off period (5 working days after the last party has signed. Up until then the buyer can pull out of a contract) has finished, the property is unconditional (not subject to a Build & Pest Report and finance has been approved for the buyer), you now have a few weeks to pack and get ready for the move.
On settlement day, the solicitors interact with each other dispersing funds and confirmation notices to the respective parties. The agents get paid and the balance is transferred to your bank account.
It’s now time for the buyer to pick up the keys to their new home and for you to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly.
You can spend hours on hold trying to book removalist, disconnect and connect energy and internet, organise cleaners and find storage. The list of things you need to organise goes on and on.
There are connection and moving home, concierge type services that’ll save you time on the phone and the hassle. They also help you save money.
In our experience, Move Me In, offers the best all round hassle-free moving concierge service. It’s a FREE, online, utilities comparison and connections service.
That’s the 15-step process to sell a home.
Do your research, have your home appraised, determine how you will sell your property, create a marketing plan, appoint a real estate agent who’ll maximise your sale price, ensure you have a good solicitor to cover your back, and believe in the process.
With all these steps in play, you’ll be soon popping champagne corks and ready to buy your next home.
If you are looking to sell a property in Brisbane, we’d love to help you