For most people, selling their home is one of the biggest life decisions and everyone wants to get it just right. It can also be extremely confusing and stressful.
Before selling, make sure you have gone through the following six topics:
- Timing of sale
- Marketing your home to maximise your profits
- Improvements to uplift the sale price
- Legal aspects, such as notifying existing tenants
- Planning and adhering to compliance issues
We have put together a handy reference for you to download.
Alternatively, you can just read the following post for additional detail.
First and foremost, know the value of your home. You can use sellable.com.au, domain.com.au or realestate.com.au to get an automated indication of your property’s value based on recent sales in your area.
Having a checklist (like this one) can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process. Make sure you have a plan beyond the sale — when are you moving out and where are you going?
Understanding your financial capabilities is key. What kind of mortgage can you afford (and how much do you want to). Are you able to finance a bridging loan and for how long?
Finally, make sure that you take into account all sales related costs, not only agent and marketing fees when calculating your property's equity. For example, this includes the cost for your bridging loan (if any), repairs, legal costs, staging, etc...
Timing is Key
Keep an eye on the market conditions in your area, understand the patterns on when houses are listed and how many days they are likely to be on the market.
Agents will often overstate the sales price and understate the days on market they can achieve. After all, they want you to sign up with them!
Keep in mind that there is a chance your property may be listed for several months before the closing date. Therefore, it is important to check statistics for your area, specifically the average time on market for a property that is similar to yours and ensure that your financing considerations reflect these numbers.
Once the house is listed, make sure you respond to enquiries into the home promptly (whether through your agent or from buyers directly). Consider scheduling time out of your week specifically to be available for inspections. If an inspection is required to take place outside your availability perhaps ask a friend of family member to attend it for you.
Marketing your home plays an important role in the sale price, so take time out to get inspired by experts.
Making essential repairs and small cosmetic improvements can have a huge impact on the marketablity of your property. At Sellable, for example, we have found that the majority of properties benefit from a fresh coat of paint and professional staging furniture (another expense to budget for).
Marketing an unoccupied property is much easier than one that is still being lived in, as it allows you to make repairs and professionaly style the property.
When selling through an agent, make sure to consciously manage them. You might initially feel uncomfortable with this, but this is part of their job — and differentiates the good ones from the rest. The harder and slower the market, the less incentivised your agent will be after the initial 'honeymoon' period (and they will often start chasing new, easier deals).
Improving your Home
Be realistic in the process of selling your home. This involves being aware of any flaws in your home that could affect the sale. Conduct a thorough building inspection to ensure there are no issues that may come up during the sale. Ideally you use a professional building and pest inspection company (as this is what prospective buyers will be doing) or at the very least ask a friend for an outsider's perspective.
Before jumping into making improvements understand which repairs and renovations will generate a positive return on investments and which ones you can cover through seller concessions (discounts prospective buyers will ask for just before signing the contract).
If you are selling an investment property, inform the tenant of your intention to sell. As a landlord, you are required to give the tenant notice before you sell the property, and notice periods differ depending on the state you live in. For New South Wales, you are required to give at least 14 days notice before listing the property for sale. There are also laws surrounding open house requirements, so make sure you check these for your state and specific situation.
Make sure there are no surprises around inclusions or exclusions in the contract (e.g. appliances). If you are unsure, ask a solicitor or a conveyancer for assistance. Like you always should be, make sure you respect the dividing line from someone else’s property. Make this known during the sale process and consider hiring a solicitor to avoid disputes.
Planning, Planning, Planning
Other than planning the timeline of all the considerations, it is also important to consider local planning laws which might affect the sales of your property. This involves being wary of compliance issues that may affect the sale of the property.
For example, if you have a garage built over the sewer, you need to get a certificate of approval. If not available, buyers can leverage this for significant seller concessions. Other important checks include unapproved additions easements, or upcoming zoning changes. Rezoning will affect the entire area and will influence the buyers ability to develop or enhance the property, which can have a very positive impact on your asking price.
Keep this checklist in mind when selling your home, or choose the hassle-free way by using Sellable.
Sellable can help you bring some clarity and certainty to your situation, including getting the right answers and taking care of all aspects of selling your home. Find out more about us at sellable.com.au or call us on 1300 722 910.