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Key steps to selling a property

By Emma Smith

There’s more to selling a house than finding an agent and tidying up for open for inspections.

Here’s our guide to the step by step process of selling your property to help you get ready to list your home.

1. Be prepared

After making the decision to sell, but before contacting an agent de-clutter, tidy up the garden and get the property as close to open home ready as possible. Think about when you want to sell, how you want to sell and anything you’ll be looking for in an agent.

2. Choose an agent

To help choose an agent, attend open for inspections and observe. Ask agents questions about price, levels of interest and how they believe the market is tracking. Provide your details, but don’t admit you’re thinking of selling. See which agents call you back. These are the harder working, more successful agents. Research which agents are getting results locally; look at their track record.

3. Pick a sale method

Next, you’ll decide how you want to sell, private treaty or auction.

Auction – An auction can be used to drive up the final sale price of your property by creating competition for it during a bidding process. If you are appealing to investors, or if your home is in a highly desirable location, this way of selling your property could be a good idea. Auctions also give you a level of certainty when it comes to timescales. And because all bids are unconditional, you don’t have to worry about buyers pulling out at the last minute. However, there is no guarantee – even after the time and expense of marketing your property – it will sell.

Private Treaty – This is a private arrangement between you and your buyer, and it is currently the most popular way of selling a property in Australia. The property is advertised on the open market, and you will get the chance to accept, decline or negotiate any offers you receive – as you receive them.

Think about what you feel comfortable with but be prepared to listen to what your agent recommends.

4. Set a selling price

You and your agent will work out a plan for listing, showing and selling your property.

It’s important to price correctly, as the market can be extremely unforgiving with overpriced listings.

To set a price, vendors should do their research on local sales.

That’s easy, with so many websites offering recent sale prices. Combining your knowledge with that of your agent’s current market analysis, will lead you to an accurate, realistic expectation. Take the emotion out of the equation when setting a price.

The purchaser hasn’t yet experienced the benefits of living in your home, so you can’t assume they feel the same way about it as you do. The best way is to look at comparable properties in and around streets near your home, within a similar distance to amenities.

5. Review the agreement with agent

Read the agency agreement being offered by the agent and be prepared to ask questions.

If you want to amend a clause, ask before signing. Typically, the main points of discussion are around if the agreement is exclusive or non-exclusive, the length of the agreement, how the agreement will be terminated, the selling fee and any other fees, such as marketing or administration.

The agreement also specifies the agent’s estimated selling price.

6. Prepare vendor’s statement

Now you must prepare the Vendor’s Statement (section 32) for your property.

A vendor’s statement – also known as a section 32 – explains to buyers the crucial things they should know before buying the property. They are prepared by a legal practitioner or conveyancer.

The statement covers things like whether a mortgage is held over the property, any covenants which would restrict what you can do with it, any easements to which the land is subject (drainage, rights of way, or power lines for example), council zoning and associated declarations.

7. Market your property

If you want to ensure you’re getting the best result, you must advertise in a number of areas – the number one is through the internet. You need the best photos, great copy-writing and great presentation.

When showing your property, it should be presented as a showroom. Talk to your agent about presentation for recommendations about how to showcase your home to ensure your target market falls helplessly in love.

8. Go to market

A good agent will give vendors a detailed schedule of events for the campaign, so they know in advance what is happening.

9. Sell! Sell! Sell!

When it comes to selling and negotiating price, vendors should trust their agent.

It comes back to choosing the best agent, who has the right skills. If you have the right agent, you should have complete faith in them to get the best result for you.

10. Under contract

At auction, if the reserve price is met, the highest bidder is the buyer of the property, unconditionally.

With a private sale, the buyer has a three-day cooling off period.

You should also prepare the contract of sale through your solicitor or conveyancer.

11. Settle

“Settlement” is the final stage of the sale, when the buyer completes the payment of the contract price to the vendor and takes legal possession of the property.

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