Introduction: Selling Your Home

So, you want to sell your house! Welcome to The Property Exchange’s guide to selling your home, where we show you how the selling process works step by step. We’ve also included relevant and important articles that will help you make better decisions about pricing, staging and of course selling your property.

About the Authors

Hi, I’m Vanessa Goh,

I put this guide together with the help of Julia Campbell. Julia and I are both involved in the marketing and administration side of selling real estate for The Property Exchange in Subiaco. While there is a lot of content out there about selling your property, we were surprised by the lack of comprehensive resources for people wanting to know the whole process step by step, from thinking all the way to moving out of your sold property! That’s why we put together this extensive guide, which covers selling your property from beginning to end, combining specific examples and advice from industry experts. We also have a FAQ section with questions from buyers, sellers and investors.

We hope you enjoy!

Vanessa and Julia

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Step 1: Get an appraisal

Find out how much your house is worth

The housing market fluctuates each year, so it’s good to do your research on when is the best time to sell your home to get the maximum price. Compare your house with similar ones on the market in your area so you can get an indication of where your house might sit in the current real estate market. You can start looking through your local paper, or go to a real estate portal online but the best thing to do, is visit home opens (houses look very different in the flesh). Now don’t forget that these are asking prices! And not the sale price!

The easiest way to find out how much your house could sell for in the current market is to contact your local real estate agent and invite them around to complete an appraisal. Your local real estate agent should be familiar with the area, houses listed and houses sold and can give you an indication of what your property might sell for. You can get these appraisals done from a few different agents and compare them (but realise the highest priced appraisal may not be the truth).

Related:
Ten Most Costly Mistakes People Make When Selling Real Estate, And How To Avoid Them
Search the REIWA database for similar properties
Does Moving Up Make Sense?
Get An Appraisal
Don’t Confuse The Difference Between Property Appraisal Vs Valuation

The easiest way to find out how much your house could sell for in the current market is to contact your local real estate agent and invite them around to complete an appraisal.

Step 2 : Get An Agent

There is always a lot of discussion going around about selling your property privately, or getting an agent to do it for you. Home sellers can be tempted into selling the property themselves as they believe they will get the same result as an agent but make more money as they will save the agent’s fees. You can choose to market the home yourself if you want to avoid agent fees, but be prepared to do all the work!  A real estate agent can certainly pay for their fee if you work with them. This is the career path they have chosen and if they don’t know what they are doing they don’t get paid!

A real estate agent will have an impartial eye to the presentation to your home and knows what the buyers in the area are looking for. The agent should guide you through fix-ups and presentation to ensure every possibility that you will sell at top dollar. They have a network of trusted professionals that they work with on a day to day basis, so they can make things happen quickly, giving you more time. A good agent will also have a buyer pool they can tap into with a number of qualified potential purchasers on their books. An agent will prepare the marketing for your property and has “contract” rates with suppliers that will be most likely be cheaper than what you will pay for the same service.

Plus an agent is the negotiator and prepares the offer and acceptance contract for you. Even Andrew Winter, the host for Selling Houses Australia used an agent when he sold his property! If you do decide to go with an agent, don’t just use the agent that prices your home the highest. This is a trap that many home sellers fall into, thinking that the agent will get them the price at the appraisal! At the end of the day, a house is like a personalized product and the most important thing is to find buyers that will love your house enough to live in it. The agent that specializes and works in your area will have access to people who will buy in the area, as well as pricing it according to the market.

You might find this helpful:
Should I Hire A Real Estate Agent To Sell My Home?
What Makes A Great Real Estate Agent
First Scammers, Now Skimmers: Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent
What Is The Real Role Of A Real Estate Agent?

You can choose to market the home yourself to avoid agent fees, but are you prepared to do all the work?

Step 3 : Prepare Your Property

Creating a house that will attract buyers, and offers!

This is perhaps the most crucial part of selling your home, it is an important process as buyers will be coming and evaluating if your house will be worth the money they are paying. This is the time to get rid of all clutter, and get the maintenance guy in. Any unfinished areas should be completed, cracks in the wall fixed, gardens landscaped and exteriors repainted if necessary. Purchasing a home is an emotional decision, and any little issue, such as a crack on the walls or a little graffiti can turn someone off right away.

We always recommend selling the home furnished, so the future owners can envision living in the house. People are wowed by great houses or rooms that are well decorated, how often do you hear people raving about an empty house viewing? It’s also very important to know houses have a certain window of time to sell, so it would be best to optimize the presentation of your home before the home opens. If you decide not to do anything at first, then spring into action when you realize buyers are not interested, you have lost time, and more money by missing out on offers.

Professional photography is absolutely essential when it comes to presenting your home in the best way possible. No, your iPhone won’t do. Most of the beautiful properties you see, have been professionally lit by photographers, so unless you have extensive knowledge in this area, best to leave it to professionals.

Related reading:
Why Empty Houses Are Harder To Sell
Grand Designs: Great Future For Rundown House
The Transformative Effect Of White
Tips On Presenting Your House For Sale
Before and After, and Results
Staging Checklist: The Ultimate Guide For Every Seller
What is Staging?

No, your iPhone won’t do

Step 4 : Advertise Your Property

Decide where you need to advertise your property. Depending on where your house is, there will be different effective advertising methods. Your real estate agent will be able to talk you through this (it’s what we call the marketing strategy). Of course, online is one of the key channels, so putting your property listing onto REIWA and realestate.com.au will definitely be one of them. Then you also have newspaper, property signage, window listings, and local marketing. If you have an agent, they will inform their buyer pool, prepare window listings, create your house description and organize professional photos to be taken. This will lead to home opens, and it is important during this stage your house is looking its best to attract the soon-to-be new owners. This is generally done once a week, or by viewed by appointments. During this stage, keep your house clean and presentable.

You might also want to read:
What’s the harm in starting by advertising my property for sale at a higher price, then reducing it if an offer is not received?
A Good Game Is A Fast Game
Hardly anything has an “asking price” anymore. Why is this?
“Offers Over” explained
How To Price Your Property Right For Sale
6 Hot Tips For Pricing Your Home For Sale
How the Pendulum Swings….

Step 5 : Offers and Negotiation

You have received an offer! What next? This is where you can start negotiating price, conditions and settlement date. Once you come to an agreement with your buyer, it’s formalized in the Offer and Acceptance Contract. If you have a real estate agent, they have standard contracts and conditions that they use, they will follow up and ensure the conditions on the Offer and Acceptance Contract are completed on time and if necessary once again be your negotiator if something has to be fixed after a building or termite inspection.  The agent can hold the buyer’s deposit in their trust account and will send the documentation to the [glossary]conveyancers[/glossary] to prepare settlement. Once transfer papers have been signed and finances arranged, settlement occurs – hand over the keys, and it’s done!

Related reading:
How To Improve Your Odds For An Offer
Offer and Acceptance Contract
I received an offer much below my sales price. My agent say I should take it, what do you think?
Is there a maximum amount of time a seller can take to respond to an offer?
Until What Point Can You Pull Out of a Property Contract

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