Selling your property is an exciting prospect, allowing you to take a new direction in life. But there’s more to selling a home than just the careful positioning of for sale signs and throwing open the doors to potential buyers. Selling is a process, so here’s what you need to know…

Making the decision

How and when to sell your property is not a decision to be taken lightly. It will be affected by market forces and what you personally hope to achieve with this transaction.

That involves a little research into what’s happening in your area, focusing on what’s likely to occur next, and how the property market is shaping up in general in terms of interest rates and lending.

These factors will determine your price, the volume of potential buyers you are likely to get, and how soon a sale may be achieved.

There will also be personal factors affecting you decision to place a property on the market. It may be you have outgrown it, are looking to downsize or are making a shift elsewhere for work. Whatever the reason, achieving the best possible price for your asset is the all-important goal.

Selecting an agent

Once you have weighed the pros and cons, and made the critical decision to sell, it’s time to engage the services of an agent. You can read more about out tips for finding the right agent here.

This person will walk you through the sale process, providing their recommendations on market price, handling details like inspections, offers, and that critical contract of sale. You will need to provide them with any relevant information like rates expenses, lot sizes and floor plans, if available.

The selling process

Once you have engaged an agent you will set the property price and work out the finer details of how your property will be sold – whether that’s at auction or the conventional fixed price process. You will also negotiate advertising and marketing with your agent and set out a plan for open homes.

At this point you will sign an agreement with your agent setting out their fees and the budget for marketing. It’s critical you understand all areas of this document before committing to an agent.

Legal representation

Now is also the time to engage legal representation from a lawyer specialising in conveyancing. This person will ensure you meet all your legal responsibilities and work for you to ensure the buyer meets theirs. They will handle the official documentation on your behalf.

Before sale

Likelihood is there will be some legwork to undertake before opening your home to potential buyers including completing any minor repairs and property refreshments. You can see more about areas we recommend focussing on here.

These allow your property to be presented in the best possible light.

Advertising

Once you have come to an agreement with your agent they will commence their advertising campaign. This will likely be done online at their website, on national real estate sites, and may also extend to local newspapers and magazines.

Either your agent or a professional photographer will come and take images of your property for the purposes of marketing, and will prepare a write-up highlighting features and selling points. Your agent will outline these fees and terms with you as part of their agreement.

Open for inspection

Inspections may be set regularly, like once or twice a week and also occur by appointment. This involves keeping your property in premium condition and ready for entry even at short notice. The more you can assist your agent by allowing access to your property, the better, as it enables people to readily view your home.

Pest and building

A serious buyer will probably organise a pest and building inspection to ensure their potential purchase is safe, sound, and free from threat. If any issues are found it may affect the purchase price and be part of the negotiation of sale.

In some cases sellers have their own pest and building reports undertaken prior to going on the market. This is partly for their own peace of mind, but also to furnish the buyer with additional information in a bid to make the sale process easier.

Offers and negotiation

Negotiating is a critical part of the sale process, and the likelihood is you may receive offers along the way. Any formal offer should be made in writing and be put to you via your agent, and it’s then your prerogative whether you are willing to accept the price, make a counter offer or refuse their terms.

Under contract

Once you have accepted an offer or the buyer and it has been formalised through a contract of sale, your home is considered to be under contract. At this point the buyer will provide a deposit. This period usually lasts around 28 days and comes with provisions including a cooling off period, buyer finance, and agreed clauses such as pest and building inspections.

Essentially “under contract” means that an agent has a signed agreement from both parties that will proceed to a full sale if all conditions are met.

Settlement

Providing there are no impediments a contract will then proceed to settlement. This is the day when you exchange keys and the property officially leaves your possession. It is also the all-important day when the balance of funds for the property is transferred to your bank, and an opportunity to pause for a little hard-earned celebration as your home is now sold!

About United Strata

Specialising in the Macarthur region, United Strata offers professional yet personalised service to guide sellers through the sale process. We provide free market appraisals that include a comprehensive report along with our recommendations of the value of your property.

You can learn more about our services here, or contact us directly for further advice.