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4 Crucial Questions To Ask Before Selling Your Home

By Silvia Wei

The idea of selling your home may be exciting, but there’s a crucial list of questions you must ask yourself before even engaging a real estate agent. Especially if you’ve never sold a property before, it’s important to understand how the selling process works so you’ll know the order of events.

There are a number of decisions to make, including when to sell, which method works best for your property, which real estate agent to select to represent you, and the best way to prepare your property for sale.

How quickly you’ll need to proceed depends on your personal circumstances, especially whether you’ve already purchased your next home.

1. How does the selling process work?

Selling a house may seem daunting, but dividing it into key stages makes it easier to understand the steps that need to be taken.

  • Research – Once you have decided it is time to sell, you’ll need to do some research. Start with an online search of your local area to see which homes are for sale and which properties have sold near you to give you an idea of what your property is worth.
  • Valuation – To get an accurate idea of what price your property can achieve, consider reaching out for an objective valuation. One of the easiest ways is to reach out and get a valuer from your bank. Valuers will offer you a realistic estimate based on comparable sales and the size, type and condition of your home.
  • Real estate agents  An agent is your representative when selling your home, and is the one who negotiates the sale with potential buyers. Real estate agents can give you an indication of the current market trends and provide advice to help increase the outcome of your sale. This may involve minor renovations, de-cluttering, garden maintenance and staging, all designed to increase the appeal of your property. They will advise you on whether it is preferable to put a price on the property, put it up for auction or for expressions of interest, plus the advantages and disadvantages of each method. At Ray White City South, we are happy to provide a free current market appraisal for your property.
  • Marketing –  Online and print advertising, as well as brochures, signboards and social media campaign, will be used to help sell your home. Great photography and video will be the key, as well as a compelling description of the features of the property.
  • Open homes and auction  Once you and the agent have agreed on your strategy and timings, and the house is ready for inspection, you can put it on the market. Inspections are normally held on Saturdays and mid weeks, and potential buyers will submit offers to your agent, who is best equipped to advise you whether to accept or not. If your property is to be sold at auction, this normally happens after the property has been on the market for four weeks.
  • Exchange and settlement – When you decide to accept an offer, you can negotiate terms and timings to suit both you and the buyer. After a settlement period, which is normally six weeks (42 days), your property is officially sold.

Although this can be a stressful time, the process will hopefully lead to a successful sale so you can move on to the next stage of your life.

2. How do I get the best price for my home?

The saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” has never been more true than when selling your home. But how you present your home is only part of the equation. Timing also affects the price you can achieve when selling your home.

  • Choose the right time of year – Spring and autumn are renowned for being the busiest time of year in real estate, but with more properties for sale there is also more competition at this time of year. Winter is a quieter period, and in the middle of summer the real estate market takes a break, with few properties selling between late December and early February.
  • Know your local market  Your real estate agent will be able to update you on the current trends in the local market. They are well-equipped to offer advice on what properties are currently available, how many buyers are actively searching for home, and which method of sale is best.
  • Make smart improvements  Agents can also offer advice on ways to make your property more marketable. They may suggest minor repairs such as refreshing the paintwork, removing some furniture to make rooms appear larger, or tidying the garden. If your property appeals to a broader market, it should lead to a better result.

3. How do I find out the value of my home

Estimating the value of your home is tricky, especially if you have lived there a long time and values have changed. You may have an inflated idea of the value of your property due to renovations you have completed, your own personal style, or fond memories you have created while living in it. Or, alternatively, you may even underestimate the value of your home, being unaware of its hidden potential. Here’s where you should start:

  • Have your home valued –  Before selling, it is wise to seek an accurate valuation from a professional who will objectively estimate the value of your property. Independent valuers can inform you of the positive aspects of your home while also advising of any issues that may need to be addressed.
  • Appraisal vs valuation –  Real estate agents can offer an free market appraisal of your property, which is an estimation of the potential sale price based on the comparable sales in the immediate area, but this is not the same as a valuation. Valuers will charge a flat fee and search the title, which includes checking measurements, easements and restrictive covenants. They also undertake an on-site inspection of the property, review recent, comparable sales results in the area, and they may even offer recommendations to help you achieve the best possible price. They will issue a written report detailing their findings.
  • Investigate development potential – Your block of land may have the potential to be subdivided, which is a huge boost to its value. If your block has a covenant which limits the number of dwellings allowed, the valuer may be able to apply to have this removed.
  • Be aware of negatives – It is wise to be aware of any negative aspects of your property such as being flood-prone or having structural issues, and valuers will arm you with this knowledge. Being forewarned will help you when buyers seek ways to negotiate the price down.

4. How much does it cost to sell a house?

Every property is unique and therefore the costs involved with selling a home differ greatly. Agent fees vary based on the individual agent and the value of the home. To determine the costs involved, examine your property and add up all the potential fees so you know what to expect.

These are some considerations you should include on your list:

  • Real estate agent’s commission – about 2 per cent of the sale price
  • Conveyancer or solicitor fees – about $1500 to 2000
  • Marketing including photography, advertising, and signboards – varies depending on options about $3000 to $4000
  • Auctioneer’s fees – about $600 – $1000
  • Renovations and repairs – varies based on the property
  • Home staging – about $2000 to $4000 depending on the size of the  property
  • Mortgage discharge fees – varies based on the lender
  • Capital Gains Tax – varies based on the property

Once you have completed your list, go through it with your agent to ensure nothing is missing, so you do not have any nasty surprises in store. Also take into account there will be costs for buying your new house, such as stamp duty, bank charges and solicitor fees.

Want to know how much your property could sell for?At Ray White City South we design marketing packages which are completely tailored to your specific needs and goals.Enter your details below and we will contact you to arrange a detailed property appraisal.


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