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How to sell my house

By Andrew Bell

If you're been playing with the idea of selling property, you aren't alone. Regional sales volumes were up 25% in regional Australia year over year, as of November 2021, CoreLogic reported, with low stock of homes and even lower interest rates available to a qualified buyer.

But whether by auction, sale by owner or private treaty sale, selling your home to any prospective buyer won't happen without some key steps. This is true whether you are selling the home in which you live or an investment property. Here's a look at what is required to take advantage of the seller's market.

Developing a strategy
Real estate agents know the process of selling property to potential buyers. We have the procedural knowledge necessary to help a homeowner attract and work with potential buyers.

We're also a treasure trove of information about local market conditions. This latter knowledge is some of our most valuable expertise, as any real estate investor can share with you. Real estate conditions are always flux. It takes daily exposure to the sector over extended periods of time to gain this level of deep knowledge. And we can use it to help you answer key questions, like the right time of year to put your house up for sale, the amount you can expect to command at a public auction and how to handle a pre auction offer.

If you don't have the expertise of a real estate agent, you will pay tuition on your transaction. Meaning: you'll be learning on the job when performing tasks ranging from setting an auction date to choosing an auction house or auctioneer.

We recommend you save both money and time by relying on the pre-existing expertise of a real estate agent. Not only do we know the process and associated laws; we are also regularly in the business of negotiating transactions with an interested buyer. A private house sale often involves hefty sums of money and finesse to negotiate. Chances are, we have worked on deals involving similar properties to yours and can leverage this experience to help you.

Real estate professionals also have contacts across the industry to help with all kinds of administrative matters including financing matters like a bridging loan. There are additional tasks you might confront along the way that require referrals, too. These might include tradespeople for possible repairs and renovations as well as photographers, stylists and auctioneers further along in the process. Additionally, we may even know your buyer's agent; the real estate community is a tightly linked network.

Of course, there are costs associated with accessing the expertise of a real estate agent. These real estate fees are often paid in the form of a commission, usually a percentage of the selling price. This can range from 1.5% to 4% of the total value of what your house sells for. We will discuss this with you at the beginning of the process.

Steps for selling your house
To some extent, you will set your own timeline for selling your house. The clock truly starts as soon as you elect for a home sale. You might assume the very next step to be hiring a realtor. Actually, you may be ahead to do your own due diligence to get your house into shape first. After all, you're competing against comparable buyers. Does a general tidying up or coat of paint need to happen? Maybe it's cleaning up around the yard or exterior. Improving this space can really help with curb appeal. Then fixing up those indoor repairs which may have hung out on your to-do list for a long time, like finally tinkering with that leaky faucet. You might also consider potentially smartening up with a few new appliances. This is a good moment to reach out, as real estate agents have a great handle on the desires of potential buyers; we can help you decide how much time or money to invest ahead of preparing for a home sale.

Your listing agent, once hired, can help you photograph and market your home. We work with professional photographers as well as stylists who can help make sure your space looks its best — maximising its appeal to all types of buyers. Generally, a home in good condition styled correctly and looking its best brings in a higher sale price.

When it comes to establishing an asking price, we will look at comparable properties nearby and generate a property appraisal. This is part of a comparative market analysis in which at least 3-6 comparable properties and relevant local real estate market conditions are considered in relation to your property so as to help set an appropriate asking price.

After setting a sale price, you'll want to have an in-depth conversation with your real estate agent and your financial team to fully understand closing costs as well as any and all tax implications related to selling your property.

There are several ways to sell a property in Australia: privately, at auction, by treaty or by tender. Each method of sale implies a different way the sale will be handled in regard to closing costs and processes. Your real estate agent can help you choose and understand the best method of sale for your situation. Generally, formal offers are received from a potential buyer in the form of a signed sale contract. While a private sale typically gives the qualified buyer around five days to rescind or change the offer, a sale at an auction obligates the buyer to purchase the home on the spot.

These key differences are essential to discuss with your real estate agent.

Situations you'll need to hire a real estate attorney
Your real estate agent won't be the only professional with whom you work to complete the sale of your house. It may also be useful to hire a real estate attorney to help you with any unusual transaction complications.

If your situation is at all non-standard — perhaps you are selling a family home as part of a high-conflict divorce, or maybe you are preparing to sell a grandparent's home after a death in the family — you'll possibly need the services of a real estate attorney.

This person can collaborate with real estate agents to help you safeguard your investment and review legal documents. This will help all parties involved in the home sale answer the question of how to sell my house — especially if there are several interested parties involved.

From negotiating a cash offer to taxes, many questions and answers about your home sale will depend on your situation. If you'd like to discuss it with a professional from our team of real estate agents, a colleague from Ray White Surfers Paradise would be happy to assist you. Please contact us today with any questions about the process, from creating more curb appeal to handling closing costs.

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