Step by Step Guide to Selling Your Property

If only listing a property on the market was as easy as putting up a signboard out the front and waiting for a big offer to arrive from a potential buyer. The reality is there are many steps to selling a house. Knowing what to expect is key to minimising any potential stress. To help you navigate the home selling process, we’ve put together an easy-to-understand guide that will walk you through key areas and set you up for success.

1. Organise a property appraisal

You need to know just what your home is worth to plan your future move. So, the first step to selling residential real estate begins by getting an appraisal of your property. This is an excellent way of understanding potential market value. It may also highlight work that needs to be undertaken to maximise buyer appeal.

2. Find an agent

As a real estate agent is responsible for the sale of your home, choosing the right one is a big decision. A property appraisal is also a fabulous way to be introduced to agents working in your local area. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and referrals, as speaking with past clients can give you an idea of an agent’s performance. To ensure you’re choosing the best agent for the job, it pays to ask pertinent questions such as what properties they have sold recently.

3. Choose your method of sale

It is important to understand all the different ways real estate can be sold. Remember, what works in one suburb may not work in another. These are four main ways to sell property:

  • Auction
  • Private Treaty
  • Tender
  • Expression of Interest

Each selling method has its pros and cons. Your chosen agent will also be able to provide insight into what type of campaign is likely to be the most successful in your neighbourhood.

4. Set a selling price

Markets can change – sometimes in a matter of weeks – so it is important to work with someone who is on top of what is happening in your area. Your chosen agent should have a solid understanding of how much you could sell your property for by looking at what comparable properties have achieved.

5. Review and sign the agency agreement

As a homeowner looking to sell, you’ll need to sign an agency agreement.  A normal agreement between a vendor and a real estate agent is 90 days. You will also need to provide your real estate agent with keys and access details and lock in weekly the open for inspection times. 

6. Drawing up a sales plan

It is important to choose the right real estate agent, who has the experience to draft and deal with a solid contract. Contracts are checked and approved by solicitors or conveyancers for both sellers and buyers, and negotiations are usually carried out by the legal representatives, together with the real estate agent.

7. Set a budget

Listing a property on the market involves a range of expenses beyond just the sale price. Understanding the costs of selling real estate is essential to ensuring you won’t be met with any unpleasant surprises.  This includes legal expenses, marketing, and agent’s commission. And don’t forget to budget for moving when calculating your figures.

8. Sprucing up your home

First impressions count when selling your home. The end goal is to make someone else fall in love with your home, just as you once did. So pack away anything photos or mementos that prevent a buyer from imagining living in your home. Remove excess furniture and personal belongings, as this allows each room to look its best.

9. Professional styling

It might sound like added work or expense, but professional styling can make a significant difference – adding an estimated 5 to 10 per cent to the final sale price.

Moreover, if money isn’t incentive enough, research shows that staged homes tend to spend less time on the market. It may be that your interior just needs a few tweaks, partial staging, or the full works. Your local LJ Hooker agent will make suggestions and put you in touch professional stylist who works in your area.  The hire is usually for a six-week campaign.

10. Marketing Your Property

Now your home or investment property is looking in tip-top shape, it’s time to promote it to as many buyers as possible. To first attract their attention, professional photos will need to be organised and may also include drone images. Your agent will organise this along with floor plans and professional copywriting. They will also discuss other marketing strategies to promote your property. This will include advertising on popular real estate selling portals, house signboards, brochures and letterbox drops. Agents should also be contacting potential buyers on their database who are looking in your area.

11. Open Inspections

Open inspections allow potential buyers to get a feel for the home. Normally there are two open homes – one during the midweek and the other on Saturday mornings. These generally last for 30 minutes. Vendors don’t need to stay at home during these inspections. Instead, your agent will record the details of attendees and provide comments and feedback. While you may feel nervous about opening your home to the public, it is a good way to ascertain the level of interest and potential competition.

12. Negotiation and Contract

If selling via private treaty, offers are received via your agent.  They will discuss with you and also negotiate to get the best price and conditions of sale.

13. Deposit taken

Once terms are agreed, a security deposit is taken from the buyer. The buyer and their solicitor will also organise the deposit to be transferred to you. This deposit is usually held in a trust account by your real estate agency until settlement day.

14. Moving out

You will need to be fully moved out before settlement day to ensure the home is ready for the new owners. It is easy to feel so overwhelmed when packing up a property that you may be unsure of where to start. Decluttering will help you to detach from the home emotionally. Think of the sale as an exciting next step and focus on your new chapter in life.

15. Property Settlement

Property settlement is the process of transferring property from one owner to another. The date of settlement is specified in the contract of sale and is usually 30 – 90 days after you have exchanged contracts either at auction or via private treaty.

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