When listing your home for sale, it’s recommended that you talk to your bank to find out how much you owe on the loan, and whether there are any costs involved when the house is sold.
If your property is an investment, you should discuss the potential sale with your accountant, to review any capital gains or tax issues that may affect the sale of the property. It’s important to know these things before selling, as you may be surprised just how much it will actually cost to sell your investment, and whether or not it’s going to be worth selling now, or better to wait.
We recommend getting an opinion from 3 different agents, and taking into consideration each agent’s knowledge of the area. You don’t want to fall into the trap of an agent who is overpricing your property to “buy the listing”; resulting in your expectations not being met. Or, using an out of area agent who under values your home and has little knowledge of the local area; preventing your home from achieving the price it deserves.
When selling an investment property, it’s important to know the rights of your tenants and the responsibilities you have as an owner if the property you wish to sell has a tenancy in place. You’ll be required to inform your property manager of your intention to sell, and there may be certain notice periods or dates that will affect the contract of sale, for example, you may be required to have a much longer settlement than anticipated. These things will all depend on your individual circumstances and the terms of the lease. Speak with your property manager and let them know of your intention to sell; they’ll be able to answer any of your questions and inform you of anything that will be required of you, or any other information on the tenancy that is relevant to the sale of your home.
After you have decided that selling is the best course of action, and you’ve contacted a few agents to come and appraise your home, it’s time to choose which agent will manage the sale. This is one of the most important steps towards a successful sale.
Good real estate agents do all of the hard work for you when selling your home, and are a critical part of the selling process. They list your property, take care of all the marketing and advertising required to get your property seen, take through and screen all buyers, negotiate the sale and take care of all legal aspects of selling a home—all of which are crucial to the success of your sale.
Real estate agents offer unique insights and experience when it comes to listing and selling a home. Most importantly, agents are there to help relieve some of the stresses that can accompany selling—helping you to focus on what matters most. And because it’s such an important job, you want it done by the right person who will do it properly.
When you’re deciding on which agent to list your property with, keep in mind that the task at hand is incredibly important—you want an agent that you trust, who is professional and adaptable—you’re selling one of your biggest assets, and your expectations should be demanding.
To make it simple, here’s what you should look for in an agent:
- Ability to meet your requirements
- Clear interest in meeting your needs
- Professional designation and member of the REIQ
- Positive references from past clients
- Knowledge of the area in which you’re selling your property
- Knowledge of the price bracket you’re likely to sell in
- Commitment to realistic about the market and your situation
Often, the reason people decide to sell their home is because of lifestyle changes. Whether you’re relocating, downsizing, or have a growing family, deciding when to sell can be particularly daunting—especially if you’re a first time seller.
Whatever the reason behind your decision to sell, it may not coincide with the perfect market conditions. It’s for this reason that it’s important to know the state of the current market and the economy, as the real estate market is generally a reflection of the state of the broader economy.
It’s also important to consider your own personal objectives, such as your ability to finance a new home, meet ongoing repayments, and capital gains tax if you’re selling an investment property.
If you’re buying and selling in the same market however, it’s important to remember that even if you sell for less than you’d initially hoped, you’ll probably buy for less. The same can be said for when prices are high; you might make more on your home when you sell, but you’ll probably pay more when you buy again.
Something else that can affect the sale of your home is the season, and how it’s presented. You don’t want your home to feel cluttered and stuffy during summer inspections. Similarly, you want people to feel cosy and comfortable during winter inspections. It’s important to prepare the property for the sale; tidy up the gardens for curb-side appeal and to ‘make an entrance’, declutter the cupboards to make them feel spacious, store away items in the living areas that are personal (family photos, shopping lists on the fridge, etc.) so buyers can imagine it as their home, and not feel like they’re invading someone else’s, and lastly, present the property in conjunction with the current season.
So, when deciding ‘when’ to sell, consider:
- The condition of the current market
- The economy
- Your motivations as a seller
- The season you’ll be selling in
It might be worth your while to wait a few months to sell your home, or it might be best to sell now.
A great way to determine the state of the current real estate market is to do some research; browse the internet for homes similar to yours in the same suburb and surrounding areas. It won’t be an exact way to determine what your home is worth, but it can help you to know what to expect to hear from a Real Estate Agent, and to know what else buyers will be seeing when they search for homes similar to yours.