What questions must you ask before selling a house?

Selling a house is a complicated endeavor, especially for someone with little to no experience in this particular field.

If this is your first time trying to sell your house, it is best that you try and educate yourself as much as possible on the inner working of the real estate industry.

Whether you want to sell your house to upgrade or downgrade your living arrangements or just planning on moving to a new city, in Australia every city and every real estate area has its particular aspects.

However, there are a number of questions that you will need to know the answer before you decide to start the process, which is why we have listed them here and given the most detailed answers possible.

What are the market trends?

The first and most decisive trend in the real estate industry is the season.

People are more likely to buy and sell houses in the warmer seasons such as spring or summer. For those that want to buy a house, looking for listing in the colder months is better since prices tend to drop in order to get potential buyers.

Properties on the Market

Since our goal is to sell for the best price possible, you need to plan things in advance and make it so that your listing takes place during spring or early summer in order to get as much out of your property as possible.

How do I know how much my house worth?

The easiest way to find out your property's worth is by doing market research, looking online to find similar properties in your area. While not completely accurate, an evaluator will set you back a couple of hundred dollars, whether you end up selling or not, an evaluation can help you refinance, or understand your current position of equity. 

This will offer you a realistic price based on your property type, market conditions for your property type, interest rates and availability for finances and also on the price that other properties like yours were sold in the area.

With this, you will have a rough price from which you can then move on and negotiate with potential buyers.

If you're not sure how to get started, compare local real estate agents, find one that works best for you, and your needs and they will assist you in this process.

Each state also has its own information around your annual land valuation:

How much do I have to pay to sell my property?

Most of the expenses that take place when selling a property are linked to the specifics of your agent, each agent has their own marketing strategies and commissions percentages

The most common costs when selling a home would be:

  • Sales Commission
  • Advertising Costs
  • Evaluation
  • Recommended repairs by an agent to bring up the value
  • Conveyance Fees
  • Possible Capital Gains Tax (Speak with your agent and/or accountant)
  • Possible furniture staging
  • Photography
  • Auctioneer (If selling via Auction)
  • Solicitor fees

Other small transactions that you will have to keep in mind are those that you may pay to set up your open house event (paying a company to clean the house, flower arrangements, catering, depending on what you want to offer to attract your buyers) unless you plan to do things yourself which can help save quite a bit of cash on your end.

How do these costs differ from one area of Australia to another?

A great way to know what to expect is to know the average costs that you will have to pay based on the area that you live in.

To help you with that, there is a small guide here that gives you plenty of details based on the regions in Australia.

It goes into the different fees that you will be expected to pay when it comes to agency commissions, conveyance or solicitor fees, lender fees and also styling or staging fees for your home.

Upside Agents

The areas that they discuss include Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, and Tasmania. This means that no matter where you live, this guide is your best friend in knowing some of the inner workings of the fees paid in the real estate industry in order to sell your house.

How do I market my property?

Knowing how to market your property is the crucial step in making sure that you get the attention of as many potential buyers as possible.

Usually, this can be done easily with the help of an agent so that you do not have to worry about each step but it is best that you are aware of what this entails.

Generally, marketing your home means advertising your property, taking amazing staged photos to show off its interior, drawing up the house floor plans and putting your property up online on the various platforms.

If you do not want to go the agent route, taking care of these things can be pretty easy if you do them on your own but make sure that you pay the right amount of attention not only to the quality of the pictures but also to that of the listing and the property description to maximize your reach.

How do I put my home on the market?

Putting your home on the market usually entails reaching out to your local real estate agent. As previously discussed, the easiest way to do that is by comparing the best agents in your area right here on RealConnect.

If you have an agent already, ask them about their fees, what they're offering and ensure they align with your goals.

From then on, potential buyers will get in contact with your agent or, based on the information that you give online or in targeted ads, they will come to your open house event in order to get a look at your house and maybe get in contact with you or your agent to set up a sale.

Do I need an agent?

We have talked a lot about what an agent can do under some of the before answered questions.

While you can go on and sell your house without their help, there are a lot of valid reasons why you would want a real estate agent.

First of all, they have experience in the field, they understand contracts, can give you a fair price that your house can be sold at, they will be there to guide you during the process and also negotiate the price with the potential buyers in order to get the best deal possible.

Lady Holding Red House

Technically, if you're experienced, know the process and wish to go without an agent. You can sell your home in Australia. Reach out to your solicitor for the paperwork and contracts that will be required. 

We, however, strongly suggest approaching a licensed real estate agent to ensure you get the absolute maximum value with little risk.

How do I find the right agent?

Statistically speaking, most people settle with the first agent that they meet up with.

This is perhaps one of the most dangerous practices.

In order to find a good real estate agent for you, you need to know that they are transparent, that they have experience selling in your area, that they are licensed to sell properties in your state, that they have a well-thought plan to sell your property.

You'll also want to ensure that they are able to work with your requirements and your own needs and not impose those of their own.

One thing that you need to know is that most agents typically will start by giving you an inflated price for your property in order to have you as clients.

One way to avoid that and not be disappointed in the failed promises of an agent, make sure that you get a signed quotation guarantee from them. That way, they won't be paid until they sell the property for the price that you agreed upon.

Can I be my own agent?

Yes, you can sell your home without getting the help of an agency.

If you decide to do it on your own, you'll eliminate the commission cost that you will pay either the real estate agency or the real estate agent that you will get for your property.

If you are familiar with the area, with the prices for your type of property, if you get your home appraised and know how to make your intentions known to potential buyers, you can eliminate the middle man completely and also get a fair price for your home in the long run.

As mentioned above though, we strongly suggest approaching a solicitor or agent to discuss the difficulties you may experience. 

What is a conveyancer?

A conveyancer is a licensed professional that will help to prepare the legal documentation needed in property transactions, a person that can represent either the buyer or the seller in a real estate settlement process that can offer their party the legal advice needed for the sale or the purchase.

Most real estate agencies or agents work with select conveyancers in the area, meaning they will recommend them.

However, if you plan to sell on your own you can do your own research and find the right conveyancer in your area that can help you during the settlement process when you are selling your house.

What is a solicitor?

A solicitor is a general legal practitioner that has the specialization to also conduct conveyancing.

They will have a certificate to practice law and also the knowledge needed to handle the process of property transfer from the seller to the buyer. They can also offer general property advice like tax affairs if they are asked to do that.

A conveyancer and a solicitor are pretty similar, meaning that you can choose to get the services of either one as long as they have the right licenses and qualifications to practice their services in your area.

Generally speaking, a conveyancer might be more affordable than a solicitor, since they do not offer legal property advice.

What is a Vendor's Statement?

A Vendor's Statement is a legal document that contains information about the property that you will not see or find when you are inspecting that property. As a seller, it is crucial that you're completely transparent in your Vendor's Statement. This statement covers covenants, mortgages, zonings, outgoings, easements, and also a declaration if the property is located in an area that is prone to bushfires. You will not find details about the condition of the building, whether it complies with building regulations or not and also the accuracy of the property measurements.

What is a Contract of Sale?

A contract of sale is a legal document that lists important information about the buyer and seller, such as their names and addresses, and it also has the conditions of the sale and other inclusions.

Once both parties have signed the contract of sale, it becomes a legally binding document.

Contract Of Sale

This contract of sale should always be prepared by a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer on either side to make sure that both parties are protected.

Sell it privately or during an auction?

When you sell your house privately you have a set price or price range that you want to sell your home for and buyers can come with their own offers.

It can take some time to find the right buyer. At an auction, your property will probably sell much faster and hopefully for a bigger price since potential buyers are more competitive there (as they have a very limited timeframe to get the property they like and they also compete against others).

Depending on the area that your property is located in and the type of house that you have, you can choose what feels best for you.

If you are pressed by time, you might choose to go the auction route but a private sale does have its own benefits as well.

Typically, an agent will have a preference towards one or the other, this could also depend on whether similar homes in your area have recently sold to give an estimated valuation of your property. If your home is above, or well above the average mean value of the area, an evaluation may be hard, an auction may be the best option.

Why is an open house event important for a potential sale?

An open house event creates the opportunity for potential buyers to see the home fully.

It is an opportunity for you to wow them depending on how you stage the room and how you decorate them, offering the buyers the option to see how a house can look like a home, something that they cannot get if they just tour an empty house.

Not only that but, if more than one buyer is interested in buying your house, at an open house two or more buyers can compete in what they can offer you for the property, meaning you can get the best deal possible.