A Quick Guide to Selling a House

Selling a home and selling a property, made easy

In this guide we step through the process of selling a house or property. Once you decide to sell your house, it can be one of the most important financial decisions of your life, and if not handled properly, one of the most stressful. But selling a house doesn’t have to be a headache. Prior preparation and a thorough approach should see you dodge the pitfalls commonly involved in selling a property.

The Decision to Sell Your House

There are any number of reasons why people decide to sell their house. However, there are a number of factors that everyone should consider. First of all, it is useful to gauge market conditions before you sell your property. Try to find out where you’re at in the property cycle, and if you can, avoid selling at the bottom of the pricing cycle. Do some research and see what similar homes in similar areas are selling for. Most newspapers have extensive property sections that should clue you in to this.

Also consider the time of year you’re selling your home. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn tend to be peak buying seasons, but consider what is right for your property. If your house is light and airy with lots of shade, summer might be ideal. If it’s more closed and cosy, with a fire-place, winter might be right for you. This could help you get an extra margin on your selling price.

Finally, before you close the deal and sell your house, make sure you have an exit strategy. Where are you going next? How long before you take possession of you next home? Will you rent in the mean-time? A clear exit strategy will make the process of selling your home easier.

Inclusions and Exclusions

It is a common oversight in selling a house to forget to make a detailed list of inclusions and exclusions. When your house is open for inspection, many buyers will presume that everything they see is included in the sale. It is up to you to specify exactly what is and what is not included in the sales contact. The clearer you are about things like curtains, burglar alarms, white goods, light fittings, awnings, clotheslines, above-ground pool and so on, the less room there is for confusion.

Setting a Sales Price

When you’re selling a home, one of the most important things to be clear about is how much you think the property is worth. A bit of time spent researching the market can be well worth the effort here. There are a number of online sites that can offer suburb specific market reports (sometimes for a fee). You can also get a formal valuation from a qualified valuer, though this also costs money.

Alternatively, you could also visit auctions of comparable properties in your area and see what the market is doing. Talk to local agents as well. They will be keeping their ear close to the ground and should be able to give you an indication of what they think your property can sell for.

Make sure you stop by our Market Dashboard for more information on local market conditions.

Who Will Sell Your House?

It is possible to sell your house yourself. It is even possible to hire an auctioneer put the property to auction yourself. However, you should be aware that it can be quite a lot of work, and may not even save you money in the long run. See our article Why Use A Real Estate Agent to see why we urge everyone selling a house to consider employing an agent, and for more info on the services they offer.

Of course, if you do decide to use an agent to sell your property value, you want to make sure that you have the best agent available.

Drop by our homepage for objective performance data on real estate agents in your area, and make sure you have one that delivers.

Checking The Title

If you are selling your house, you have a legal obligation to give “good title” at the time the property is sold. This is a legal term. It means that you must make sure there is nothing preventing the buyer’s purchase of the property and that the buyer has all the documents necessary to be registered as the owner.

The title will list any person who has an interest in the property. For example, it will name the registered mortgagee (usually a bank). It will also list any caveats – a caveat is an alert that someone else claims a financial interest in the property.

Titles don’t have to be a complex business, but they can be. It can be worth engaging a conveyancer or property lawyer to help you out here.

Sales Time

Once you have all your ducks in a row, make sure you’ve got your house ready for sale. Check out our quick guide: How to Sell a House for More.

And then all the best of luck!

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