The selling process

Now that you have decided to sell and have prepared your home for sale, where to from here:

1. Choosing a real estate agent

This is one of the most important decisions you can make. Some things to consider are; do you feel that you can trust the agents you are meeting? Trust is something which is developed over time but agents can provide you with knowledge about your area, be able to prove their previous results and show you how they are going to achieve the best result for you. By sharing this information with you, you should feel more comfortable that they can provide a similar result for you.

Your home is the most important asset you will ever sell, so it is important to feel that the agent will keep you informed along the way. Information regarding what the buyers are saying, what offers are being made, what properties are in competition with yours and what has sold recently, keeps you up to date and ready to make the most important decisions about your home.

The agent will be in charge of advertising your property, so make sure you are happy with the style of advertising and marketing program being suggested.

Once you have selected your agent you will need to sign the agency agreement. This agreement is a legally binding document which outlines the method of sale (auction or private treaty), duration of the agreement, advertising program and cost, commission rate and other items pertinent to the sale.

The agent will also be in charge of the legal requirements of selling your property, so make sure they are experienced with exchanging Contracts with a 5 day cooling off period and/or sales advices.

The real estate agent must have a signed agency agreement, from you and the Contract for Sale, in their office before they can show your home to prospective buyers. This is a legal requirement and major fines can be imposed, if not adhered too.

2. Select a conveyancer or solicitor

The conveyancer or solicitor will prepare the Contract for Sale (legal document which will include any easements, covenants, legal description and sewer diagram relating to your property, as well as the timeframe for settlement) and it is normally available to the agent, within a few days of instructing the conveyancer or solicitor.

3. To do or not to do a pest and building report

You may like to consider conducting your own pest and building report and making this available to any buyers. This report will help buyers make quicker decisions and when you receive an offer, they will have already considered what needs to be done. The report will tell you what minor or major repairs need to be completed and if there are any pest (termite) issues. This report, if not done by you, will probably still be undertaken by a pest and building inspector under instructions from the buyer or their solicitor. Most homes will require repairs but you don’t necessarily need to do them yourself, unless you feel it would be beneficial. Sometimes, you could provide a quote for items which require major work. By doing this, you are making the decision to buy easier for the purchaser.

4. Advertising your home

First, professional photos will need to be taken and it is advisable to have a professional floorplan completed. Floorplans assist buyers in remembering the layout of your home and helps them plan and visualise their furniture in your place. The agent will discuss with you the internet and print media strategy; they feel is best.

5. Open house or private inspections

Before coming on the market you have to decide if you are happy to allow the agent to do open houses or only private inspections. An open house is usually a set time, for the agent to open your home to the public for viewing. The time is fixed and generally runs for ½ an hour. This allows anyone to inspect your home during this time. It is a popular ways of showing the property without inconveniencing the owners with multiply inspections. The agent should be obtaining details of all the buyers who come to inspect your property, prior to allowing access.

6. Negotiating a sale

This is one of the most important processes of the sale. The agent will need to mediate between you and the buyer to achieve a mutually acceptable sale price. Anyone can be a messenger but you need to make sure you have an agent who is a negotiator. Choose your agent wisely and go with someone who can prove how, they have negotiated in previous sales.

7. Signing the Contract for Sale

Once you have agreed to accept a price, the agent can exchange your Contract for Sale with, a 5 day cooling off period or a sale advice can go to the conveyancer/solicitor.

If your agent does exchange Contracts with the 5 day cooling off, the purchaser puts down a deposit of 0.5%, of the asking price and signs the Contract and then has 5 days in which to have the Contract reviewed, obtain formal finance approval and have a pest and building report conducted, if one hasn’t already been done. If the purchaser decide they don’t want to proceed (within the 5 days), then the owner usually receives the 0.5% deposit, as compensation for taking the property off the market. If your agent doesn’t do exchanges with the 5 day cool off, then a sales advice is completed and your conveyancer/solicitor will do the exchange with a 66w. A 66w means there is no cooling off period and once the exchange has occurred the buyer is committed to purchasing your property. It is our experience that exchanges with conveyancers/solicitors take longer than 5 days to execute.

8. Under contract

Once under contract and any cooling off period has expired, you will be waiting for settlement to occur. The settlement timeframe would have already been determined on the contract and is normally 42 days, however this can be altered when in negotiations, with your buyer. As settlement looms you will need to pack and organise to vacate the property prior to the date. All fixtures and fittings are to remain and only your personal items or exclusions, already mentioned in the Contract for Sale, to be removed. It is important to remove any waste or unwanted items before settlement. Remember to remove items from under the house. Also notify all your utility providers, friends and family of your move and new address.

9. Settlement day

You will be advised, by your conveyancer/solicitor when settlement will occur. Before this day, you will need to provide the agent will all the appropriate keys and any information that you would like to pass onto the new owners of your home. Once settlement has occurred, the agent will organise to forward you the balance of the deposit, less any outstanding money owed to the agency.

Congratulations you have sold your home!

 

Disclaimer

This information has been provided as an indicative guide only and you should make sure that you seek independent advice, so that you have a thorough understanding of your obligations before proceeding to take your property to the market.