Key Steps To Selling A Property

So, you’ve made the decision to sell a property, this could be your home or maybe its an investment property, maybe you’re upsizing, downsizing or maybe you’re looking to reduce your exposure to the property market.  Whatever your “why” the process after your initial decision to sell can be quite confusing. There are so many people to contact, decisions to be made, and conditions to consider. If this is the first time that you are selling a property, it can all feel like too much to handle.

To make things a bit easier for you, here is what you need to be aware of about the process of selling what could be one of the largest assets you will ever own.

Firstly, ask yourself this… it the right time to sell?  Just because you have decided that it is time to put your house up for sale doesn’t mean that you should go ahead with it.

To ensure that you will be able to create a buzz around your property and receive plenty of offers, you need to first check that the market indicators for such a sale are good. Now, there are lots of factors to be taken into consideration and you should always talk to a real estate agent ahead of time to be sure about the condition.

That being said, one of the things to look for is whether property in the nearby area has become more expensive. It is also a good idea to check how long, on average, houses are remaining on the market before they are being sold. This will give you some indication of what you should do.

Selling your home can be an extremely emotional process, but it’s important that you don’t let your emotions get the best of you.  Understanding the common mistakes emotional sellers make when selling their home can help you overcome them before it’s too late.  Here are three of the most common mistakes I see when talking to clients who are selling their property.

Price Paralysis

You love your home, you know the value it provides to you, its owner, and you think it’s special compared to other houses on the market… and that it should be priced as such!
Be wary of this thought pattern though, as sellers who are emotionally attached to their home tend to overprice their property, ignore market data, and be stubborn in negotiations.
It is perfectly normal for your emotions to cloud your judgement when first going on the market, but it is important that you listen to your real estate agent’s advice, based on market feedback and stick to reason, or you may find your home failing to connect with buyers.

Pricing Based On Need

No property has a recommended retail price. When moving to a new property, it is essential that you understand that you cannot price your current home based on the amount of money you need to purchase your desired next home.  This mindset is unrealistic, and can drag out your time on the market.

If the purchase of a new home is contingent upon how much you make from selling your current home, be sure that you do not celebrate too early.  Wait until you have an unconditional contract, before gauging what you can afford to buy next, or stick to a property that is definitely within your budget.

Maintain An Open Mind

While you may love the way your personal items and interior design pieces make your home feel, it is best to stage your home very impersonally when on the market.  This may require re-painting rooms to more neutral tones, taking down your favourite family photos, and using professional staging furniture rather than your own.  Doing so isn’t admitting that you have bad taste, but rather accepting that buyers have a wide variety of taste themselves, and you want to appeal to them all.

You should also keep an open mind when it comes to who you sell your home to.  You may have an idea of what you consider to be the perfect buyer, but ultimately the goal is to sell your home.  What the buyer does with it after the fact is up to them.

With your emotions now under control here are the 11 key steps to consider when selling a property:

  1. Be prepared - after making the decision to sell, de-clutter, tidy up the garden and get the property as close to “open home ready” as possible.  Think about when you want to sell, how you want to sell and anything you’ll be looking for in an agent.
  2. Choose a real estate agent - it’s a personal relationship, so go with an agent you like, you can trust and believe has the skills to get the best result for youAsk agents questions about price, levels of interest and how they believe the market is tracking.  Vendors should choose an agent they’d want to buy through.
  3. Pick a sale method - next you’ll decide how you want to sell.  Think about what you feel comfortable with, but be prepared to listen to what your agent recommends.  Whether its an auction or private sale, understanding market dynamics will help guide the best method for you.
  4. Set a selling price - you and your agent will work out a plan for listing, showing and selling your property.  It’s important to price correctly, as markets can be extremely unforgiving with overpriced listings.  Do your own research on local sales, combine your knowledge with that of your agent’s to work out the most appropriate asking price.
  5. Review the agreement with agent - read the agency agreement being offered by the agent and be prepared to ask questions.  If you want to amend a clause, ask before signing. Typically, the main points of discussion are around if the agreement is exclusive or non-exclusive, the length of the agreement, how the agreement will be terminated, the selling fee and any other fees, such as marketing or administration.
  6. Prepare vendor’s statement - a vendor’s statement – also known as a section 32 – explains to buyers the crucial things they should know before buying the property.  The statement covers things like whether a mortgage is held over the property, any covenants which would restrict what you can do with it, any easements to which the land is subject (drainage, rights of way, or power lines for example), council zoning and associated declarations.
  7. Market your property - you can’t sell a secret. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best result, you must advertise in a number of areas – the number one is through the internet. You need the best photos, great copy-writing and great presentation.Talk to your agent about presentation for recommendations about how to showcase your home to ensure your target market falls in love.
  8. Go to market - once on the market, some vendors move out, whilst it’s up to the vendor,  it can be difficult to keep a house presented well for a three to four week marketing period.  A good agent will give vendors a detailed schedule of events for the campaign, so they know in advance what is happening when.
  9. Sell! Sell! Sell! - a great agent will negotiate for the best price.  When it comes to actually selling and negotiating price, vendors should trust their agent.  It comes back to choosing the best agent, who has the right skills. If you have the right agent, you should have complete faith in them to get the best result for you.
  10. Under contract - at auction, if the reserve price is met, the highest bidder is the buyer of the property, unconditionally.With a private sale, the buyer has a three-day cooling off period.  You should also prepare the contract of sale through your solicitor or conveyancer.
  11. Settle - “settlement” is the final stage of the sale, when the buyer completes the payment of the contract price to the vendor and takes legal possession of the property.  Then it’s time to celebrate….Champagne!!!

Whilst the process of selling a property can be quite daunting and nerve racking, ensuring you surround yourself with quality professionals, understand the process and try (as best you can) to remove your emotion you should be able to yield the results you’re looking for.