#1 – Figure out your timeline and reason for selling.
- Figure out why you’re selling.
Are you upsizing, downsizing, moving interstate, moving overseas or maybe it’s due to the financial pressures of your current home? Whatever your reason, work out your motivation.
- Work out your timeline. Figure out what your next moves are, are you going to buy another property before you sell? Perhaps you plan to do both at the same time.
- Weigh up your pros and cons to both!
Pros + cons
– You can take your time to prepare.
– There isn’t pressure to sell your home, forcing you to drop your asking price drastically and lose more money on your sale.
– You can have a really successful campaign if you have the time to do it right.
– There are none unless you don’t have the luxury of time and have to sell due to financial pressures.
#2 How-to find the ‘right’ agent.
– Talk to family and friends, and get their reviews from agents they’ve used.
– Check out your local agent’s reviews. you can do this on:
– product review.com (sometimes people review agencies on this platform).
Note: I don’t find reviews totally reliable when it comes to real estate agents. I’m yet to see an agent review with a 1-star rating, they’re all 5 stars.
Tip: you could look at the number of reviews on an agent you’re thinking of going with, that will tell you how many people have taken the time to post a review.
My top tip!
- The best way to find a good real estate agent is to attend open inspections in your local area and see how Agents perform at the open!
- This is a great way to measure their performance and how they sell the home.
- Are they disinterested? Do they play on their phone a lot? Maybe they don’t talk much or maybe they leave you alone, enough for you to form an opinion. How do they answer your questions? does it seem honest or accurate?
- Also, if you’re like me, I go by gut feel, do you get a good feeling from that agent?
- You don’t need to tell them why you’re there you can just say, you’re looking to buy and are getting ideas at this stage.
- I would look at attending 3 opens at least and then trying to form your opinion from there.
- Look at the agency selling the home, are they local to the area?
- Or are they from another suburb, further away?
This can happen from time to time. I’d tend to stick with the agents in the local area because they know the area well and they have a database that they can appeal to, to sell your home.
Pros + Cons
1. How they perform at work – it’s like being a mystery shopper!
2. If you like the way they “perform” then you have a good potential Agent to use to sell your house.
3. Take mental notes or notes on your phone, on what you noticed about the property and how it was presented.
You waste your time, but you might walk away with a funny story?
#3 Outline of the process + tips!
Once you’ve done the above exercise, it’s time to call in some agents for an appraisal (valuation) of your property.
Tip: do your own research on the area! This is important, you will get an understanding of the value of your property before the agent tells you what it’s worth.
It also gives you some ammo and proof to go to the agent with, if you don’t agree with their valuation.
When you’re comparing properties to yours, you want homes that are extremely similar like the number of:
– Living areas
– Amenities (like schools nearby etc.).
– Land size.
The main ones of the above list are land size, and the number of beds, baths and car spaces there are.
– Look at how these properties are presented on the internet.
– Look at how the descriptions are written and the advertised price as well as the statement of information – I have a whole video on this if you want to check out how to read one!
Pros + Cons
1. You can justify why you want the price you do for your home.
2. You can understand the market and at this point, you might even decide it’s not the right time to sell.
That way you don’t waste your time or the agent’s time and probably save you some emails/phone calls for the next 10 years from the agent, asking if you’re ready to sell yet.
3. Look at what’s selling nearby and when it is sold. This will help you understand if you’re going to be able to sell for what you want.
– You lose time in research.
– You might feel overwhelmed and stressed
#4 The appraisal (valuation) meeting
When you bring in agents to appraise your home this is really an important time for you!
Choose 3 agents to interview, based on who you saw at the opens you liked.
- Once they get there the general process is as follows:
> They look around to get an idea of the property’s value.
> They would have already done their research at this stage too, to understand the area and will have a potential value in mind before they’ve even walked in.
- Then you sit down and go through:
> The valuation provided by the agent.
> The advertising fees, including the benefits and features of their different advertising packages
Tip: You can negotiate this too! You could ask the agent to cover the cost of advertising into their commission rate. That way you’re not “paying” for it in a sense. This is just a tactic you could use during negotiations.
You’ll also go through:
- Recent Sales in the area.
- Discuss your motivation for selling and if you need another home to move into. (remember the agent can help you find another home and act like a buyer’s agent. This isn’t the ‘standard’ level of service expected however, it is in their best interest to help you out).
This could mean extra commission $$ for them! However, if you’re moving interstate or out of the local area, they may recommend an agent that can help you.
- Commissions – this is where the agent will discuss their rate to sell your home.
– Usually, the standard rate across VIC is 2%.
Fixed commission rates:
Example: The agent and you will agree on a commission rate, let’s say that’s 2.5% to sell your home. That rate is then locked into the contract regardless of the price the home sells for.
Tiered commission rates:
(I did this when I sold my land). A tiered commission rate is when you stagger the rate depending on the sale price.
The agent names their commission rate as 2.5%, you might then say to the agent. “If you sell my home for $550,000, I will pay a 2.5% rate however, if you sell it for under that price then I will pay 2%”.
This is a great carat for the agent to work towards and means that they will work even harder to sell your home at the top price, it means more commission for them too!
Example of how the commission is calculated:
If the commission rate is 2.29% on a $500,000 property agent’s commission would be: $11,450.
This is calculated as follows:
500,000 x 2.29% = $11.450.
Open agent has a calculator which you can use to work this out! It’ll even tell you the average commission rate in your local suburb.
Then you set out the contract period, 30, 60, 90 days etc.
This is up to you; this means if you sign a contract with them, you’re exclusively giving them the right to sell your house for that period of time.
Alternatively, you could choose to have an open contract. This means that the house can be sold by any agent in the area who has a buyer. Although it’s appealing, you don’t really have 1 agent assigned to the property to sell your home and nurture/work towards getting it sold.
If the contract ends and you still haven’t sold the home, Agents will have you sign a new contract for another 30, 60 or 90 days.
If they haven’t sold the home, you might consider listing the property with another agency. (bear in mind, that this could incur different commission rates and more advertising costs).
Finally, you discuss signing the contract.
A lot of the time the agent won’t want to leave unless you’ve signed a contract.
Be upfront with them, if there are other agents that you’re bringing in, let them know. They may ask who they are and it’s up to you if you want to tell them that information. Sometimes their reaction to this question may tell you more about them.
Pros & Cons
- Going in prepared means you’re already ahead of the agent.
- Knowing what you can negotiate can help you immensely when selling your home.
- You walk away with a good deal and you’re confident in your conversations with the agent, this also helps you avoid being swindled by the agent.
- You feel overwhelmed.
- You don’t feel as confident to negotiate your deal and maybe back down.
- You sign up with an agent due to pressure.
Get prepared it’s a tough convo and it can be taxing, make sure you have a way to de-stress after all is said and done!
#5 Decisions & Conveyancers
After all the agents have been through your home – tell each of them you’ll call them back with an answer by “x” date.
- It’s common courtesy to let all the unsuccessful agents know why they didn’t get your business.
- This is part of their growth as an agent, if they were too cocky or arrogant, or maybe their research didn’t back up their valuation or maybe their lack of confidence was undesirable.
- When contacting the successful agent, have them come by the house and sign contracts in person.
- When selling your home, you will need a conveyancer.
- A conveyancer is responsible for making sure you meet all the legal obligations involved in your property transaction.
- When you sell your home, you will need 2 documents developed: The Section 32 and a contract of sale.
- Often the agent will recommend a conveyancer that they use to prepare these docs, you can go with them there is no harm in that. However, as I will keep saying, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH – Conveyancers can be costly raging between $400 – $3,000 for their services. Do some research
In short, conveyancers are your legal property representative. They are going to prepare your legal docs and also when a buyer signs the contract, and liaise with your buyer’s conveyancers when contracts & section 32s are signed. Ensuring that everything is as it should be!
When you’re getting ready to sell your home it can be overwhelming. If you take the time to research and deep dive into your suburb, the local agent and get a really good idea of your potential home value, you’ll reap the rewards!
Remember, there is no rush unless your particular circumstances (financial hardship etc.) give you a reason to. This is your greatest asset, this will empower you when you enter negotiation discussions with Agents.