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Seller's Guide

Seller's Guide

Choosing Your Real Estate Agency

 

Your chosen real estate agency should sell your property for the best price, as quickly as possible.

The duties of your agency's selling consultant are to:

  1. Advise you on the expected price for your property.
  2. Give you recommendations as to the best method of selling your property.
  3. Advertise and promote your property.
  4. Bring your property before potential buyers.
  5. Negotiate the selling price between you and the potential buyers.
  6. Facilitate the actual sale of your property, the exchange of contracts and final settlement.

In choosing a real estate agency you should look into the following:

  • Seek recommendations from people you know and trust to confirm the reputation of the agency.
  • Ask the agency to show you written references from recent clients. How do the agency's clients judge their services?
  • Look at the agency office. Is it in a good location, and does it have great "street appeal"? Evaluate the opportunity for your property to be featured there, with a constant flow of potential buyers going past every day.
  • Does the agency have a customer service plan? Will they keep you up-to-date with the latest information concerning your property?
  • Does the agency have an advertising and marketing strategy for selling your property? Ask for the detail.

 

Choosing the Agency Agreement

 

You'll need to decide on the type of agreement with your agency for selling your property. There are 5 methods:

  1. Exclusive agency agreement. You deal with one real estate agency in selling your property.
  2. Sole agency agreement. Same as the exclusive agency agreement, except that you can also sell your property privately.
  3. Open agency agreement. You employ a number of real estate agencies, and the agency who sells your property receives the commission.
  4. Auction agency agreement. Where your agency organises the auction of your property.
  5. Multiple listing agency agreement. Where your agency works with a co-operative network of agencies to sell your property.

 

Choosing the Right Selling Strategy

 

The most common strategies for selling your property include:

  • Fixed Price Sale: A price is advertised and the agent negotiates the highest possible price.
  • Multi-list Sale: A group of selected agencies can show your property to their clients. A price is advertised and an agent negotiates up to the published price.
  • Auction Sale: The real estate arranges for buyers to bid on your property on a particular day. The person who offers the highest price wins.
  • Sale by Tender: A final date is set, where interested parties are required to submit their best offer for your property in writing.

 

Pricing Your Property for Sale

 

Setting the Right Price for Your Property

One of the most important decisions you'll make in selling your property is deciding on its "asking price", or "reserve" if selling at auction. Your published "asking price" will be considered as the highest point for negotiations by buyers. Your accepted price will likely be lower than the "asking price".

 

It's important to set a price that reflects the full market value of your property, yet is realistic and remains attractive to buyers. To determine how much your property is worth, you must take into account:

  • Comparable sales.
  • Location.
  • Size (land, house).
  • Number of rooms.
  • Age.
  • Extras i.e. pool, double garage, entertaining area etc.

 

The real estate market is always moving. No sales consultant can tell you exactly what price your property will achieve. To gain an estimate of what your property is worth, your sales consultant should show you the latest sales results and compare your property using comparative market analysis. This will help you establish a realistic price that will attract buyers.

 

What's Included?

You need to decide what you are selling with the property, or whether you want items excluded from the sale.

Consider:

  • Curtains and blinds.
  • Carpets and other floor coverings.
  • Heaters, air conditioning, ceiling fans.
  • Security system.
  • Light fittings.
  • Television aerial.
  • Awnings.
  • Dishwasher, washing machine and other white goods.
  • Backyard items such as the clothesline, above ground pool, pool equipment etc.

 

Market Opinions and Valuations

To acquire a market opinion, a real estate selling consultant will inspect your property and offer an estimate based on a working knowledge of the local property market and recent sales prices. There is no obligation to employ the selling consultant. Many people obtain more than one market opinion.

 

You should be given a quote to sell your property, detailing a predicted selling price and the agency's fee. Be wary of consultants that offer to sell your property for a higher-than-market price. Unfortunately some consultants overprice properties to get your business, and then can't sell the property. Make sure you get the consultant to go over the comparable sales data to arrive at the predicted price for your property. Also ask your consultant for a complete list of what they'll do in the process of selling your property. You will soon see that the agent with the lowest commission fee is not necessarily the wisest economic option in selling your property.

 

If you're still unsure of your property's worth after speaking to some real estate agencies, you should employ an independent and registered valuer.

 

Marketing and Advertising Your Property for Sale

 

Advertising and Marketing Tools

When selling your property, an aggressive yet effective advertising and marketing campaign will ensure more inspections, more offers, and a maximum result in the shortest amount of time. Your sales consultant should organise a complete campaign plan to get the right buyers viewing your property.

 

Advertising and marketing campaign options should include:

  • Local paper advertising.
  • Property magazine advertising.
  • Placement of your property on the main property websites.
  • Signage at your property.
  • Database marketing/ prospect matching.
  • Window display of your property.
  • Open house inspections.
  • Neighbourhood Marketing.

 

Get Prepared for Property Inspection Days

You should get your property ready for inspection days. You should consider appealing to your potential buyers' senses of sight, sound, touch and smell in preparation for inspection days.

 

  • A property which smells beautiful will seem more attractive to buyers. Make sure your home is properly aired. Use fresh flowers, put out potpourri, or even bake something yummy the morning of the inspection.
  • Buyers love natural light. Open all curtains and blinds to let the sun shine in. Where rooms do not get natural sunlight, turn the lights on.
  • Make sure your home feels comfortable. If it's cold, heat the rooms. If it's hot, make sure your home is cool.
  • You should remove all your valuables that can be easily pinched out of sight.
  • Keep pets out from underfoot. Preferably arrange to remove them altogether or keep them outside.

 

While the inspection is being conducted it is best for you as the vendor to go out and see a movie or take the dog for a long walk. Buyers will not be comfortable giving honest feedback in your presence, and your chosen sales consultant should know how to run the inspection.

 

Negotiating With Buyers, Contracts and Settlement

 

Negotiation With Buyers

Your chosen sales consultant should be thoroughly skilled and trained in the art of negotiation, working in your best interest at all times. The sales consultant should be working to get the price planned for your property.

 

Under Contract

Once the price has been agreed, the contracts signed and deposit paid, the "cooling-off" period will commence. The "cooling-off" period is an entitlement by the purchaser of exclusivity to your property for a period of 5 business days. The 5-day period allows the purchaser to carry out all inspections, while retaining the right to withdraw from the contract. If the purchaser withdraws from the contract, prior to the expiration of the 5-day "cooling-off" period, the penalty is 0.25 percent of the selling price (taken from the deposit), which will then become payable to you.

 

By entering into this "cooling-off" period, you are offering an unconditional commitment to the purchaser to sell under the agreed terms and conditions of the signed contract. Contracts can also be exchanged by way of an "Unconditional Exchange" - this is signed by the purchaser's solicitor, which waives the "cooling-off" rights under the contract.

 

Settlement - the Final Step in Selling Your Home

The period of time between exchange of contracts and the completion of the sale is commonly 42 days (6 weeks). Within these 6 weeks you will be required to sign legal papers with your solicitor/ conveyancer to facilitate the transfer of property title and to organise the disbursement of funds.

 

The payment of your Real Estate Agent's fee is the final step in settlement.