Selling the old home and buying a new one can be an incredibly exciting experience. The dreaming, the looking, the comparing and the deciding can be exhilarating and at times, overwhelming. If you keep your eyes on the final outcome - and the budget, you will settle into your new home with a smile on your face. So what costs are involved?
1. Preparing your home for sale.
You will need to present your home well to get the best price so there may be a number of small jobs that you need to do in and around the home. While you may be able to do some jobs yourself, if time is a factor it may be better to bring in a professional. For the open inspections, think about decluttering and depersonalising your home so buyers can see how they might live in the space. You may also decide to employ someone to style your home to appeal to the widest range of buyers.
2. Engaging an agent
Most people engage a real estate agent to sell their home. A good real estate agent will have access to a database of names of people who are looking to buy a home in your area. Talking to family and friends as well as visiting open inspections will give you some insights into the agents who specialise in your area. If you have a number of agents come in to look at your home, don’t be swayed by the one who says they can sell it for the highest price. Sometimes that means the price will start too high and then, if there are no immediate offers, you will need to drop your price and the house will have lost its momentum in the market. Check out the fees they are charging. In most cases this will be a percentage of the sale price but occasionally it is a flat fee. Check out what they include and what you will need to pay on top of the fee. Does it include the taking of photographs? Is listing your house on electronic media included? Is there any print media offered? What signage will be provided? Does it include the preparation of the contract of sale? If the house is not sold in the (usually) twelve week contract time, is there a fee if you do not renew the contract? Make sure you are comparing ‘apples with apples’.
3. Sell it yourself
A number of internet companies are now giving you the opportunity to sell your own home, offering online listings with the major real estate websites for a small monthly or flat fee. While this may seem attractive, remember you will need to manage the online listing (photos and text) as well as creating your own brochures and other required forms. You will also need to organise and run any open inspections as well as dealing with those who are interested in buying your property. You will need to engage a conveyancer to prepare the contract of sale and conduct the relevant searches. If this sounds like something you would be willing to do, it can save you thousands of dollars.
4. Buying your new home
Hopefully the sale of your former home will provide the deposit for your new home. Don’t forget to add on the taxes and charges to the price of the new home. These will equate to 5-6% of the purchase price and includes government stamp duty, bank fees, conveyancing costs and building and pest inspections.
5. Buying before you sell
This strategy can be very stressful. If you have found the perfect home but haven’t sold yours, you can ask for an extended finance clause and a longer settlement. This will then give a date by which time you need to have a contract on your house. A simultaneous settlement of both properties will mean the funds from the sale of your home will, on the same day, go to the purchase of your new home and is the most cost effective way to move house. If the settlements do not line up, you may need to pay extra fees or possibly rent until your new home settles.
6. The big move
While deciding to move can be exciting, actually moving can be exhausting! While it may seem cheaper to get all of your friends over to help you with the move, employing a reputable moving company (especially for the large pieces of furniture) may make the move less stressful and get it done in a shorter time. Check what services they include and what they may charge extra for. Make sure they have insurance that will cover your furniture and personal items. It is always a good idea to declutter before the actual move so you are not moving unwanted items to your new home.
7. Getting the lights back on
You will need to have your utilities disconnected at your previous home and reconnected at your new home. There is a charge for this and it should be organised before your move so the lights and hot water are on when you arrive at the new home. Look up ‘Change of address checkilist’ on the internet and you’ll find information on all of the businesses and departments that you will need to notify of your new address.
8. Making your new home just right
Don’t forget to factor in any new renovations that you may want to do on the new home. As perfect as the new purchase may be for your family, there will always be personal touches you will want to add to your new home.
If you include these costs when you are making your decision to sell and relocate there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises to ruin your move to your new home.