The combination of research, planning, a bit of elbow grease and a dash of flexibility can add up to let you enjoy a successful sale, and make buying your new home a lot less stressful.
Forget notions about the 'right' time to sell
There has long been speculation that Spring is the best time to sell your home because there are more buyers in the market.
These days however, property super cycles no longer exist. Gone are the days when there was a better time to buy or sell your home. Today, with buyers and sellers constantly in the market, the best time to buy or sell a home is actually when you’e ready.
Sell first. Buy later.
When you’re in a mindset to upgrade to a new home, it can be very tempting to start looking at properties listed for sale – and make an offer on a place before you sell your old home. But giving in to this temptation can leave you financially skewered.
Despite any claims by the selling agent, no one really knows how long it’ll take to sell your home, and if it isn’t snapped up quickly you could be left in the challenging position of juggling two mortgages at once.
Selling before buying may mean a few weeks couch-surfing with friends or in-laws, or even taking out a short term rental until you settle on a new home. But at least you won’t face a cash squeeze that could drag on indefinitely if the market is slow.
Be selective about your selling agent
Don’t base your choice of agent on the highest quoted selling price. Look for agents with runs on the board – those who have “Sold” stickers slapped across their For Sale signs.
Ask friends, work colleagues and family members for recommendations, and be sure you are comfortable with the commission you’ll pay. In many cases it’s open to negotiation.
Set a realistic selling price
When it comes to the listed price or auction reserve, follow the advice of your selling agent. But do some research of your own too. Check out comparable houses or units being offered for a similar price – especially those that have sold. Be honest with yourself about how your place compares, and be flexible on your asking price if a genuine buyer makes a ballpark offer.
Don't just list your home, market it!
Give your place the ‘wow’ factor. Declutter as much as possible, even if it means storing some of your belongings for a while. Complete any repairs you’ve been putting off and consider giving the home a fresh lick of paint. Most buyers don’t want to move into a home that requires a tonne of work, and having your property in tip-top shape can enhance its market appeal.
Your agent may suggest home styling especially if your furniture is looking a little well-loved. This can cost several thousand dollars but it could be money well spent if fresh furniture and accessories give your home’s market value an uptick.
The selling agent will arrange professional photographs to be taken. Be sure to have your home looking immaculate on photo day.