Where To Start Selling My Home

Where To Start Selling My Home

5 January 2019

So you are ready to sell your home.

This is a decision that normally comes having had a great deal of thought and planning go into it.

But now that you have decided to make the move, there’s plenty more thought and planning to come. Here’s where to start.

ASSESSING THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME

The most obvious place to start is to determine what your property is worth. This can be done one of two ways: you either obtain an independent valuation from a registered property valuation firm, or get an appraisal of value from your local real estate agent.

GETTING A VALUATION

If you are in the process of obtaining financing in order to complete the purchase of your next property, it’s likely your finance manager will have already organized for an independent valuation. This is the estimate of value the bank will use in order to calculate your borrowing capacity and settle on the figures in your loan contract.
It’s important to understand, there is a distinction between an independent valuation and a real estate agent appraisal – Whereas an independent valuation is a sworn estimate of the property’s value based on hard data and sale prices, a real estate appraisal is simply an estimate of what could potentially be obtained under the right set of circumstances – ie. if the property is presented, staged and marketed to maximum effect, what is the best price that could possibly be obtained?

GETTING AN APPRAISAL

Most home sellers begin their selling journey by obtaining appraisals for me the one or a couple of local real estate agents. Getting an accurate opinion on the likely selling price of your home is the first stage of moving – it’s important to understand your financial position before you go making any big decisions.
Any good real estate agent will be able to provide you with a report detailing recent sales in the area, and will help you to pinpoint what the likely value of your property will be in the current market. It’s important not to get too carried away: some real estate agents will try to tempt you with inflated prices in order to get you to sign up with them. This can be disastrous if you fall for it, as over-pricing could potentially result in eventually under selling – after a significant and often painfully long time on the market.

CHOOSING A REAL ESTATE AGENT

Ratemyagent.com.au can be a great source of information on real estate agents in your area

Often, choosing a real estate agent to sell your home will be relatively simple if you already have a relationship with one you know and trust. If you don’t, then you will need to do your research and find out who is active in your area. This is generally done online but pay particular attention to which agents have significant “for sale” signage in your neighborhood, as this is a good indication of an active local agency. Another good place to look to see who could be a good agent for you is the website Ratemyagent.com.au. This site is solely devoted to client reviews of their experiences transacting with real estate agents all across Australia. It might also be a good idea to “Google” any agents you are looking at, as this will help you uncover more information about them such as their community involvement, their social media profiles, and other potentially relevant information.

Another critical point to consider is the level of expertise the agent can demonstrate in assisting you with pre-sale preparation – Getting the staging and presentation of your home right can make all the difference so be sure to quiz any agents you interview on what their suggestions would be to improve the property’s “saleability”.
Once you have pinpointed the agents who are the most likely candidates, then you’ll need to interview them to decide which one you feel is most suitable. There are a number of considerations that will come into play when deciding which one to list with. The most important of which can be summarized as follows:

  1. Appraisal price
  2. Commission
  3. Advertising Costs
  4. Level of confidence

Here we go into more detail on these items:

APPRAISAL PRICE

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to remember that when an agent quotes you a price on your property, this is an estimate only and is not contractually guaranteed in writing. For that reason, some agents will try to “buy your listing” – which is industry vernacular for quoting optimistic prices to trick wide-eyed owners into signing up. Make sure that whatever price you decide to go with, regardless of the agent you select, can be supported by factual evidence in the form of recent sale prices.

COMMISSION

Since the deregulation of the Queensland real estate industry in 2014, Real estate agents are now free to charge whatever they please – meaning there is no more “Standard REIQ Commission”, as it used to be called. For this reason, the issue of commission can become quite confusing as the disparity between agents fees can in some cases be quite large. However there is an old saying: price only becomes an issue in the absence of value. The best in any industry tend to charge higher fees, and better quality agents tend to yield better results. Don’t feel compelled to be swayed by an agent who charges less commission, as this may not necessarily be the ideal way of netting the most money. Make sure you’re getting a good agent, not just a cheap agent; But just because they charge more doesn’t always mean they are better either – Don’t be tricked into paying hefty rates for a poor or unskilled agent. Make sure they can justify whatever they are charging you.

ADVERTISING COSTS

It’s generally accepted that to sell your property, there will be a cost to advertise it. A bone of contention among home owners and agents is who should pay for it – most agents will insist that the client invests in marketing their property, whereas often the client will feel the agent should be obliged to cover this cost for them – after all, you’re paying the agent commission, right?

It’s critical to remember that the agent makes no money from the advertising- This money goes directly to the publishers. A good marketing campaign is key to ensuring you get a premium result and this will not happen for free. Agents who offer free advertising tend to do so because their advertising is not very good, and because they’re footing the bill, they will surely cut corners anyway they can in order to save themselves money. This can have huge ramifications for your sale campaign.

Be prepared to invest in marketing for your property, but you should make sure your money is being spent wisely and your agent should be able to explain this thoroughly.

LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE

Perhaps the most important aspect of your agent review strategy will be finding an agent who you ‘click’ with. In a nut shell, do you have confidence that this person can obtain a result for you? Do you trust them as a person and feel as though they are technically competent?

Sales people can often be come across as being quite arrogant and that can be really off putting for the average homeowner. It can often be the case that you interview several agents and don’t really like any of them. But is that really the point here? Are you looking for a friend, or are you looking to engage a professional?

Bottom line when choosing an agent: regardless of your personal preference for them, the agent you select should make you feel confident that a sale can be achieved and your needs can be met.

As always, contact House for expert advice on selling and should you wish to speak to a House Property Agent to arrange an appraisal on your property, simply enter your details in the contact form below.

until next time, ciao ?

Lee Knutsen

Article by Lee Knutsen

Co-founder & Managing Director of House, Lee Knutsen first entered the real estate industry in 2006 as a residential sales specialist. After more than a decade as a sales agent…

Call 0412 757 981 Email Lee