Deciding to sell a property is a big decision for anyone. Traditionally, a real estate agent would be appointed and you’d rely on them to complete the process on your behalf in return for a portion of the sale price. Now there is an alternative. homesales.com.au, in addition to advertising agent homes, provides a cost effective solution for private sellers who wish to sell their home themselves, and it’s really easy!
The upside is clear – the dollars saved on commissions. These days you can sell most things yourself using the internet including your car, so why not your home? At homesales the philosophy is simple, no one knows your property better than you, so who better to sell it than you?
This process isn’t necessarily for everyone. The decision to sell privately or with a real estate agent should be considered carefully, as both have their benefits. Homesales have put together a checklist of what you need to consider when selling privately. Take some time to read over the steps involved to determine if this is the right decision for you.
1. LISTING YOUR PROPERTY FOR SALE
With homesales.com.au it’s so easy to list your home, and your ad will cost you just $199 with no commission, and best of all it stays up until sold. Click here to find out more.
Once you’ve decided to sell your home, you may already have an idea about how much it is worth, but with a Homesales listing you will also receive a detailed Residex Right Price Report specific to your property address to further assist you in confirming your price position.
Becoming familiar with your property’s amenities through the ad process will also help you when it comes time to speaking with potential buyers. Remember, no one knows your property better than you, so who better to sell it than you? Don’t forget to list specific points of interest such as your property’s location in terms of parks, schools and public transport.
At any point through this process you can save your details already entered and come back to it later. Once you’ve finished uploading your ad, you will be contacted by our customer service team who will help you determine any further services you might need to ensure your property is professionally presented including professional photography, interactive floor plans, open for inspection sign boards and photo sign boards.
2. DOING YOUR RESEARCH
Be sure to spend some time checking out other homes for sale in your area. This will help you with a few things, such as further clarify your asking price. Is it too high, or too low? Better understand your competition and the benefits of your property over theirs to further demonstrate key features of your home when speaking with potential buyers. Put yourself in the place of a buyer. What have other sellers done to appeal to you or put you off? Is the house dirty or clean? Are there any bad smells or pleasing smells? Does the home look like it is well cared for? This will help you to understand how important presentation is when it comes to selling a home, which leads us to the next step...
3. PREPARING YOUR PROPERTY FOR SALE
First impressions matter! When you’re photographing the home your selling, or preparing for an open for inspection, ensuring your home is clean and tidy is of utmost importance. If you were selling your car yourself, you wouldn’t think twice about cleaning it and making sure it looked its best. Spend some time making sure you de-clutter and clean up any mess, attend to any carpet stains, tidy the front garden or fix any musty smells. Also consider some bigger fix ups, such as a fresh coat of paint or new carpet, if you feel that it will help you to get a higher price. Taking the time to make changes like these have been known to draw much larger selling prices than originally expected!
Remember, buyers are most likely looking for something they want to live in. A clean and tidy home gives buyers the confidence that it has been well cared for and less likely to cost them more money down the track.
4. MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY
Now that your home is ready for sale, don’t forget how important it is to tell everyone about it! In addition to listing it on homesales, this can be done in a number of ways...
You have access to printable brochures through your listing on the homesales website. These are great to give out during Open for Inspections or even as letter drops around your area.
Open for Inspections
Ensure you are running regular Open for Inspections so people have an opportunity to check out your home, without having to make contact with you. Make sure people are aware that you are selling the home privately and you are open to offers at the conclusion of the Open House. Also make yourself available for private tours of the property with potential buyers. Most importantly, remember to lock up all your valuables as you are inviting strangers into your home.
Remember to Keep it Clean!
Ensure your house is always ready for inspection, you never know when someone might contact you to check it out. Remember all you need is the one buyer!
5. NEGOTIATION 101
When negotiating with buyers, be prepared to answer any questions they may have about the property for sale. We have covered off a few common ones to help you be prepared.
Why are you selling?
Most buyers will ask why you are selling your property. It is your decision whether or not you answer this question, however, generally a buyer will be asking so that they can have peace of mind as to why you are selling.
What is your asking price?
Buyers who are viewing your property will more than likely have researched other property sale prices in your area. If your property is priced higher than others in your area, be prepared to justify this decision. Remember you will have a detailed property report supplied to you by homesales.com.au and Residex to help you substantiate your answer.
Would you drop your price?
Negotiation is a key element of property buying and selling. Buyers will, on most occasions, ask you whether you are willing to drop your price. If you are willing to, make sure you have pre-determined your absolute lowest price.
What is the level of interest for your property?
A potential buyer may ask you the level of interest and the number of offers your property has received. This is normally to determine the level of urgency and competitiveness surrounding your property.
What is the settlement period?
A common question during the selling process is what will the settlement period be? This period generally ranges from 30 to 90 days and is at your discretion to determine.
Accepting an Offer
When accepting an offer verbally, you will need to ascertain the name of the buyer’s legal adviser. Your legal adviser will liaise regularly with the buyer’s legal adviser to arrange execution and exchange of the Contract of Sale.
Don’t Rush In
If a buyer is offering a certain price for your property and you are unsure whether you want to take the offer, don’t feel pressured into answering on the spot.
Not Accepting an Offer
Don’t feel obliged to accept an offer if it is less than what you want. Simply advise the buyer politely that the offer is below what you need and that they are welcome to put forward another offer. If they don’t wish to do so on the spot, ask them to contact you if they change their mind.
6. THE LEGAL STUFF
Many people are put off by the unknown. It’s no different when it comes to the legalities of selling your property privately. But don’t fret, in the same way a real estate agent would if you asked them to sell your home, you will need to employ the services of a legal advisor, such as a solicitor, who can handle everything you need to complete from a paperwork perspective including payment. If you don’t know of any, we can help put you in contact with someone relevant to your state. Spend some time reading through the following information to understand all that is required from you and your legal advisor. This will also help you to explain the process to a first time private buyer.
Vendor Statement/Section 32
Contract of Sale
Conveyancer or Legal Practitioner/Solicitor
Cooling Off Period
Sustainability Declaration (QLD only)
What legal documentation do I need to sell my property?
The required legal documentation for selling a property in Australia differs from state to state. However, it is a mandatory requirement in all states of Australia that the seller (also known as the Vendor) must make a series of legal documents available to the prospective buyer to view and have checked by his or her own legal practitioner or conveyancer before purchase. These documents are commonly known as a Vendor Statement (also known as a Section 32) and Contract of Sale.
A conveyancer or legal practitioner (also known as a solicitor) can prepare both of these documents for you.
What is a Vendor Statement/Section 32?
The Vendor Statement includes information about the property’s title including;
• Outgoings (for example, rates etc)
A signed Vendor’s Statement must be factually accurate and complete. If it contains incorrect or insufficient information, a buyer may be able to withdraw from the sale or take legal action.
What is a Contract of Sale?
A Contract of Sale is a binding contract required when you accept an offer on your property. The Contract of Sale can also be used by prospective buyers to make official offers on a property.
• Details of the property
• Your name and the name of the buyer
• Details of legal practitioners or conveyancers that
• you and the buyer have engaged
• The price of the property
• The deposit paid
• Settlement terms (usually between 30 and 90 days)
• The balance owing at settlement
• Any special conditions, such as a clause ‘subject to finance’ or ‘subject to a building inspection’
In most cases, at the signing of the contact a 10 per cent deposit is required. The buyer will pay the deposit, usually by cheque, to your legal conveyancer’s or practitioner trust account.
Who prepares the Vendor Statement and Contract of Sale?
A conveyancer or a legal practitioner prepares these required legal documents for you.
What is the difference between a conveyancer and a legal practitioner?
A conveyancer can only give you legal advice about the property, where as a legal practitioner can advise you about the property and many other legal matters, such as tax implications, inheritance, trusts, etc.
What is a Deposit Bond?
A Deposit Bond is basically an insurance policy on the property. The Deposit Bond is the policy document that tells the seller the insurance company will pay the 10 per cent deposit to the seller in any of the circumstances where the seller would ordinarily forfeit the deposit. No money actually changes hands between the buyer and seller under the Deposit Bond. In most cases the settlement takes place, the purchase price is paid in full and the deposit bond simply lapses. You can apply for a Deposit Bond from either a financial lender or insurance company. These companies normally charge a fee for this service.
What is a Cooling Off Period?
Standard sales contracts for residential property may include a Cooling Off Period which will differ from state to state and will form part of your Contract of Sale. Your legal advisor will advise you of the specifics applicable to your property and state. A Cooling Off Period is typically so the buyer can cancel the contract and recover their deposit if they change their mind within a specific time period. Your legal adviser will assist you in the case your buyer wishes to exercise this option.
Sustainability Declaration (Queensland Only)
A Sustainability Declaration is a compulsory checklist that must be completed by the seller (Vendor) when selling a house, townhouse or unit. The Sustainability Declaration identifies the property’s environmental and social sustainability features in the areas of energy, water, access and safety. As of the 1st of January 2010, it became mandatory in the state of Queensland for all properties advertised for sale to have the Sustainability Declaration available for all prospective buyers. It is a requirement that all advertising materials specifically designed for marketing the property must include where the declaration can be obtained. This includes internet listings, brochures, descriptive For Sale signboards and newspaper advertisements. It can be as simple as placing “Please contact the vendor for the copy of the sustainability declaration” on the advertisement. This form is completed by the vendor and the form can be obtained from the Queensland Government website.
Simply search ‘Queensland Sustainable Declaration Form’.
Does homesales.com.au have any legal advisors they can recommend to help me with preparing my legal documentation?
Yes, they certainly do.
Call 1300 291 914 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and homesales can put you in touch with someone that will be able to assist you with your legal documentation requirements or answer any questions you might have about buying and selling property online.