Gateway to... the Sale of Your Property
Frequently Asked Questions
(1) How do I choose an agency to sell my property?
This can be a difficult choice as most agencies tend to be offering similar marketing packages. However upon closer inspection every agency is different.
(a) Unique Marketing - ask an agent what their points of difference are from their competitors and why they do things differently. For more information on marketing carried out by Gateway Real Estate click here.
(b) Past Clients - ask others that have used the agency before what their experience was and whether they would choose to use them again.
(c) Reputation in Community - ask local property or business owners of their opinion on each agency.
(d) Rapport - meet the agent in person and see whether you have a good feeling about working with this person to sell your property.
(e) Sold Properties - ask to see what properties the agent has sold in the past 12 months and whether they are currently successfully marketing their current listings.
(2) Why has my property not sold?
This is a regular question that is asked by many sellers at some point in the sales process. Selling property really boils down to three things:
(a) Marketing of Property - it is important to ascertain whether the marketing that is currently being done is effective and sufficient; whether there are areas that could be improved; whether the agent you are using is correct.
(b) Presentation of the Property - are there areas of the presentation of the property that could be improved, the better presented a property is the more likely it is to sell. For more information on property presentation click here.
(c) Price - if both of the above have been actioned effectively then the only other variable is the price. Therefore to sell your property in the current market you may need to reduce your price.
(3) Do I need to use a solicitor or conveyancer?
There is no legal requirement to use a solicitor or conveyancer in the process of selling a property - however, it is highly recommended. Indeed at Gateway Real Estate we would recommend employing a solicitor from an early stage as you will likely rely on their legal expertise. One point to consider is that to sell a residential property (land size >2.5ha) you will need to have a full contract on file prior to marketing.
(4) What price should I list for?
It is important to remember that carrying out an appraisal and suggesting a price to list for is an art not a science. However all real estate agents at Gateway Real Estate will employ multiple forms of evidence to provide you with as accurate an opinion of price as they can, normally in the form of the expected price range that you should expect to sell within. Discuss what price you actually list for with your agent, and list for a sensible price based on your own circumstances. Once you have a price, it is important to consistently review this price to ensure that you are adjusting it in line with the market and feedback you are getting from inspections. Certainly if a property hasn't sold within the first 6 weeks the price is likely to be too strong.
(5) What can I do to help my property sell?This is an important question to ask, particularly in a difficult selling market. There are a number of things that you can do to help sell your property:
(a) Choose the right agent - choice of agent is one of the most crucial choices you will make in the selling process.
(b) Allow the agent freedom in marketing - your agent is an expert in property sales and if they think something is worth doing listen to their advice. This is particularly the case with signage. It always helps. Be open to new forms of marketing such as social media that you may not know anything about.
(c) Present your property to the best it can be. For more suggestions on this see below.
(d) Be flexible with inspections - Allow inspection times whenever possible, and be as accommodating as possible to potential buyers. They will view a property far more positively if they do not have to fight to get to see it.
(e) Be flexible with offers - Do not be offended by a low offer if you receive one - simply encourage an increased figure. Remember that ultimately this is someone that wants your property. Be prepared to negotiate and give a little or a lot. These days meeting half way usually means meeting buyers on their half. Remember that a property does not owe you anything - it simply is worth what someone is willing to pay for it in a given market. Be prepared to offer extras to sweeten or close a deal.
(f) Keep abreast of the real estate market - find out what other properties are selling for and how long it is taking to sell in the current market. This will help you when you do receive an offer of being able to judge its value
(g) Understand that finance is tricky - It is important to understand that it is harder to qualify for loans these days and that lenders are requiring larger deposits that previously - particularly for rural properties. This means that a cash offer is worth seriously considering even if it is not the highest figure you have received.
(6) How can I best present my property for sale?
As you have seen above this is a crucial part of selling and certainly makes the job of your agent easier! There are three areas to consider:
(a) Exterior - This is the first and last thing a buyer will see. Indeed good (street) appeal can ensure you get an inspection in the first place.
(i) House - Touch up the painting on any exterior walls, clean all windows, and pay particular attention to your front door as it is a key part of the front of your house.
(ii) Gardens - Ensure both front and rear gardens are in a presentable condition, mow all lawns, trim bushes and tidy up flower beds and any pot plants. A quick solution to help present gardens better is laying mulch.
(iii) Sheds/car ports/ garages - Put away all tools and tidy up. The more organised and spacious they appear to be the more attractive they will be to potential buyers.
(iv) Rubbish - Clear away all rubbish and it is a major detractor when looking at a property.
(b) Interior -The exterior will ensure you have an inspection, however it is the condition of the interior that will give you the best chance of getting an offer.
(i) Declutter - Reduce down the amount of things you have in your home. You are planning on moving and this will help you once you do sell and need to pack. Throw out things you do not need to keep, tidy away the things you need, and store the things you don't need at the moment. Decluttering empties the space and makes your home look larger and manageable for anyone looking to move there.
(ii) Finish - Finish all those jobs that you put off to do another day - including replacing blown light bulbs. No one wants to buy something that looks like work, so don't let little thing detract from the overall impression someone is getting of your home.
(iii) Clean - This is a one off major clean and then continual cleaning during the sales process. If you stay on top of this you will be ready for an inspection at short notice. This includes ensuring the property smells attractive and feels light and airy. You want the property to be somewhere people feel they can more right into.
(c) Final Touches -The exterior will ensure you have an inspection, the interior that will give you the best chance of getting an offer, however it is the final touches that will help you achieve the sort of offer you want to accept.
(i) Mirrors/windows - Give these a final clean before an inspection. Windows let in light, and mirrors reflect it. The combination means your home feels light and bright.
(ii) Flowers - These add colour fragrance and freshness to any home.
(iii) Pets - Remove these from inside the home where possible as their smell and noise detracts from the home and if your buyer is afraid of them, they will instantly provide a huge negative in their mind even though they won't remain after a property is purchased. Remember buyers are normally attracted to a property by emotion.
(7) Should I be present on inspections?
Traditionally agents have always asked owners to leave during inspections as it does allow buyers to look round at their own pace. However there are definitely occasions that it is extremely helpful to be able to direct specific questions to the owner - particular in regard to the sale of rural properties. Indeed with the sale of a rural property it is a huge asset to an agent to have the owner present on all inspections. Check with your agent before each inspection.