So you’ve decided to sell your property. Undoubtedly it is one of the biggest investments you’ve made and you want to maximise your return and get the best possible price in the current real estate market.
One of the most important decisions you can make when selling a property is in choosing your real estate agent. You want an agent who clear understands your situation and needs, that will work for you, market your property correctly, negotiate the best selling price possible.
When choosing an agent it’s important to not just choose the agent based on their fees, costs and what they tell you that they think your home is worth. The old saying “You get what you pay for”, applies as much to the real estate industry, as it does to most other areas of life!
Your agent must clearly be able to demonstrate many other key attributes such as how they will be dealing with your buyer inquiries, how they will go about showcasing your property to buyers and importantly, how they negotiate your final sale price.
Do your own research in relation to market values in your area, on what similar homes in your area have sold for recently (see the section on Property Research) and get the agents to provide you with their sales history in your area, their average days on market, their sales history with your style of homes etc. All agents must provide you with a detailed list of comparable sales to substantiate their price indication.
And here’s a few more things you should look for when interviewing an agent to form a partnership with:
- Can they prove their local knowledge of your area?
- Can they demonstrate the successes they have had with past sales?
- Can they tell you tell you – in detail – how they will go about selling your property?
- Can they demonstrate that they can put together a professional, targeted marketing campaign for your property?
- Do they have proof of a database of buyers they can market your property to?
- Do they have the right attitude – are they listening to what you say and clearly answering your questions and concerns?
- Do they offer a written service guarantee?
- Are they part of a large real estate network that actively encourages (and rewards) all their sales people to sell a property – not just the people in the listing office?
Keep an eye on your local real estate market and what properties similar to yours are selling for. You can look up current median prices and other useful information under our Property Research section. You can also sign up to Barry Plant’s Property Alert and you will be emailed properties that match your requirements (so you can get an idea of what your next home might cost you). You can also receive auction results and sold property results – it’s a great way to keep up-to-date and understand how the property market is performing in your area.
There are four main methods used by Barry Plant for selling a property – including our exclusive Sale by SET DATE®. All of these methods have merit, but there are some important issues such as the type of property, competition in the marketplace and the state of the market which should be considered before a ﬁnal decision is made by you – in consultation with the agent – as to the method of sale to be employed. However, the most important thing is for you to feel totally comfortable with the method of sale to be employed to sell your property.
With a private sale, there is no fixed date advertised for the property to be sold. Once the property is ready for viewing by potential buyers and inquires and inspections begin, it is on the market to be sold.
If, at any time that the property is on the market, the vendors receive an offer that is at an acceptable level to them, the property can be sold.
Private sales are often marketed as “For Sale” and are advertised with a fixed quoted price or a price range i.e. $300,000 – $330,000.
When a sale has been agreed upon, a deposit will need to be paid. This can 10% of the purchase price or less if agreed by the vendors. The sale can be made subject to conditions such as obtaining finance approval (as opposed to purchasing a property at Auction, which must be unconditional.) There is also a three day cooling off period on all forms of private sales (including Sale By SET DATE) for the purchasers, from the date their offer was made.
SALE BY NEGOTIATION
This is very similar to a private sale, but instead of ﬁxing a price, a price range is agreed on between the owner and the agent. Discussions are conducted with interested parties on behalf of the owner by the agent with the agent using their considerable negotiation skills to get the highest possible price. When agreement has been reached on price between the owner and the buyer, a deposit is paid and the terms of settlement are set. With a property for sale by negotiation, the property can sell at any time from the day it is placed on the market and may also be subject to conditions, similar to a private sale.
An Auction is a public sale carried out at an advertised time and place where people interested in purchasing the property bid against each other.
Unlike private sales, Auctions have a high degree of emotion as interested parties compete with each other to obtain the property they have set their hearts on owning. The emotive nature of Auctions can often lead to bidders exceeding their pre-determined price limit to secure the property.
A property that is advertised for Auction can sometimes be sold before the Auction date if agreed upon by the vendor and your agent, if an acceptable offer has been put forward by a motivated buyer. A sale by Auction is accompanied by a (usually) four week marketing campaign aimed at attracting the maximum number of buyers to compete at the Auction.
When buying at Auction, the sale is in the form of an unconditional contract with no cooling off period, as opposed to a Private Sale, Sale by SET DATE or Sale by Negotiation. There must also be a 10% deposit of the purchase price paid on the day. The purchasing terms of the sale are advertised with the property leading up to Auction day.
SALE BY SET DATE®
Sale by SET DATE® is an exciting method when selling a property – and it’s exclusive to Barry Plant ofﬁces. It combines all the best aspects of the traditional methods of Auction and Private Sale by creating the same sense of urgency and competition in buyers that an Auction campaign does but, unlike Auction, there is no public bidding, it’s a more private process.
A home that is for Sale by SET DATE® is usually marketed over four weeks and is advertised with a deadline for the sale to conclude. Buyers can submit offers well before the deadline, just like a private sale and the vendors can sell the property at any time during the campaign, or decide to take the property to the advertised sale date.
If the vendor receives an offer that is at their acceptable level at any time during the campaign, they may choose to call the sale on at that time. All registered buyers are then contacted and informed that the property is now on the market and will be sold. The registered buyers all then have 24 hours to the close of business the following day (except for Sundays), to submit their final and best offers on a Contract of Sale which is placed in a sealed envelope. Your offer will never be disclosed to other buyers.
The selling office will specify a closing time that all final offers must be submitted by, such as 6pm, and inform buyers that this will be their last chance to bid on the property; hence people submit their very best final price.
Everyone wants to obtain the top price when they sell their home. We will never knowingly raise an owner’s expectations on the outcome of their sale beyond reasonable levels.
In some instances, the volatility of the market and the absence of recent sales of comparable properties in a particular area mean it may not always be feasible to provide an accurate estimate of a property’s value.
However, in the majority of cases we will provide the owner with the lower and upper ends of a price estimate. There are many factors which affect the ultimate outcome of a sale including the state of the market, the level of competition at the time, the demand for a particular type of home, the number of buyers in the marketplace and the extent to which the home appeals to the lifestyle aspirations of individual buyers.
We will advise you on presenting your property for sale. First impressions are usually lasting impressions and it is critical to the success of your sale that the property creates a positive impact on potential buyers.
Often, there are small, inexpensive improvements that can be made which instantly make the property more appealing to buyers and have a significant effect on the final outcome. Our experienced sales consultants will look at your property through the eyes of a buyer and offer suggestions for ways in which you can maximise its most attractive features and improve your chances of obtaining the best possible price.
As well as providing practical advice, your Barry Plant consultant will give you a copy of our free booklet “Presenting your Home for Sale” which contains tips on the many things that can be done to make your home and its surroundings as attractive as possible to buyers. Remember, people are buying a lifestyle, and a little effort spent on presenting your property in a manner which will appeal to their aspirations will be rewarded.
Inspections are organised between you and your selling agent, these are usually done in two forms, through advertised Open for Inspections, as well as private inspections outside of the advertised open times, however in some instances, for instance if you are selling your property quietly, you may request that inspections are strictly by appointment.
For security reasons, Barry Plant requests photo identification from anyone attending a Barry Plant open and names and phone numbers are recorded. Your Barry Plant agent will give you advice as to the best open for inspection strategy for your home.
- Choose your real estate agent and complete an Authority with them to sell your property, plus any other required paperwork.
- Meet with your agent to identify the best method of sale, marketing strategy and any presentation requirements.
- Decide on your marketing budget and method of sale.
- Prepare your home for sale.
- Work out which items will be included with the property “chattels”, standard items include: All fixed floor coverings, window furnishings and light fittings. However, you may be including dishwasher, or there may be a light fitting you wish to exclude from the sale.
- Engage a legal representative who will put together legal documentation required for the sale.
- If there is a current lease, check the expiry date and termination requirements and advise your solicitor.
- Optional: Obtain a building and pest inspection report and have necessary repair work done prior to sale.
- Insurance: Barry Plant recommends sellers ensure their property is adequately insured until the day of settlement (when ownership is changed over).
- Barry Plant will send a copy of the fully executed Contract of Sale, Section 32 Statement and Section 27 Statement (if applicable) to your legal representative.
- Cooling-off period: In Victoria, a purchaser is entitled to a 3 day cooling off period after exchange of Contracts. However, Cooling-off does not apply for properties sold at auction, or within 3 business days before or after a publicly advertised auction date.
- Purchaser pre-settlement inspection: the purchaser is entitled to an inspection prior to the settlement of the property (within 7 days prior to the settlement). This is to ensure the property is in the same state that it was when they purchased. Your Barry Plant agent will work out a mutually suitable time to take the purchaser through for the final inspection.
- Deposit: The law requires that deposits be paid into an estate agent or solicitor’s Trust Account until settlement. Earlier release of the deposit may be obtained by way of a Section 27 Statement. Barry Plant recommends sellers liaise with their legal representative to find out if they can be granted early release of deposit.
- Access to the property: The purchaser will usually collect the keys and access details from the agent at the time of settlement; however, if you or your solicitor make other arrangements with the purchaser, it’s important you advise your managing agent.
- Settlement: The Settlement will take place at a time arranged between your solicitor and the purchaser’s solicitor. You must have vacated the property by the settlement time, unless otherwise arranged with the purchaser – for instance, an exception to this may be where the property is being sold subject to a tenancy.
- Don’t forget to notify the relevant people and authorities of your change of address, you can use Barry Plant’s handy Moving Home Checklist for this purpose.
Important: This information is to be used as a guide only. No information is to be relied on for financial or legal purposes.