By REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella
The process of selling a residential property can seem quite complex. The following tips, while not exhaustive, aim to give you an idea of what’s involved.
FIND YOUR AGENT
Asking friends and family to recommend a real estate agent they have enjoyed working with in the past can be a great first step. Having a good, open working relationship with the agent is a must. You should also ask the agent questions to uncover their knowledge about the market, about the suburb you’re selling in and what experience they have.
Choosing an REIQ accredited agent ensures a seller’s property is handled by a professional committed to adhering to best practice values and a high level of service.
METHOD OF SALE
In residential sales, the most common methods of sale are private treaty and auction. Private treaty sales can be marketed with or without a price, including by negotiation or a price guide/range such as ‘offers over’.
In the case of an auction, it is the seller’s right to set the reserve price (if any) prior to the auction. The seller should consult with their agent and auctioneer when setting the reserve, as they will be familiar with recent, comparable sales in the area. It is unlawful for an agent to provide a price or a price guide to potential buyers. However, an agent can provide a comparative market analysis if the seller gives permission. The reserve price must also be kept confidential.
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
It’s no secret that the greater the exposure a property has to the market, the greater the number of buyers who are aware of the listing. When putting together a campaign plan, an agent should consider the most effective marketing methods for the style of property and its attributes. The seller must agree to all marketing and advertising costs in writing prior to the campaign’s start.
DECIDE ON A LISTING PRICE
Ask your agent to provide you with a comparative market analysis. This report contains information on (at least) three properties of a similar nature and style to yours, that have sold recently in your area (within around five km).
Setting a realistic price will generate greater buyer interest and achieve a faster sale than if the property is overpriced. The seller can choose to change the listed price at any stage when marketing a property but be sure to give this instruction to your agent in writing.
PREPARE THE PROPERTY
It’s important to spend a little time freshening up the look of your property, inside and out. The results may not only add to the sale price but encourage more buyer interest. Some basic renovations and hiring the services of a stylist could enhance your sale price.
When you’re setting days and times for inspections, think about when your property is shown in its best light. For example, if you’re next door to a school, you might not choose 3pm on a school day. Agents encourage sellers to not be present during inspections in order to allow prospective buyers the freedom of inspecting the property, without feeling like they are intruding in someone else’s home.
KNOWING THE BEST DEAL
When it comes to accepting the best offer, price is relevant but may not be the only factor to consider. Some sellers may consider accepting a lower price if the offer is unconditional or has minimal conditions that offer greater certainly, rather than take the risk on a higher-priced offer with more conditions that may not proceed to settlement.
In Queensland, there is no standard or recommended commission rate. The agent is required to ensure that commission is clearly expressed, and that the client fully understands the likely amount and when it is payable.
The old adage you get what you pay for applies here. The temptation might be to pick the cheapest option when what should you be aiming for is the best agent. You may pay more commission for the best agent but that decision could put you in a better position based on the ultimate sale price.