Selling a family home in Canberra is not an everyday occurrence and while, as a Real Estate Agent, I help people buy and sell property every day, this may be the first time you have thought about it in decades.  It can therefore seem overwhelming to think about where you should start and what is required of you to begin the process.

My aim in creating this step by step pre-sale guide is to make the process a little bit easier for you.

Step 1 – Do your research

Take time to think about what you are hoping to achieve from the sale of your property.  Research recent sales of other homes in your immediate area and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What price did your neighbours sell for?
  • How does your home compare to theirs?
  • Are there other properties on the market currently that are similar or better than yours?
  • What can you do to show your home in a better light than other similar homes on the market?

As they say forewarned is forearmed and having done your research you will be in a very good position when it comes to step two.

Step 2 – Select your agent

Interview a couple of different agents and find one you feel comfortable with and can relate to.  Discuss your plans and ask for advice on the presentation of your home and any ideas they may have which could increase the likely selling price of your home.  You may need to interview one agent or you may need to meet with several but make sure you find an agent that you feel has your best interests at heart.

Ask the agent where they think your home should be priced and find out what sale method they recommend and why.  Look at their track record of previous sales and also how many homes they currently have for sale. A quick search on google and you can quickly find out all you need to know about the agent.

It’s also a good idea to look at how many properties the agent currently has for sale and how long they’ve been on the market.  If an agent has lots of properties that have been for sale more than two or three months then perhaps they are in the habit of overpricing property or don’t have time to give good service to their clients.

Step 3 – Select your solicitor

Once you have engaged an agent the next step is to select a solicitor.  You may have a prior relationship with a solicitor/conveyancer you wish to use, if not, your agent will be able to recommend one for you.  A solicitor will need to prepare a contract of sale before your agent is able to bring any buyers to your property.

Step 4 – Arrange a building inspection

It is a legal requirement in the ACT for a building inspection to be prepared prior to a sale and included within the contract.  This does mean that you will need to invest in the cost of the report prior to going to market, however you will be reimbursed for the cost of the report by the buyer when your home is sold.

Some vendors look at this as a negative but it’s actually a positive thing. Think about it, if each buyer has access to a full building report then they know that you have nothing to hide.  When they make an offer it will be based on the knowledge within the building report and you won’t get people making an offer and then changing their mind if they learn something negative about the property later.

The above is a short overview of the legal requirements associated with selling a property in the ACT.

The way your home is presented is a completely separate area which is also essential for a speedy sale with maximum results.  Below are some basic tips to help you get started in preparing your home for photos and showings with potential buyers.

Step 1 – Reduce Clutter

Unnecessary clutter will make a room look smaller and can make the home look dated and overall unappealing.  Reduce your possessions to the bare minimum so that the home itself is the feature rather than your belongings.

Step 2 – Clean

Make sure the house has been freshly dusted and vacuumed.  Invest in an air freshener or oil burner to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Step 3 – Invest in a decorator

Someone to come in and give you a fresh perspective on how to arrange your furniture or to add touches to make the home appealing to the current market. There are also services to add furniture where the property is vacant. Your agent will be able to suggest people to help you here.

Step 4 – Tidy your front yard

More often than not, a potential buyer will drive past your home before they decide to call the agent to arrange for a formal inspection.  This means that they will judge the house on their first impression – the front garden.  Ensure the lawn is freshly mown and gardens are weeded, neat and tidy.  Likewise, the entrance way or foyer of the home needs to be clean, tidy and appealing.  This is a good place for a candle or air freshener to provide a pleasant smell when a buyer walks in.

I hope the above information gives you a bit of an insight into preparing your home for sale.  If you have any questions about your property or if you’d like me to put you in touch with a solicitor or property stylist please feel free to contact me at any time and I’d be happy to help out.