9 May 2022

I want to sell my home; where do I start?

Danielle Redford

The most significant step involved in selling your house is deciding to sell it.

Selling a property isn't an everyday routine. Most people only get to do it a few times in their lifetime. Thus, it is essential to know all that it entails selling a property so that you can better navigate the process.

Several decisions have to be made; when do I sell? What method is best for my property? How can I prepare the property? How do I get an agent? These are some of the questions to come up at the beginning. Some sellers might be prepared to wait a while for the right buyer, while others wouldn't. It depends on personal preference and conditions.

How does selling work?

Selling your property is a monumental task, and there are many stages to go through. It is best to break them down into tiny bites and simple steps by step until the finish line.

  1. The first and significant step is research. It pays to take the time to properly research after you've decided to sell your house. What to focus on while doing your research? You can use the internet to find details about homes in your area; which houses are on sale, which places have sold, how much they sold for, the state of house auctions in the area, e.t.c. This work will help you get a rough valuation of the property you intend to sell.

  2. After a rough Valuation of your property, you need to be more accurate. You should reach out to property valuers to give a more realistic figure. They'll do this based on your area, property size, and condition. This way, you're sure before listing your home.

  3. You need to get a Real estate agent. Your agent is the experienced hand in the field and your representative. The agent can give you tips to better increase your valuation or even let you in on the current trends in the market. They'll provide you with all the information you need and how best to prepare the property for sale.

  4. You will need to carry out adequate Marketing for the property. Like selling anything else, there are better chances of selling when you can get the product in front of a larger and more interested audience. Online, print, signboards, and brochures are useful when advertising your property. It is also beneficial to get good pictures and videos of the property to analyse the best parts and what you think will entice prospective buyers.

  5. After the house has been prepared and all agreements with the chosen agent finalised, the property can be placed on the market where intending buyers can see it and come over for inspection.

Open houses are usually held on weekends when people are often less busy, but they can also be held in the evenings of weekdays. Buyers who like the property would submit their offers to your agent, who will advise you on what to do.

If you intend to sell your property through an auction instead, you will first have to list your property on the market for about four weeks before you would be allowed to.

  1. When the right offer arrives, and with the advice from your agent you choose to accept, other details about contracts can now be sorted and agreed to. There is a stipulated six week period known as the Settlement period, within which all agreements concerning the sale should be finalised. After that period and contract signing, the house is considered successfully sold. It brings an end to the long and arduous process. However, the joy of a successful project is more than worth the stress.

How to figure out the best value of your property

Finding out the correct value of your home can be complicated. We often either undervalue our home because of the length of time we've lived in it or alternatively overvalue it because of sentiments attached to it like memories made in the house, renovations, and personal value placed on specific aspects of it. We might also be retaining a value that has changed over time. Hence it is essential to get the current value when you decide to sell the property. So how do you do this?

  • You can get estimates through online registries focusing on your local area. This registry analyses some parameters like recent sales and the type of houses to reach a figure that best fits the value of your property.

  • You can get what is referred to as an ""appraisal"" from a real estate agent of your choice. The agent will then check out your property and estimate how much they believe they can sell it. Remember that one agent might not be enough as there's no exact figure. Hence you might have to employ more agents for this.

  • You can employ the services of a valuer to come to look at your property before selling. There are also people whose job is simply to check out different components of your home, contrast with sales and trends in your local area, and then estimate your house's price.

  • It is to your advantage to be aware of the negatives of your property. Knowing the downsides or features of your property that might reduce the value or hinder selling will help you understand what to improve on and how to handle it when selling.

  • There might be opportunities for improvements on your property to increase the value.- You might be able to get more improvements or additional spaces added if assessed by a valuer.

How to get the best price for your home

When it comes to selling your home, just like selling anything, presentation, timing, and valuation are crucial to selling at the best fit.

Sell at the right time

Timing is very important in selling a house. There are selling seasons and times when the market takes a break (typically in winter and other holiday periods). Autumn and spring are great times to sell as the market is alive and busy. However, in this period, the competition is higher because of the supply, affecting your valuation.

Get to know your local housing market

While during your research, you should find out as much as you can about your local housing market. Your agent will also fill you in about the current happenings, and if there are any significant changes, you need to know.

Make improvements to a better presentation

To make your property more alluring to prospective buyers, you might need to make a couple of improvements to the property. There would be minor renovations like paints and doors or furniture, leading to you selling your house faster and for the best value possible.

What is the cost implication involved in selling your house?

Selling your house would also involve spending some money, as you might have figured out by now. There is no fixed cost, and it largely depends on your home and the decisions you make along the way. The only way to find out what it'll cost is to determine employment fees for agents and valuers and figure out the costs of preparing your property for sale.

These are some of the fees you will have to consider when figuring out the cost of selling;

  • Agent fee/commission - In most parts of the country, real estate agents charge 2% of the house's selling price. This fee varies in some regions, however.

  • Improvements - Improvements, renovations and repairs all depend on the property.

  • Conveyancer/Solicitor fees - can range from $1500 up to $2000.

  • Auction fee - around $1000.

  • Marketing - This includes online, print, photography and other means of advertising, and they usually do not cost more than 1% of the selling price.

  • Open house costs - this can depend on the size of the home and usually costs about $2000 - $4000.

  • Costs of moving - this also depends on the size of your home. It also depends on the distance that would be covered when moving. The price can be as low as $400 but can get as much as $2000.

  • Mortgage costs - when selling your property, you would be required to pay a fee to be let off the mortgage, depending on the lender.

  • Capital gains tax - this is based on the property you're selling.

After compiling your list of potential costs, you should cross-check with your real estate agent to ensure you've covered everything.

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